We’re delighted to welcome Rob Smith to the Dobies team. You’ll know Rob as winner of BBC2’s Big Allotment Challenge and will be hearing a lot from him over the next year as he launches 2 new Dobies ranges – Heritage Veg and Cut Flowers. So, let’s hear from Rob:

“About the Big Allotment Challenge:

Winning BBC2’s Big Allotment Challenge was an incredible experience. Competing against my fellow allotmenteers really did push me and bring out the best of British growing. It showed that producing your own food can be fun and rewarding. I love the fact that you can provide for your loved ones, growing fantastic crops at the same time. It was great the show but deep down I grow for taste, that’s why I’ve chosen the varieties that are in the Heritage range. They look good and taste incredible.

Why I wanted to work with Dobies of Devon:

I have a real passion for heritage veg. These are varieties that have stood the test of time and produce amazing crops. They are also what my grandad used to grow, that taste takes me straight back to helping him in the garden as a child. Dobies really understood my passion and enabled me to create the new range of Heritage Seeds which will excite keen gardeners, old and new. You’ll find varieties here, that you’ll be hard pushed to find in any other major seed supplier’s range, especially the huge “Lettuce Leaf” basil and super sweet “Honey Boat” squash.

On my allotment:
On my allotment I’m experimenting with several rare heritage varieties of lettuce, beetroot, onion and squash, hoping that we can offer them in future catalogues. I like to grow all the varieties in the range so I know what they taste like and how they perform. I’m building a large fruit cage for raspberries at the moment, and trialling some raised beds to save my back!

On cut flowers:

Flower growing is addictive, from easy to grow calendula and borage, to the more particular larkspur. I’ve chosen varieties that I grew on the Big Allotment Challenge, so you can have a go at growing them and even challenge your gardening friends to a “grow off”. There are companion plants to help encourage insects, flowers to use for cooking and of course plenty of beautiful flowers to grow, cut and enjoy. Try the stunning lilies or the incredibly productive Zinnia. But whatever you grow, enjoy them!”

Rob’s new ranges will be detailed in our 2016 Seed Catalogue, available from mid-September.

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