As we get to the end of January the preparations for growing giant vegetables is beginning to ramp up. I always find a little planning makes a big difference in a few weeks time when the season really gets going.
One of the best varieties available for growing giant potatoes is Kondor. This was the one that grew the current world record. I will put the seed potatoes out to chit in a few weeks. I am yet to succeed with these but follow the advice given which I will share over the weeks.
Long Chilli Peppers
In the last week I have started the long chillies. I may start a few more in a couple of weeks. The challenge is not only to grow them but to have them ready for the shows in September. Germination can be a bit slow and challenging but with a bit of extra heat they should get going soon.
Carrots and Beetroot
As with every type of giant veg having the correct seed is vital if you are going to have any chance of growing anything of any size. There are many of the best giant vegetable growers who have spent years reselecting the biggest and the best to get the seed. We do not sell these seeds ourselves but they do add to the rich tapestry of growing. I will be sowing Carrot and Beetroot Seed in mid February. Many people have already sown their carrots as they need a long season but I have decided to wait a little longer
The giant onions are progressing well. They require lots of attention to make sure they grow well and any problems are kept at bay. I have them in an outside area that does not drop below 12C and as long as I correctly control the ventilation will reach a maximum of about 20C. Anything below 10C may result in flowers later in the season. They are still under lights at 11 hours a day but they will start to benefit from the improving natural daylight.
The challenge is always a balancing act, Too much water will result in splits and loss, too cold then it triggers flowering, sometimes you get double heads ( yes I've had one of those) and then the battle with thrip and for me this year and early infestation of blackfly to deal with.
This week I have moved them from 5 to 11 litre pots, a little behind many growers but its a long season and hopefully it wont make too much difference. I have also selected the best 10 plants to keep growing in my limited space.