GARDENING: Top 10 veg seeds to try for 2016

Marrow Babymax is ideal for small gardens.
Marrow Babymax is ideal for small gardens.

It's always nice to grow something different - so­ here's my top 10 vegetable seeds for 2016.

They're not all new to the market, some might be existing varieties that have become easier to get hold of, or are new to that supplier.

1. Marrow Babymax F1, new and exclusive, Johnsons, £2.40, www.johnsons­
A UK­-bred hybrid which produces useful, tasty, smaller­-sized fruits than most. Matures rapidly, compact plants, ideal for small gardens.

2. Pea Terrain, new and exclusive, Thompson & Morgan, 99p, www.thompson­
With the best yield, pod quality and taste in trials, this pea has the most impressive resistance to downy and powdery mildew.

3. Mangetout Stereo, James Wong's Grow for Flavour range for Suttons, £2.99,
An intensely sweet, nutty flavour, pick the pods when they are finger length. Harvest May-­July.

4. Tomato Suncherry Smile Seeds, new and exclusive, Mr Fothergill's, £3.25,
Very sweet-tasting, disease-resistant cherry tomatoes. Indeterminate (needs support), outdoors or greenhouse.

5. Stevia rebaudiana (sweet leaf, sugar leaf), Plant World Seeds, £2.95,
This half-­hardy perennial is grown for its sweet­-tasting leaves ­an organic and harmless sugar substitute. This white­-flowered cultivar will happily overwinter on a bright windowsill. Height: 30-­60cm.

6. Carrot Colour Collection, Jungle Seeds, £4.95,
Five of the best coloured carrots with 250 seeds of each variety and separately labelled ­- Atomic Red, Purple Haze F1, White Satin Organic, Yellowstone F1, Flyaway.

7. Hamburg Parsley Turnip Rooted Seeds, Marshalls, £1.85,­
This little­-known vegetable produces large white roots - use the same as parsnips. Very tasty when roasted, it has a nutty, celery­-like flavour. The tops can be used as parsley for flavouring.

8. Topsetting, walking or tree onion sets, The Real Seed Catalogue, £2.83,
A botanical oddity -­ top-setting onions are a class of bunching onions that grow normally, but instead of making a flower, they make a tiny bunch of bulbils on the end of the flower stalk.

9. Dorset Naga Chilli, Sea Spring Seeds, £6,
One of the hottest chillies in the world, capable of reaching a million Scoville Heat Units and more.

10. Cauliflower Sicilian Violet, Franchi Seeds of Italy, £2.19,
A regional cauli from Sicily, deep mauve in colour which turns green when cooked. Sow from May­-July and harvest October­-December.

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