The wonderful thing about growing fruit and veg these days is the lengths growers and breeders go to to make it easier for us to grow our own.
And as our gardens and plots get smaller – either because we’ve chosen a more manageable growing space in keeping with our busy lives, or because houses don’t come with as big a plot these days – they’ve seen fit to breed smaller plants for us to squeeze in accordingly.
Whether you just have pots to grow in or a few small raised beds, there’s something to grow in every space, and often the plants are just as prolific as their more sizeable cousins, and won’t need staking either.
Dwarf plants can be rather more useful for the modern gardener, producing smaller yields and using less space so our freezers and outhouses aren’t inundated with crops. There are only so many marrows you can offload onto your neighbours!
Being sown here is dwarf pea ‘Oskar’, a prolific podder and a fantastic diminutive variety at only 90cm (3ft) tall, with extremely sweet peas.
Its appealing quality, apart from its handy stature for small gardens, is that it crops very early at the start of the pea season.
Sown from March you can harvest from May, and sown direct now you should be getting peas in June.
Available from Real Seeds. Here are a few more to try out now.
- Courgette ‘Eight Ball’ – A compact bushy plant that doesn’t sprawl as others do, with fun snooker ball-sized fruits. From Victoriana Nursery
- Cauliflower ‘Igloo’ – A cauli bred for close planting to create mini tennis ball-sized heads, which can be harvested from early summer. From Nicky's Nursery
- Kale ‘Dwarf Green Curled’ – This hardy curly kale is perfect to grow in pots or in windswept gardens with poor soil. Has a compact habit. From Dobies
- French bean ‘Purple Queen’ – Long, dark purple stringless beans on compact plants up to 35cm tall. Perfect for pots. From Victoriana Nursery