This is the time to get your veg on and Burpee seeds offer some of the most interesting seeds to plant right now.

I have an allotment, I had it before it was fashionable. In fact, when I first got it there was no waiting list and I was regularly called Arthur Fowler in the office, a famous East Enders character who died on his allotment in 1996.

Now of course the waiting list in London is about five years and the coolest people can be seen with a spade.

Even with a small square of garden or just a balcony, you can grow something for the table and you really should. The taste is always better when you grew it yourself.

Burpee, a rather odd name, don’t sell seeds direct to consumers but through the shops and they always have interesting seeds that I have always had success with.

So this year what’s good to grow?

This is what I am getting on either in the greenhouse or sown direct.

Swiss Chard ‘Fordhook Giant’

‘Fordhook Giant’ is said to dependably produce heavy yields from late spring until winter even in hot weather and lile most chard it can survive even snow.

This new classic Burpee-bred chard promises  thick, dark-green, tender leaves and a, slightly bitter, earthy flavour.

It can be sautéed with a little olive oil and lemon juice for a simple side or used in any dish calling for spinach. Its only enemy is pigeons, so it’s best netted.

Aubergine Violet Knight (also sold as Purple Knight)

This is said to be prolific and easy to cultivate, with an adaptable plant habit making it suitable for mid-sized containers or growing directly in the ground. 

It promises to produce long deep purple fruits which I hope will be tastier than the standard Dutch aubergine

Sweetcorn ‘Ambrosia’

Sweetcorn is best grown in a box pattern to aid pollination and different varieties should be sown well apart to keep the variety true.

We always have great success with sweetcorn,  and have a sweetcorn party each year when we griddle bag loads.

This “Designer” corn is a bicoloured variety with yellow/white kernel on what are said to be reliably disease-resistant plants. Sweetcorn is easy to grow if you have the space but needs its feet kept wet and watch out for squirrels; they know when the corn is ripe and will eat the lot straight off the plant. Nets are needed

Tomato ‘Crimson Crush’

Blight is a b******. Last year all our tomatoes went down just as they had massive potential crops, instead of going from green to red they all went black and diseased. Disaster.

This year we are growing this new variety developed in Yorkshire and tested at Bangor University for proven high levels of blight resistance alongside delicious flavour.

Melon ‘Mangomel Hybrid’
Melons in the UK? Well yes, I have done it before but this northern European-bred selection claims to produce exceptionally early ripening fruit with deep-orange flesh and sweet, highly aromatic flavour.

This is a Canary-type melon from Burpee. It’s a bush variety bearing 4-6 yellow skinned fruit so ideal for the smaller patch

The sweet refreshing cream coloured flesh has a Brix value  (sugar in solution) of around 14-15%.

Obviously best in a greenhouse, but they say it will also do well outside in southern England. We shall see.

Melon ‘Budgie’

All of these seeds can be sown right now until mid-May so search out Burpee seeds via their website where you’ll also find plenty of top tips too.