Despite the snow and frozen ground and -5C nights, the growing has begun. These first seeds are always special, holding all the promise of the growing year to come. They will only grow because I've bought a heated propagator with light, and in my heart I know that the worst of winter is probably yet to come. And yet I think I get more joy from these seedlings than from all the hundreds of seedlings to come.

I planted a range of tomatoes this year, hoping to get a longer harvest and push myself to think of better ways to preserve them. I've planted the following, all from DT Brown:

  • Gardener's Delight
  • San Marzano
  • Golden Sunrise

Marmande will join them in March.

Also into the propagator went a melon called Ogen and aubergine Black Beauty. I have grown the latter before but from old seeds so I'm hoping a warm, early start combined with new seeds will result in decent-sized fruit.

Also in my DT Brown order were some seed potatoes (Desiree (main) and Maris Bard (extra early)) and they have gone on the garden shed window to chit. They've joined one each of Charlotte (salad), Maris Piper (main), Pentland Javelin (1st early), Arran Pilot (1st early) and King Edward (main). I grabbed these at my local garden centre. I have mixed feelings about buying from garden centres: I like that I can buy just one but you don't get the range that you do from the catalogues, particularly with respect to blight resistance. But you can't just buy one from a catalogue and I always end up with far too many seed potatoes and not enough people to give them away to. I'll see how they go this year and make a decision about future purchases in the summer.

It appears to be more economical to buy seed potatoes from my local garden centre but how will the plants fare?

I'm a bit worried that I have too many potatoes for the beds and my attempt at growing them in bags a few years ago wasn't particularly successful (too dry, I think). I might throw some in bare ground where I had attempted (and failed) to grow some raspberry canes when we first moved here or any spare spot I can find where digging them up won't damage roots of surrounding plants.

Over winter in the vegetable beds I also planted some garlic I grew last year (probably Extra Early Wight or perhaps Solent Wight) and some broad beans (possibly both Super Aquadulce and Luz de Otono although I forgot to label). The broad beans are off to a great start but I'm yet to see the garlic (at the moment they are under snow). It is possible that it was a bit too late for soft neck garlic to go in.

So the growing has begun and I have great intentions for both doing and recording gardening this year. Only time will tell if I stick to my gardening new year resolutions.