Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The Start of a New Year

As we say good bye to 2014 we enter 2015 and the challenge begins a year to become as self sufficient as possible.
The main Vegetable Garden
The main challenge to produce at least one piece of food every day of the year whether it be from the garden, foraged the wild or from stored produce. I wrote about the challenge back in July but it's not just about the produce it's about living a more sustainable life reducing waste recycling more. Some things will just not be possible as we rent our house changing our heating system etc. to be more efficient. But we will do our best where we can to make our lives a little bit more sustainable and self sufficient in what we us. We will be making regular blogs about our challenge through out the year so do come back and see how we are getting on. You can also keep up to date with on a daily basis over on our facebook page and there is also twitter @pottingshed1. Is anyone else set them selves a challenge for 2015 we would love to hear about it. 

Wordless Wednesday

As the sun sets on one year it will rise again on a new year and hopefully it will be better than last.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Gardening TV in 2015

We are nearing the end of 2014 and looking forward to a new year and growing season in 2015. There have been some great new gardening programmes in 2014 it started off with The Great British Garden Revival. Which was a great new program each episode looking at a different part of gardening from greenhouse's to rockery's. Then it was time to show off the Allotment, The Big Allotment Challenge this was a take on the Great British bake off where allotmenters go head to head to for the best in show rosette.  
In 2015 we see some old favourites as well as some new gardening programmes to wet our appetite these are some of the best to look out for.  
Britain's Best Back Gardens
Alan Titchmarsh has spent the past year searching for Britain's best back garden over 600 gardens applied. But only 30 have made it on to the program each week Alan travels up and down the UK and shows us 10 of these gardens in each episode.
Starts 6th Jan 8pm ITV1
Show Me Your Garden
This is a new gardening programme and is a bit like come dine with me. Each week three gardeners visit and judge each others gardens to see who get judges the best episode 1 starts in London.
watch a preview of the show
Starts 2nd Jan 8pm Sky 1
The Great British Garden Revival
This returns for a second series after it's success last year another 10 episodes each week covering one of the following subjects knot gardens, peonies, daffodils, bog gardens, lavender, wildlife gardens, climbers and creepers, soft fruit, and irises. Each week presented by a different presenter Carol Klein, Joe Swift, Rachel de Thame, James Wong, Tom Hart Dyke, Chris Beardshaw, Alys Fowler, Charlie Dimmock, Diarmuid Gavin, Christine Walkden and Toby Buckland.
Starts 6th Jan 7pm BBC2
The Big Allotment Challenge
Again another successful series from last year returns again to BBC2 but with a few changes to last year. It is going to be a lot more practically based after viewers feed back from last year another big change is there are no couples any more it is just individual Allotmenters battling it out for best in show. 
Starts 2nd Jan 9pm BBC2
As well as all your regular gardening TV favourites Beechgrove Garden and Gardeners world BBC2 are all back  back in the spring. So January is defiantly set to be a great month for gardening on TV.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Growing The Seeds For The Future - Self Sufficiency

As part of going self sufficient next year one thing I am going to have to start doing is trying to produce as much seed as I can. Now I am by no means going to be able to produce all the seeds in all the variety's that I will need this will be impossible. The space it would take to producing all this seed we also have the problem with cross pollinating.
 But if we can produce some of the more easier variety's then we could save a pound or two over the year. I have saved lots of peas and beans through the summer as well as cucumber, tomatoes and several other vegetables in varying quantity's. So I have made a good start to being partly self sufficient in seeds next summer one veg we do grow in large quantity's is onions. So i have selected four of the best 'Red baron' onions as well as the best of my 'Kelsea' onions that I grew this summer. I potted them up in the greenhouse one bulb per 3lt pot in multi purpose compost. Growing them on in pots helps with two things the first is I can move them around the greenhouse as they grow and also place them outside during the summer. But one of the main reasons is if you suffer from white rot in your soil you can use clean soil to grow on your new stock disease free. Oh there is a third reason as the seed begins to ripen if the whether turns wet you can pick them up and pop them in the dry of your greenhouse.
I use a similar method for root crops such as beetroot, carrots, parsnips etc. but you will need bigger pots to take the shape of the roots. Put about three roots per pot making sure they are not touching to prevent rot and grow on the same as the onions they will flower the following summer. Only put one variety to seed each year to prevent cross pollination between the variety's for more information there is a great website to get more info .

