Archive for the ‘Herbs’ Category

How I grew over half a tonne of Veg on my allotment in 2013.. (Super-Blog part 2)

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So to continue... Spring Onions... As I said in the part 1 we love our onions.  As well as the normal onions I also have a small bed of multiplying onions - like a spring onion but a bit smaller. I originally planted a few bunches of two or three onions and they soon turned into huge bunches of tall tasty onions which are ideal in stews and soups. They have a totally different taste to normal onions. I dig up a portion of a bunch when required by driving a spade through the bunch and replacing some soil to fill the void!! When the whole bunch has been used I replant a small bunch of 2-5 and in not time they will be ready for eating as well. This way one only needs a square meter or so in the garden for theses.  They over-winter without any problem and jump back into growing mode i

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Intercropping and Catch Cropping.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender May 16, 2013 Posted No Tags Comment 2 Comments
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If you are short of growing space or want to make the most of the space you have, there are a couple of growing practices that can help. These growing methods are commonly known as Intercropping and Catch Cropping. These ways of  growing are not new, but have been somewhat forgotten by many gardeners. With many new gardens being smaller and long waiting lists for allotment sites, Intercropping  and Catch Cropping, could be a way to maximise harvests in smaller spaces, even in tubs and containers. Intercropping. The Intercropping method is simply growing different vegetables together, one well know group planting with a long history is called 'The Three Sisters'.  The Native Americans grew maize or sweet corn in a block, when the corn was growing, climbing beans were then

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Wow it’s March!!

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I can hardly believe that March is here already! Mind you the last few days have been very spring like. I have seen a few very large bumble bees buzzing around. These will be females that have come out of hibernation, they will feed on early flowers, then look for somewhere to build nests, often old mouse holes. This got me motivated to create a new bee friendly bed out of my old rhubarb bed. The rhubarb grew so huge last year that it over grew the paths and made it difficult to pass. I had already decided to move the rhubarb so after it had died down last year, I planted a plum in the centre of the bed in October. I had chosen a half standard Burbanks Tangerine plum, this would allow for planting beneath it. I have been growing some plants that are very attractive to bees, lots of

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Snowdrops and Snow.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender February 13, 2013 Posted Tags: , , , , Comment No Comments
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Its very cold today, snow is coming and I can see from my window that the first light snowflakes are falling. Yet it is suprising what is growing in the frozen ground. While filling up the bird feeders, I had a quick walk round the garden. Snowdrops are starting to flower in ernest now, I have lots of the common snowdrop [ Galanthus nivalis ] and it's double form Flora Pleno. I also have some of the larger flowered snowdrops, Galanthus elwesii and the broad leaved Galanthus plicatus. I love my snowdrops but not as much as some. Such is the popularity of snowdrops that for some it borders on obsession. These folks are know as 'Galanthophiles' and spend much of their time searching for or breeding new varieties. With some of the rarer choice bulbs selling for more than £150 per bulb. I

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Kale Extravaganza!

Person Author: Helene Coleman Calender December 16, 2012 Posted Tags: , , , , , , , , Comment No Comments
Lots of kale!

It’s a short blog today as this weekend we’ve been busy getting ready for our trip to India! We fly to Kerala on Friday evening for Christmas and New Year so needless to day are pretty excited about where we’re going to be spending the holidays! Anyway, today we went down to the allotment to pick some veg for our Sunday roast that Steve is busy cooking at the moment. We picked the last of our parsnips and cut some leaves from our ‘cut and come again’ kale plants, which have done really well this year. We have four varieties of kale –‘Black’, ‘Red Russian’, 'Redbor F1’ and ‘Westland Winter’ which will hopefully keep us going until the spring. Tonight, we’ve got a bit of each with our dinner, in what can best be described as a kale extravaganza! Christma

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Growing Fennel.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender December 2, 2012 Posted Tags: , , Comment No Comments
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Fennel is an very old plant that has it's origins along the shores of the Mediterranean but it is now found around the world. It is often seen along roadsides and riverbanks from Australia to the USA. It has been naturalized in Britain since Roman times. Herb fennel is very aromatic with a strong aniseed like flavour. It is grown for it's ferny leaves and seeds and has many culinary and medicinal uses. It is a main flavouring ingredient in the liqueur Absinthe. The bulb type of fennel, often called Florence fennel or Finocchio is grown for it's swollen base and is used cooked as a vegetable or used raw in salads. Herb Fennel [ Foeniculum vulgare ] Soil Preparation.  Growing herb fennel is very easy, it is a hardy perennial plant that is not fussy about soil type, so long as

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Fresh Herbs all Winter

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender September 16, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment No Comments

With a little preparation, you can have delicious fresh herbs right through the cold winter months. Many herbs can be grown on a light windowsill in the home. If you were lucky to have a surplus of herbs this summer, you may have frozen or dried a supply for winter. This cold wet summer left me with very little extra to preserve, so if like me you want some nice fresh herbs this winter, and don't want to rely on the supermarket, you need to prepare now. Herbs from seed The tender or annual herbs such as basil, dill, coriander and sweet marjoram can be sown now, but also many of the perennial herbs like chives, parsley, oregano and thyme can also be sown at this time, and are easy to grow from seed.  Sow all herb seeds thinly in pots, as most herbs have small seeds, use multi-purp

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Holy and Thai Basil

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender September 3, 2012 Posted Tags: , , Comment No Comments
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Herbs, squashes, tomatoes and salad items are all producing nicely at the moment and finally the two heat loving basil variety has reached a decent height nad I could try them out. Basil is normally best to grow in the greenhouse but on good summers I do plant some outside too. Not these two though as they are quite slow growing and require more heat than the Sweet Genovese. I have to admit I have never grown Holy Basil before but it is really worth a try. The plant is hairy and definitely have a lower level of essential oils as the flavour is milder than the flavour of the Sweet Genovese. And the Thai Basil is the strongest basil I have ever grown. The best to use it in flavoursome stir fries and different oriental dishes. Holy Basil is for you if you like basil but find the ord

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Basil in Pots

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender August 6, 2012 Posted Tags: , , , , Comment No Comments
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Basil is the love of herbs or king of herbs. Most gardeners do grow basil, I do try to have a pot at least on the windowsill all year around. Basil, as many other herbs, a great cut and come again crop. I have to admit I bought a pot of basil in the supermarket about 3 months ago and it is just finishing producing now and it was kept on my windowsill. Basil can produce sideshoots, but I leave the top growing tip on as the plants will grow from there the best in my experience. On an average year I don't bother experimenting growing basil outside as the nights are too cold for this warm loving herb; I think it is from India originally so does need heat. On the windowsill most of us have limited space so as soon as it is warm enough in the greenhouse I start sowing basil seeds in there, wh

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Growing Herbs in Pots and Containers

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender July 14, 2012 Posted Tags: , , Comment No Comments
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Herbs are very easy to grow from seeds or from cuttings; they require little maintenance and you can easily grow them in pots and various containers. The different herb seeds can be planted together in a bigger hanging basket or window box, but make sure that you grow the invasive species like mint and lemon balm in separate pots. You can have a herb garden on your patio or inside on the windowsill too. Annual herbs are most suited for container growing, as these herbs are tender, and the herb seeds need quite warm climate to germinate successfully. These are my basil seedlings, germinated in a couple of days in the greenhouse. Containers You can plant your herbs in anything from hanging baskets to window boxes, old buckets, large tin containers or even an old unused wheelbarrow

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