Archive for the ‘Plant Profiles’ 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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How I grew over half a tonne of Veg on my allotment in 2013.. (Super-Blog part 1)

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Wow - I was quite astounded when I added the quantities of veg that I grew on my allotment last season.. I grew 588 kg. on 165 sq. mt.   My Harvest 2013 After seeing the price of runner beans in town I decided to do a harvest record just to see how much I have grown and priced at supermarket prices.. Some estimates are on the lower side!! Strawberries 40kg = 88punnet @ £2.50 = £225 Broadbeans 6kg @ £1.80 per kg = £11 Peas 6kg @ £2 = £12 Potatoes 90kg @ £1 = £90 Gemsquash 130 @ 50p = £65 Runner beans 31kg @ 6.67 = £207 Courgettes 20kg @ £1.60 = £32 Squashes loads +/- 12 @ £1 = £12 Hubbard squash 4 large @ £4 = £16 Acorn squash 21 @ £1 + £21 Pumpkin 1 @ 2kg @ £2 = £2 Beetroot +/- 25 kg @ £3.3 = £83 Garlic 80 large bulbs @ 50p = £40 Onions 450 @ 2

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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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Getting my onions planted

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender May 3, 2013 Posted No Tags Comment No Comments
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Finally got some onions planted last weekend..With the freezing cold winter weather being with us for so long I planted a packet of onion sets in modules to get them going in the greenhouse. I normally plant sets in first week of March but the ground was still frozen so the modules it was. I also planted a few varieties of seed back to January and February to try out this method as I have always used sets. In Zimbabwe we used to grow from seedlings but it was much better growing conditions there.. Just throw some seed in the small seed bed, water and water and water because of the heat and in a few weeks we had seedlings ready to plant out.. This year I also decided to grow the onions through holes in weed suppressant fabric  as my time is a bit limited  due to work commitments so h

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Itchy Fingers – I wish Spring would hurry up!!

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender March 20, 2013 Posted No Tags Comment No Comments
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I'm itching to get going this year and get things planted out... But I still have to finish preparing the plot as with the strange conditions I've not had a chance to get stuck in and get all the digging done. And the ground is still too cold!! Last year was my first year on the plot that had been neglected for years so I double dug the whole thing to a depth of 18" or so and added loads of manure. This year I'm just turning over one spade depth and then going to rotavate it to fluff it up. I did a few yards a few weeks ago but was still too wet and a bit more last weekend and it was so much drier. So soon I will get stuck in and get it all done. Starting off over the weekend - weather permitting.    The Garlic is doing well but still taking time to really start shooting up. I have a

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Growing and Propagating Strawberries

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender January 21, 2013 Posted No Tags Comment 2 Comments
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The snow is upon us, which has prompted me to write this article. Many gardeners are worried that their Strawberries will die in the snow - Rest assured they WILL survive. They love the cold and snow conditions.. Fresh Strawberries from the plot are a great seasonal treat. You can have them as the traditional "Strawberries and Cream" and many many more ways.. Trifles, puddings, pies etc. etc. They are great for making jams as well. I use them and mix in with various other fruits to make jams and jellies. See my  "Strawpple Jam" here. Literally hundreds of combinations can be done with Strawberries. You can successfully grow Strawberries in containers as well.. See information here.         General The two types of Strawberries  that I know of are the normal fruiting type

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Container Potatoes.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender January 20, 2013 Posted Tags: , , , , , , Comment 1 Comment
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There is nothing much better from the veg garden, than the first new potatoes. Served with butter and fresh mint, to me that is heaven. I dont have an allotment and I have only a moderate sized garden, so I grow potatoes in containers. I concentrate on growing first and second earlies only, but you can grow maincrops too. Containers. You can grow your potatoes in any container but the bigger the better. You can use pots, tubs, buckets, old compost sacks or specialist potato growing bags. You can even use old dustbins and stacked tyres. I have used the large sized reuseable bags bought from supermarkets for about 40p. They even have handles on for easy moving. Whatever container you use, you will need to make some drainage holes. I find drainage holes work best if made along the s

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Growing Your Own Potatoes

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender January 19, 2013 Posted No Tags Comment 1 Comment
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I’m going  into plot or ground grown Potatoes and Helen has done a separate one here about growing in containers. Home grown spuds always taste better than bought ones and you have a far greater variety that you can choose to grow. You can grow potatoes in most soils but prefer a slightly acidic soil. They are greedy feeders so you need to work a good amount of manure or compost into the trench when preparing. They should not be planted after or before Strawberries or Tomatoes as they may cause viruses to each other. Growing Potatoes are best grown from specially grown tubers and it’s not advisable to grow from supermarket bought as they normally have an inhibiter applied to stop them sending out their “chits” (growing shoots). Also don’t keep your own smaller spuds to gro

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Growing Celery and Celeriac.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender January 5, 2013 Posted Tags: , , , Comment 1 Comment
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  Celery and Celeriac [ Apium graveolens ] were bred from the same wild plant. Celeriac grown for it's swollen stem base or root, is much hardier than stem celery when mature. The availability of self blanching varieties of celery have made the growing of this vegetable much easier for the home gardener. You can still grow 'trench celery' from seed, but as it requires a lot more work and attention and takes up more room on the plot, I have concentrated on the 'self blanching' types. Soil Preparation. Celery and celeriac likes a moisture retentive but well drained soil in a sunny spot in the garden. The addition of well rotted manure or garden compost in the Autum/Winter will help retain the moisture and adding sharp sand will aid drainage of heavy soil. Some of the compac

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Growing Kale.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender January 4, 2013 Posted Tags: , , , , Comment No Comments
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Kale or borcole [ Brassica oleracea ] is a versatile member of the cabbage family. It comes in a wide range of leaf shapes and colours, it is a very attractive and hardy vegetable that looks just as good in the flower border as on the vegetable plot. Although kale is usually thought of as a cold weather or winter vegetable, which it is, it can be grown almost all year round. Though in summer it is best grown in partial shade out of direct warm sun. Soil Preparation. Like all brassicas, kale grows best in free draining fertile soil. Well rotted manure or garden compost is best added to the bed in the autumn. Brassicas dont like very acidic soil so add lime before planting or do a soil check. A pH of 6.5 - 7.5 is ideal. They also like a firm soil. Sowing Outside. Seed can be

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