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Book Review - The Flower Farmers Year

There is nothing more cheerful than a bunch of flowers and it's even better if you have grown them your self. Everyone considers growing flowers for the garden to give pleasure outside but not many people grow them to cut for the house. When most people think about getting a bunch of flowers there first port of call is the local florist or worst of all the garage forecourt. But most of these flowers have been flown from all over the world traded at markets up and down the country. Creating a massive carbon foot print not to mention all the chemicals and artificial fertiliser that was thrown on them as they grow. Many years ago every town and city had several flower farmers producing all year round and there produce never travelled many miles from where it grew. But now there is a great new book to help get you started growing your own cut flowers in your own garden and even turn your garden into a business. The Flower Farmers Year by Georgie Newbery is a new inspirational book that by the time you have read it you will want to get outside and plant up a cut flower patch of your own.
Georgie is an Artisan flower farmer and florist she grows all her flowers from her small holding in Summerset and delivers them all over the UK. Everything is covered in this book from starting your first cut flower patch to going in to business Even the Tax man gets a mention. I have always planted and grown flowers in the garden and cut bunches for the house. But never planted any with the intention of cutting them for the house. But after reading The Flower Farmers Year this is going to change next year I am going to select several variety's to cut for the house.
This is a great book for the budding flower farmer, florist or even the seasoned pro will learn a thing or two. With Christmas coming up it will make a great present for any gardener it's only £19.99 available from all good book shops or direct from Green Books
Georgie also has a website where you can buy her flowers or even book one of her workshops. 
ISBN: 9780857842336

Saturday, 13 December 2014

It's all getting Christmassy

The decorations have come out of the cupboard the tree has come in and taken up most of the living room. Another Christmas tradition is the holly wreath that hangs on the front door to welcome guests to your home. So I have been out and about getting bits and pieces to make one, it all starts with the hoop you can use many materials to make the hoop but traditally you would use Willow or hazel.
I have opted for Hazel this year just gently bend the rods over your knee to make them more flexible and then start by weaving two of them into a circle. once you have got the circle formed keep on weaving in Hazel rods until it is strong enough to hold all the holly you are going to tie to it. I always tie a bit of wire around it just to make sure it doesn't spring open. 
Once you have made your circle we now need to cover up all your hard work making it. Cut up your holly into 6-8" lengths get two - three bits of Holly depending on the size of them place them on to the Hazel and tie with wire to the circle. Keep on doing this covering up the stalks with each new bunch you add and work your way round the circle until you get to where you started.
 Add a string or ribbon to the top of the wreath so that you can tie it up to your door. You are free to add hat you want to your wreath I have gone for a more natural look this year. I have simply added some dried Hydrangea heads and some gold holly I will probably add to it as I come across things such as cones etc. but that is the joy of making it your self you can do what you want in your own time. They are always much better than anything you will buy in a shop and it only took an hour of my time to make.
 This is also a great activity to get the Kids involved in although they may complain about getting prickled by the Holly. They do love making anything related to Christmas I will certainly be making more next Christmas as part of my year of going self sufficient.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Woolmans new catalogue

The last of the chrysanthemums have finished in the garden which normally signals autumn is now in full swing. The leaves are falling by the wheel barrow full and some trees are even bare already so it was nice to get the new Woolmans Chrysanthemum catalogue through the door. It's always a joy to get a catalogue through the post opening the catalogue and revelling all the brightly coloured plants is like letting in a ray of sunshine to the dank, dark autumn and winter months.
 Woolmans has been around since 1881 so they know a thing or two about chrysanthemums There are some lovely chrysanths to chose from some ones that caught my eye where The Exmoor collection this is a collection of large reflex blooms. These are the types you would normally see on the show bench but this collection has been chosen to grow well outdoors and make just as good garden plants as they do exhibition blooms. The Tapestry collection is your old fashioned garden mums these produce lovely domes of colour that will keep on flowering for months from September to the first frosts. Golden Rain AGM is a lovely spider type that remind me of old Japanese prints they look so delicate there florets can reach up to 15cm long flower from November onwards.
Now Woolmans are not just about chrysanthemums they have a wide range of perennials, bulbs and dahlias that will fill your garden full of colour through out the year. 
To get your hands on your own copy of the Woolmans Catalogue just go to there website or telephone 0845 658 9141

