Thursday, 15 July 2010

Spud Harvesting Time for our South East Sales Representative and his special helper!

Jason writes......I have always grown veg from an early age but mostly concentrated on tomatoes, marrows and runner beans. Now with a 3 year old in the household we decided to build a raised bed and give him a say in what we grew for the table.
In February we took Archie to the local garden centre and amongst the basket full of seeds and plants he chose were lettuce, carrots, potatoes, courgettes, pumpkins, peppers and broad beans (the latter being his favourite veg - a 3 year old with very sophisticated tastes!).
We started most of the crops indoors and moved them out when things warmed up a bit.
Now after a few weeks of careful watering we are ready to dig out our first early potatoes.

Out came the Potato Harvesting Scoop and being pirate mad, Archie had great fun sifting for pirate potato treasure which he has now stored safely in his loot sack (or Spud Sack for non pirates!).

The potatoes are fantastic and you can really taste the difference to shop bought. We will definitely be growing these again next year as they are so easy to grow and it's fanstastic to know no herbicides or pesticides have been used on them.

5-A-Day Garden at Hampton Court

Our 5 A Day Garden, which has been delighting visitors to the RHS Wisley Plant Centre since April of this year, moved to Hampton Court last week to entertain and hopefully inspire, the 150,000+ visitors to the worlds biggest flower show.

The aim of the garden is to show how it can be possible to grow enough fruit and veg to provide 2 people with their recommended 5 a day portions, from just 10m2 of growing space.
The key to such heavy cropping is the deep bed method of cultivation - where plants grow in very deep loose soil or compost so the roots are encouraged to grow downwards instead of out and as a result, far greater density of spacing is possible. Our Home Allotment Willow Planters replicate the conditions of the deep bed method as well as allowing greater light to the plants and warmth to their roots.

A wall planner showing the crops we recommend growing and a month by month schedule for planting is available to download from our special website
We took the opportunity at Hampton Court to vary a little from the schedule and show what an enormous variety of crops you can grow in planters - there were over 64 different varieties on show. Here's a few of my favourites:
the totally delicious and very productive crystal apple cucumber (thanks Bob Flowerdew for your suggestion here)

the striking globe artichoke

and turnips - just ready to harvest

The garden is now back at Wisley - if you get the chance, go. Its a brilliant day out and the gardens are just amazing - but even the shops themselves make a visit worthwhile - and you might get to see the great Tina who grew all the wonderful veg plants in the garden.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Grow Your Own makes an appearance at Glastonbury

Known more for it's music, headlining superstars and wellington boots, this year's Glastonbury festival celebrated it's 40th anniversary, by departing from the traditional and welcoming not only the sunshine but also the Grow Your Own movement.

Throughout the site, an array of colourful flags and banners reminded festival goers about the benefits of self sufficiency. We'd like to congratulate them on their sentiments and indeed their creativity.