Urban Farm Challenge: April Gardening challenge

I’m taking part in the Urban Farm Challenge, a year-long challenge with different monthly challenges all in the art of urban farming. April’s challenge was about gardening and the challenge was to sow seeds. This is something I’ve done for years, ever since I had a garden, even if it’s just a couple of tomato plants I will always grow something from seed. In more recent years I’ve been extra lucky as my Mother in law has an allotment. Now my husband does not get his fear of all things green and healthy from nowhere, my Mother in law eats very few vegetables. In fact as green fingered as she is she passes most of her produce on to me as she just enjoys the growing of her lovely veg but does not care to eat it! Crazy huh?

Erica at Northwest Edible Life blog  encouraged us to not only grow seeds but to grow something that was new to us, I love that idea, its suits my personality so well! Perversely I seem unable to stick with vegetables that have been reliable but have to try new varieties every year, although that’s usually different varieties of the same vegetables so this year I have chosen some new vegetables to grow from seed.  On the subject of choosing something new to me, well I have outdone myself and I am growing Collard greens, now they are something that you never, ever hear of here in the UK even though I managed to find the seeds from a UK company. Also new to me this year are chicory (endive in the US) and Kale, 2 varieties.Vegetables that I have grown before but chosen different varieties are yellow courgettes (zucchini in the US) and golden beets, long Naples pumpkins and Black futsu squash. I have chosen to grow different tomato varieties this year, a twitter pal has started a lovely heirloom seed company  The Art of Seed so I was interested to try some of her heirloom seeds,  I chose Paul Robeson tomatoes and Jimmy Nardello pepper seeds.

Some of these vegetables will stay with me in my garden where I can keep a better eye on them, others when they get big enough will travel to Kent to my Mother in laws allotment. For now they are in my bedrooms, some growing quite big but as we are having a very wet and cold Spring they can’t go out yet. Thanks to this challenge I am growing both more than usual and new vegetables! I cant wait to see how they all do!

Seedlings planted at the end of March









Some of those seedlings now!


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  1. #1 by Wendy Read (@Sunchowder) on May 13, 2012 - 17:28

    So exciting Jayne! I am growing Pumpkin here, started from the seeds and working on trying to get a Mango seed to “sprout”. Looking forward to seeing your progress 🙂

    • #2 by Jayne on May 13, 2012 - 17:43

      Thanks for your comment! I have managed to sprout a mango seed! Not that mangoes will grow in this climate. Also had success in the past with an avocado seed and lemon seeds.

  2. #3 by lizthechef on May 13, 2012 - 23:06

    Impressive, Jayne. I never grow from seeds unless it is sweet peas – you are a true gardener!

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