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Book review - Companion to Scented Plants

 The Royal Horticultural Society have just released a new book which is published by Frances Lincoln. If you ever wanted to know anything about scented plants then this is the book you need to have on your book case.
Written by the writer, broadcaster and designer Stephen Lacey, Steven is a prolific writer and has written many books he is also a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and The RHS Garden magazine. The book is also packed full of lots of lovely photographs these are all the work of Andrew Lawson who is not just a photographer but also a published author in his own right. So you know straight away that this is going to be a good book The RHS Companion to Scented Plants is a weighty book. With over 1000 scented plants included in this book but it's not just about the plants it about themselves it's also about how to use them in the garden. One of the greatest joys about stepping into the garden is the scent that is given off by the plants especially on a hot summers day Now the scent that is given off by plants is not just there for our enjoyment it's primary use is to attract pollinating insects and bees. Towards the back of the book there is a great calendar which will help you get scent in the garden all year round everyone tends to think of scent through the summer months, but there are lots of great plants that flower in the winter and early spring that give masses of scent to the garden. This is a great and inspirational book that show how to get the most scent into your garden and would make a great book to receive or give this Christmas whether for the experienced or novice gardener.

The RHS Companion to Scented Plants is available now from all good book shops RRP £25.00.

ISBN 9780711235748

Monday, 10 November 2014

It's Been a Very Beany Weekend

I managed to get out in the garden this weekend which i have not been able to the last couple of weekends. Now Saturday was not a good start to the weekend as it rained most of the day and when it wasn't raining the ground sodden. So Saturday became a right off now Sunday was a completely different day the day started off with the sun shining through the curtains (i don't get up too early on a Sunday). There is always lots to tidy up at this time of the year whether it's leaves or cutting back those perennials or in my case Beans. My runner beans are well and truly over now and the frost we had last week finally finished them off they where looking very sad for themselves. But before i get rid of them there where lots of dry pods full of beans as part of my bid to go self sufficient next year part of that is to produce a lot of my own seed. 
So i have been saving lots of seed this year from various vegetables in particular peas and beans as they are great for the the home seed saver. As most are in breeders which basically means they pollinate themselves before the flowers open but this is not true with runner beans. They can cross pollinate with other runner beans but there are many self fertile variety's now coming on to the market. I have got lots of french beans and runner beans drying in the greenhouse i spent a good few hours shelling them all ready to store away till the spring when we start the growing season again. 
But we don't have to wait till the spring to do a bit of bean sowing November is an ideal time to sow Broad beans to over winter in the outdoors. I managed to get a row of The Sutton in, this is a small podded variety and also dose not grow as tall like other variety's i must admit that i am not a huge fan of broad beans but do insist on growing a row every winter.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Marshalls Seeds new Catalogue

The Marshall's catalogue is one that i can remember from being a boy my dad would spend many hours flicking through the pages. Deciding on what he was going to grow in the garden next year as kids we always got to open the parcel when it arrived excited to see what was in it. Back then the seed packets where very simple sometimes they just had the name written on the packet things have come on a long way since then. Marshall's seeds only used to be a mail order seed company but they have expanded there range and are now in most good garden centers. 
There are many new variety's on offer this year as well as all the Marshall's favorites that you would expect. There front cover features the new Garlic 'Red Duke' it is a hard neck variety it has lovely big fat reddish cloves. With a good garlic flavor it is also buy one get one free at the moment so well worth a try i have planted it in my new raised bed already I'm looking forward to seeing how it performs over the growing season.
My Garlic cloves 'Red Duke' waiting to be planted.
Another good one to try is going to be Celery 'Blush' this is a British bread variety with a lovely blushed pink stalks will look great in the salad bowl. Courgette 'Lemona' not only is it almost spineless produces a prolific crop of lovely long yellow Courgettes up to 20cm long. another garden staple is the pea and Marshall's have introduced the new vaverity 'Twin Set' it is a very productive variety producing two pods on each node with each pod containing 10 peas with good disease resistance.

