Grow Your Own
As winter’s frosty jaws bite deeper into the soft underbelly of autumn, now is the time to get your greenhouse sorted. No one wants tender plants to be savaged by the cold. Obviously.
Choose a relatively warm, dry day and get everything out of your greenhouse. Give all staging a wash down with soapy water including the glazing. Pay particular attention to the nooks and crannies or anywhere that bugs can overwinter. Let it all dry and then put your plants back in. Diseases will be reduced and light levels maximised.
If you can, put all your plants together on the staging in one half of the greenhouse. Choose the half away from the door. You can then put up a curtain of bubble plastic at this halfway point, in effect halving the length of your greenhouse. This will help in keeping heating costs down and your plants snug.
The rest of your glazing can be insulated using bubble plastic. It’s easily fixed to both timber and metal framed greenhouses. The
Earlier this month, we spoke to the people at The National Allotment society about national allotment week, the benefits of keeping allotments, and how The National Allotment Society works to provide, promote and preserve allotments. Find out all about their work and how and why you should get involved in allotment week this year in our interview below!
Our interview with The National Allotment Society
1. The National Allotment Society – can you describe what it is you focus on, do and work on?
The National Allotment Society (NSALG) is the leading national organisation upholding the interests and rights of the allotment community across the UK. We are governed by volunteers from our regional bodies in England and Wales and our membership is made up of allotments associations, societies and federations, schools, councils, landlords and individuals. We work with the government at national and local levels, other organisations and landlo
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.
A greenhouse makes so much more of the gardening year. You can start growing early in spring, you can finish late in autumn and you can keep things looking great over winter. But a greenhouse can take up a lot of space. You do after all need a few feet all around a traditional greenhouse for maintenance and to allow light into the structure. So, if you want a greenhouse but are limited on space, look no further than a lean to greenhouse. They are fantastic.
A lean to does what it says in the name – they lean against a wall. I’ve seen them leaning against sturdy fencing to great effect. The pent shape roof then slopes downwards and, voila, you have a superb growing area.
Three benefits of a lean to greenhouse
- Size: Lean-tos can be small – capable of growing a growbag of tomatoes or a few tender plants – or as big as you want. Or, to be accurate, as big as the wall.
- Structure: The wall acts as a superb backdrop to
A potting shed is a special shed with a purpose of its very own. It is designed for us gardeners who love to grow-your-own, nurture seedlings into plants and spend hours pottering in the shed. Perhaps they should be called pottering sheds instead? Here we look at a few different potting shed designs that allow us pottering gardeners the best environment and storage for growing.
One of the most valuable assets any gardener may possess is a greenhouse. For those gardeners fortunate enough to have one, the growing season can be extended. This enables the gardeners to make the best use of the sun for longer periods of time. A wide range of fruit and vegetable crops can be produced in a greenhouse, but there is a bit of a difference between crops grown as starter plants and greenhouse vegetables. It is important for someone new to this process to understand what is good to grow in this more controlled environment. There are so many possibilities of vegetables and fruits to choose from, so picking the best of the options can be overwhelming. For beginners it is always best to choose the vegetables that are easiest to grow. This gives new gardeners some experience for the first year so they will have the knowledge and confidence to try growing more complicated crops in following years. Furthermore, since the greenho
Throughout history people have been using plants called herbs to flavour food, for dye, perfume, and even for cosmetics. Certain herbs are thought by many to have the power to repel insects, evil, and even vampires, while other herbs create good luck and attract the perfect lover. Herbs are used by some people to cure headaches and burns, but culinary herbs are usually the most widely used. In fact, many kitchen gardeners relish the opportunity to use fresh herbs at home. It is quite convenient to grow an indoor herb garden without the need of any outdoor space at all. This means home chefs or people who simply enjoy the flavours herbs add to foods can have their own fresh herbs. The growing of indoor herbs is quite practical and straight forward with the ideal setting for this process to be the kitchen. When cooking one simply has to walk over to the indoor garden and snip a few fresh herbs and use them in dishes. If there is no room
One of the easiest ways that people can reduce pollution on an individual level is by growing plants that help the environment. Creating more green material helps to purify the air, which leads toward a cleaner plant through the reduction of the effects of pollution. The benefits of all things green is undeniable. The increase of flora (trees, shrubs, herb gardens, house plants, vegetable crops, and decorative flowers) does actually help to reduce pollution. The process by which the plants do this is a natural one; they release oxygen into the air as they take in carbon dioxide from the air, as well as filter out and eliminate some toxins. Furthermore, green material provides nourishment for the entire food chain and not just the atmosphere. Both indoor and outdoor environments can be improved by simply growing these eco-friendly plants. There are some big environmental problems that must be solved, and this is one small way that everyone can contribute to reducing these proble
The garden calendar begins to fill up with various activities during March. Many gardens are starting to come alive with the warmer weather, signalling that spring has arrived. March is a time for spring plants; trees and shrubs, climbers, and even new herbaceous perennial plants can still be planted as well. Generally speaking, this is the time to complete soil preparation of beds and borders. Digging or turning over the soil will help to provide ample ventilation for new plantings. A close eye should be kept on greenhouses throughout the day because on sunny days the temperatures can warm quickly. Despite this fact, the night may still be quite cold; therefore, tender shoots still need a bit of protection from the elements of early spring. Take this time to provide protection of young vulnerable seedlings from the invasion of damaging pests. The following advice will help you understand the seasonal plants that can be started in both
The urge to garden becomes stronger with each day the late-winter sun rises higher in the sky. Gardeners love reconnecting with the earth and waking up their garden to a new growing season. Since it is never good to begin working the soil too early, there are projects that gardeners can do in early spring to fulfil their urge to begin their gardening season. While completing tasks like clearing drainage ditches, repairing garden fixtures, organising and sharpening garden tools and weeding young spring weeds is necessary for early spring garden preparation, gardeners really want to get their hands in the soil. The preparation of the soil is one of the most important tasks of spring garden preparation. However, working soil too early is truly a mistake and experienced gardeners fully understand. Plant roots thrive in soil that is well aerated, having air spaces between the soil particles. When melting snow or spring rains have the soil saturat