Spring planting and the cold greenhouse

This blog for February gives me the ideal opportunity to discuss best use of the spring planting season and a cold (i.e. unheated greenhouse) if you have one.  Gardening writing, including mine, regularly talks about ‘early spring’ rather than specifying a particular month because the advent of increasing temperatures varies so much from place to place even within south east...

Make your veggies permanent

As gardeners decide what to grow vegetable plots and allotment this year, I am looking at a trend in gardening that reflects a growing interest in reducing our carbon footprint and preserving wildlife: namely, growing permanent or perennial vegetables. This saves growing from seed or buying plants each year and also, as they are no-dig plants, saves on effort and...

Time to sow the seeds of success

After spending much of February and early March advising gardeners that it is too early to sow seeds, I am now reassuring people that they have not missed the boat and that early April is an ideal time to sow seeds of annual flowers and vegetables. April sees rising temperatures and noticeably longer days so that after germination your seeds will...

Seed sowing Success

With Spring in sight many gardeners’ thoughts turn to sowing seeds for this summer’s annual flower and vegetable crops and very little beats the excitement of seeing those tiny green shoots emerge.  Here are my tips for success: I recommend that you make a list of what you need and have space for before shopping for seeds whether online or at...

What is No Dig gardening

October is a month when we see the last of the summer flowers and vegetable harvests and start to think about preparing the garden for next year.  This is particularly true of a vegetable plot or allotment where the traditional autumn activity is to dig over the empty ground.  Older gardening books will even recommend double digging - which is...

Buying & planting field-grown trees in winter

Winter is a great time plant new trees and hedges as long as the ground is not frozen.  An advantage of winter planting is that you can buy young field-grown trees and hedging plants more cheaply than pot-grown specimens.   As the name suggests field-grown trees are grown in open fields and lifted (dug up) just before delivery to you or...

When the summer veg is over

Many people grow summer vegetables in a small plot but may not make full use of the space through the autumn and winter.  By the end of September even the last sowings of quick maturing salad crops such as radishes and salad leaves will be coming to an end. You can move onto winter hardy lettuce especially if you have...

Maximising your veg harvest

Succession sowing and inter-cropping The month of May sees the height of sowing and planting for the summer vegetables  and succession sowing and inter-cropping are two different ways to get the maximum vegetable harvest from your space and delivering a steady flow of produce to the kitchen through the summer. Succession sowing simply means that you do not sow all your seeds...

What is Soil and what is Soil Improvement?

You already know that the soil in your garden is key to growing great plants. But exactly what soil is made of, why this matters and what is meant by soil improvement might warrant a bit more explanation to turn the frustration of plants that struggle into the success of blooming borders. Soil Type There are two main characteristics of soil which...

Grow Your Own : Crop Rotation

Grow Your Own rotating vegetables If you grow vegetables, whether in a small veg plot at home or on a larger scale on an allotment, you will have come across the term ‘crop rotation’.  There are good reasons for moving your veggies around each year and it need not be complicated once you understand the principles.  The key point is that...