To get your hands on your own copy of the new Marshall's catalogue just order through thee website or view on line hear.

Suttons Seeds new catalogue

Suttons seeds have out done them selves again and bring us another great catalogue with many new variety's on offer for you to try in 2015.
The Front cover features the new and improved Carrot 'Rainbow F1' the picture really shows off the great mix of colours that there are in the mix. They also have a lovely new Artichoke 'Purple de Provence this is a fantastic new purple variety that would be fantastic in the flower border. It is said to have a finer flavor than the green variety's only £2.99 per packet with 45 seeds in there will be enough plants to give one to all your friends. The pink banana shallot 'Simiane' apparently a favorite amongst Michelin started chefs it is torpedo shaped and has a lovely rose colored skin. Now a Suttons seeds catalogue would not be complete without The Home Grown Revolution seeds from James Wong. There are some great new variety's on offer ever wanted to produce your own mustard well now you can this variety has been bred by Coleman's Mustard. The leaves and flowers are also edible so you can get a mustard sample before the seeds are ready to harvest. Another must grow next year is Liquorice contains a chemical 50 times sweeter than sugar harvest the roots between September - November ideal for making your own Pontefract cakes. There are so many other great new variety's to try out in 2015 too many to mention.

To order your own copy of the Suttons 2015 Catalogue just go to there website

or phone 0333 400 2899

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Giving My Wheel Barrow A Boost

The leaves are coming down thick and fast now and getting rid of them has become a daily task. One of the problems that most people encounter every year is a couple of scoops full of leaves and your barrow is full. Meaning endless trips to the compost bin so it was was time to give my rusty old barrow a boost. With the wheel barrow booster from Grean Base you may remember seeing it a few years back on Dragons Den.
The wheelbarrow booster is so easy to fit to the our barrow it has an elasticated base to stretch over the lip of the barrow. 
Just pull up the sides and you have boosted your barrow increasing its capacity by 300% the booster is so light that it dose not add any extra weight to the barrow. It is ideal for light weight stuff such as leaves, pruning's and would be excellent in a stable for carting about all that hay and straw. 
The wheel barrow booster can be taken off folded up and put away when you don't need to use it so will last for years. I would recommend every one with a barrow should have one in the garage to help out when you need that extra bit of barrow space. 
Available from most good garden centers or direct from Grean Base RRP £12.99

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Book Review - A Miscellany For garden Lovers

A Miscellany For Garden Lovers fact and folklore through the ages written by David Squire is a lovely new book.
 This book is packed full of lots of great information some fact and some folk law the book has been split into four sections. Early garden tools, Conserving moisture in soil, Plant folklore and Healing gardens thanks to this book i now no why me and the wife argue. I did not know that mistletoe is also called the good luck, bad luck plant the good luck coming from getting to kiss your lover under it. But if the Mistletoe is not burned on the 12th night all who have kissed under it will be quarreling before the year is out. This is one of those books that you can pick up read a couple a pages and pick it up another time.

The author David Squire has written 80 books over the years and was awarded the Garden Writers of America ‘Quill and Trowel’ award. David studied Horticulture at RHS Wisley and also Hertfordshire College of Horticulture.

With Christmas coming up this would make an ideal gift that any gardener would love to receive and is available from all good book shops from the 13th November.

