Grow Your Own

  1. What to Do with Your Greenhouse This Winter

    What to Do with Your Greenhouse This Winter

    I love gardening and everything to do with greenhouses. However, I have to admit the best day of my greenhouse/ gardening life to date is when the team who put the structure up left and I was face to face, for the first time, with a beautiful wooden greenhouse. My beautiful wooden greenhouse. Completely empty. Walking in, closing the door and being enveloped by the evocative aroma of wood and luxuriating in the vast emptiness of the area is a memory that will never fade. Time to breathe, think and plan. The acres of benching, the glorious expanse of unfettered flooring (concrete slabs) and achingly clear headroom. No plants, no pots, no canes, wires or string. Just a dream.

    OK, it lasted a few hours before a couple of pelargoniums found their way in for their winter protection, a dozen bowls of bulbs were soon housed on the immaculate benching, and a back-of-an-envelope plan was scribbled out for five containers of tomatoes, three cucumbers, a couple of aubergines, chillies

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  2. The Best Wooden Greenhouses for 2017

    The look, smell and sheer beauty of a wooden greenhouse is one of life's greatest pleasures. Superbly practical with inherent good looks - a wooden greenhouse is a structure to cherish.

    Wooden Mini Greenhouse: this is a lovely way to get started in greenhouse gardening or if your garden is bijou. It’s ideal for the experienced gardener as well. All the timber in this 1.2m x 0.62m is pressure treated and therefore has a whopping 15 year guarantee against rot. The wide double doors allow easy access to your seedlings and plants while the tongue and groove cladding and slatted shelves add up to a sturdy structure. It is easy to assemble and will last for decades.

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  3. The best herb planters for 2017

    Nothing beats the taste and aroma of freshly picked herbs especially when they have travelled food metres and not miles. A herb planter placed in a sunny spot outside your kitchen door will provide handfuls if not armfuls of herbs for many months of the year.

    Whichever herb planter you choose, ensure it has plenty of drainage holes and is planted up using well-drained compost. Add extra grit until you hear the crunch when mixing. Drainage and a sunny site is vital to the success of your plants. But first, the planters:

    Devon herb planter (SHS248) is a superb planter. Its wooden, made of tongue and groove cladding and is sturdy. The planter has a 15 year guarantee against rot and is easy to put together. A couple of hours tops from receiving the package to getting ready to fill with that quality well drained compost. It is 1.5m wide and 0.5m deep – and that's a great space to grow a lot of herbs.

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  4. 9 foods that you can re-grow from your kitchen

    9 foods that you can re-grow from your kitchen

    There is great satisfaction in re-growing veggies (also fruit!) from scraps. Following a few basic guidelines, you too can now watch as your foods regenerate themselves. Apart from the fact that you may save yourself (even small amounts of) money, it’s also fun to watch your effort turn into fine edibles for your table. Most of the following examples are not that hard to grow. So, look at our tips, roll up your sleeves and start farming your own produce, even from your kitchen! Remember to use fresh, not old scraps:

    Garlic Sprouts
    Wonderful when used fresh on baked/boiled potatoes, salads or stirred into scrambled eggs and pastas, garlic sprouts are grown from the garlic clove. All you need is a little water at the bottom of a cup; the windowsill is a perfect spot to leave it in. As easy as that! Place the clove (or whole bulb) in just enough water to touch the bottom of the cloves: soon enough the cloves will grow roots. Change the water every fe

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  5. A guide to growing 9 popular spring vegetables

    A guide to growing 9 popular spring vegetables

    Spring is arriving and that means it is time to begin preparing for the planting of the spring vegetables. The process of growing vegetables can begin early with the sowing of seeds for both the spring and summer food harvests. At the least, the process can be started with thoughts of what may be planted when the soil is finally thawed and ready for sowing. This is the time for planning and for projects; spring is all about new beginnings and new births. To make the best of the birth of new spring vegetables, read the following advice:

    Prepare the soil

    Springtime is perfect for preparing soil for growing vegetables. This is the time to be adding organic matter such as compost, well-aged manure and worm castings to the soil. It is also a good time to clean up debris left from the winter and to cut away diseased or broken branches. Get the garden shed organised and ready whilst also checking the condition of sprinklers and other tools.