Or direct from the publisher Green Books it is also at a great price of £9.99

 ISBN 9780857842749

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Blisworth Wildlife Cemetery

While walking round Blisworth last weekend i came across this little old cemetery.
Tucked behind an ivy clad wall at one end there is a set of rusty old iron gates one is held open to welcome you in. As you step through the gate you enter a little wildlife haven right in the centre of Blisworth. Although the cemetery is no longer used for new burials it still has to be maintained by the parish council. It is currently maintained for wildlife and is a great community resource. There where several dog owners making use of the cemetery while i was there nice to see the dog poo being picked up as they went. 
There is a path that winds its way round the grave stones there are several big trees they are one of the main focal points at this time of year. But in the spring summer I'm sure it will be full of lovely wild flowers and lush grass attracting the local bees and butterfly's in to the grave yard. 
In one corner there was a great bug hotel made out of recycled pallets and stuffed full of straw, broken pots and sticks all will give a home to lots of insects. If you are in Blisworth i would recommend popping in to have a look.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Apple Day

Today was spent at Wilson's orchard Apple day in Northampton.Wilson's orchard is run by South Court Environmental who are a local community group who run and maintain several sites across Northampton.
Wilson's Orchard is an orchard filled with old Bramley apples trees well over 70 years old the orchard itself is maintained for the wildlife more than for the fruit. But that dose not mean that they are not producing lots of great apples because they are the trees are left grow old gracefully. The trees are a haven for the local wild life when a tree or branch falls off it's just left for nature to do it's stuff. But today was about the apples the orchard produce and what a great day it turned out to be the sun was shining and i did not even need a coat.
Now i have never been to Wilson's orchard before and of it was not for the directions i would never have found it. Having weaved my way through a modern housing estate it was the last place you would expect to find a orchard but step through the gate and you soon forget that you are in suburbia.
In the centre of the orchard a press had been set up and there where several people busy at work chopping, crushing and squashing apples. To produce some of the best apple juice for miles it's surprising how many apples you need to produce a jug of apple juice. But apples where not in short supply every where you looked there where apples great big Bramley's you had to be careful not to slip on the odd rotten on on the ground.
There was lots going on tours of the orchard, apply talks and lots of juicing going on was a great afternoon looking forward to another apply day next October.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Pumpkins Just Keep Getting Bigger

The Weekend saw the UK Pumpkin record be smashed by the Paton twins at the UK Annual Pumpkin Festival in Southampton.
There winning Pumpkin weighed a staggering 1,884lbs it was only 218lbs short of breaking the world record. It measured 17ft round and was putting on 35lbs a day at its peak and watered it with 100 gallons of water a day to get it to swell. There hard work payed off when they received a cheque for £1000 off the sponsors Thompson and Morgan.

Stuart Patern commented  “ We’ve always been confident of getting the world title eventually and it’s brilliant to be installing  a new greenhouse for 2015 on better soil with better drainage and twice the amount of growing space. We should be all set to take on the Americans and the Swiss.”
Thompson and Morgan have committed to sponsoring the even again in 2015 and should the world record be broken on British soil have offered to pay out £10.000 to the winner.
T&M Horticultural Director, Paul Hansord said: “It used to be said that the world record would never leave the US, but if the Swiss can do it, we can do it. Our seed quality just keeps getting better thanks to the Patons’ selective pollination, and UK growers are upping the game every year. I’ve every confidence the Paton boys can bring the title to UK shores in the near future.”
 T&M will be selling seeds from the Paton twins Pumpkin under the variety name Pumpkin ‘Paton Twins Giant’.  It’s a popular line with amateur growers at just £9.99 for two huge seeds with the genetics to become a record breaker.
If you are wanting to grow a big one next year then this is the seed you need to get your hands on.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Video of the week

This was a great series produced by Channel 4 in 1999 presented by Monty Don one of his best series.
This episode is all about Pumpkins and Squashes.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Getting Squashed

It's that time of year again when the squash and pumpkin harvest comes in from the garden. It's been a good year for Squashes and Pumpkins they just wanted to grow and did not get any mildew till late on in the season. All i had to do was keep them watered and they just romped away particularly the Pumpkins they seemed to grow before your eyes. Like blowing up a balloon although some of them did pop and rot into a soupy mess but luckily they did not all go that way.
Gourds growing over the arch
I grew a lot of gourds this year over our pergola probably too many judging by the harvest we got off them. But they do make great decorations around the house and garden and if dried will last for many years. They can be painted as ornaments and in some African country they use them to eat out off instead of plates they are the ultimate disposable plate.
Gourds and squashes drying in greenhouse.