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  6. 2014 Competition winners

    Firstly a massive thanks to everyone who entered! We are really glad to see so many people share a passion for allotments and it's been a pleasure to read about what you've all been doing on your plots.

    So here are the winners for the blogger, recipe and allotment competitions. Once again thank you all, and please continue with the great work your doing keeping the allotment spirit alive in the UK!

    Winning Blog

    The winner of our blogging competition is the blog written by Michelle Chapman

    The blog incorporates stories about Michelle’s garden, her travels, seasonal recipes and ‘plenty of fruit and veg’. Michelle explains that she loves the sense of community she has with her blog, from readers who get involved with her events and schemes. We agree that allotments are a great way to interact with the communit

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  7. 2014 Recipe competition entries

    2014 Recipe competition entries

    Our first entry is a hearty Vegetable Cobbler from Angela

    This is a hearty recipe, although it contains no meat it makes for a filling and satisfying meal. It's also really quite healthy too, the only fat is the small amount within the savoury scones. Serve it in a large casserole dish for the whole family or split it into smaller portions to freeze and enjoy on those days you would rather be spending time in the garden than in the kitchen.

    This recipe was inspired from an old cut out of an unknown magazine. I first baked this recipe following my very first successful tomato harvest - hurrah! Unlike my harvest this year which has been beset with tomato blight - boo! There are plenty of other garden grown vegetables included in this recipe carrots, potatoes, celery and cauliflower. Celery being something I have yet to grow myself and my cauliflowers only ever seem to end up with small hearts - I blame the soil!

    Hope you enjoy it.


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  8. 2014 Blogger competition entries

    2014 Blogger competition entries

    Our first Blogger entry is from

    A friend once described my blog as 'like a well stocked department store; there's something for everyone on every floor' and another as 'quirky and fun'

    Veg Plotting isn't just about the veg I grow on my allotment, my allotment is the place where much of the inspiration for my blog's content comes from. There are stories about my garden, my travels, seasonal recipes and of course plenty of fruit and veg. My 52 Week Salad Challenge is now in its third year with its regular Salad Days feature on the fourth Friday of the month. I also love the sense of community I have with my blog, from readers old and new, plus people joining in with all kinds of events and schemes such as my virtual Shows of Hands project for the Chelsea Fringe earlier this year.

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  9. Grow your own food from garden planters on a balcony

    These days, we all want to grow our own food at home in order to reduce our grocery bills or to reduce the distance from soil to table, reducing your carbon foot print. But what if you live in a flat and don't have the a garden? Well, there is a growing community of balcony growers who happily grow all their vegetables ona balcony or myriad of window sills.

    With limited space you need to be cleaver about how you use it and it's best to use planting containers, like our range of planters. Some planters even feature trellis back so as you can really maximise your use of verticals pace.

    However, when growing food on your balcony, don't forget that all that soil can be quite weighty so try not to overload.

    So what can you actually hope to grow?

    Well, your options are quite vast. Most smaller plants such as herbs, chillies, peppers, strawberries or leafy salad crops are ideally suited to be grown in our garden planters. The best performers

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  10. Flying the flag for growing your own

    Flying the flag for growing your own

    With increasing awareness of what we should be eating as a nation, people in the UK are taking a genuine interest in what is ending up on the kitchen table, and the term 'Grow Your Own' is sprouting up everywhere.

    A leading UK garden centre chain, has seen an increase in 'grow your own' sales in 2009, by up to 82% compared with the same period last year, with sales of over 100,000 tomato plants in just a two month period.

    Many of us like to know exactly where our veg is coming from, and there is no better way of being sure than to 'grow your own' produce. Whether you have an allotment, or are lucky enough to have space in your own garden, the potential to grow a variety of fresh edible goodness is almost limitless. However, you will need a few tools and garden aids to make sure the seedlings that you are nursing along, will eventually grow into strong healthy plants.

    The Importance Of Compost

    A great way to start is to make sure you h

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