They are a great vegetable for the self sufficient gardener as they will last months if stored well and can be turned into many dishes from soups to pies. Keep them frost free and dry leave a slight gap between each fruit so that if one dose rot it wont spread to the others. Fingers crossed they will last till way into the spring when we should have some new crops in the garden to eat and we don't have to eat out of the store.
Pumpkin Harvest

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Entering the land of the giants

Last weekend was the Malvern Autumn Show which i mentioned in my last post one of the competitions that takes place is The National Giant Vegetable Championships.
457kg Pumpkin grown by David Thomas
The show takes place in the Wye hall at the top end of the show ground where the Floral displays are held. I am always amazed by the shear size some of these vegetables can grow too it is like Entering The Land Of The Giants. Where the Pumpkins are big enough for cinders to use as a carriage and cucumbers so big they would make a Nun blush. Now i was inspired to have a go at growing some giants after visiting the show last year and  although what i grew did well they where no where near big enough. To have a chance of competing with the big boys at Malvern but i must admit after visiting Malvern this year my Pot Leeks would not have  embarrassed me. So with a bit more effort next year should see me placing some monsters on the bench although i am going to hold off booking the folklift and artic lorry until nearer the time.
New world record long beetroot and long parsnip
This year was another good year for new records it is amazing that these growers still keep on managing to grow them bigger and bigger every year. This year saw two world records and one British record where smashed. David Thomas managed to grow the UK's biggest cabbage a whopping 56.4kg. Which is big enough to keep a small town in cabbage for there Sunday lunch.
David Thomas 56.4kg cabbage
But the highlight had to be the two world records Joe Atherton managed to grow a beetroot 667.30cm long and he also managed to grow a whopping 628.10cm long parsnip. 
Heaviest 3 onions 20.20kg grown by Peter Glazebrook
All the results of this years Giant Veg Championships are available on website. This is also a good site to get all your growing information and also where to get your giant seeds from.
There where many entry's in the Tomato class

Leek 6.2kg by J Dirden
You will need a lot of stuffing to fill one of these marrows

Malvern Autumn Show

Malvern Autumn show has become one of the annual highlights of the gardening year for me and the family. I have been going every Autumn for years now and it seems to get better every year i go.
Medwyns seeds gold medal display
There is always something for all the family even if you are not the slightest bit interested in gardening. There are vintage cars, animals, lots of shopping to be done some great entertainment in the arenas and of cause all the flowers and veg. Some of the country's best Vegetable growers come to Malvern every year to battle it out for the most wanted red card or the ultimate accolade best in show. One class that I'm always impressed with is the collection of five veg and they did not disappoint this year. J Thompson was the winner of this class The collection had some fantastic blanch leeks on it.
Collection's of veg
The Wye hall is always the place to find the best plant nursery s from around the country the amazing floral displays are fantastic. Even if you where blind you would know where you are as soon as you walk in to the hall you are hit by the heady aroma of all the flowers jumbled up into a sent you only get at a flower show. The highlight for me this year was Medwyn's of Anglesey with his gold medal winning display which was also awarded best display in show. The display shows how colorful vegetables can be whether it be from the roots, leaves or fruit and can beat any floral display for colour.
Chrysanthemum display
Now Malvern would not be Malvern with out fruit lots of fruit and there was plenty on offer. RV Roger's from North Yorkshire. Had a lovely display of apples and pears the quality of the fruit was superb and really shows off what good nurserymen they are. The perry pear was being highlighted with the Festival of Perry showing off how good real perry is compared to mass produced pear cider. There was also the annual Apple and Pear show where commercial growers compete against each other to see who has the best fruit this year.
A new addition to Malvern this year was pumpkin carving Simon Mcminnis. Who is said to be the UK's best pumpkin carver was there all weekend carving several pumpkins. It was certainly the best pumpkin carving i have ever seen on the Sunday he was challenged to carve a likeness of Joe Swift from Gardeners World. By the end of the day he managed to get a very good likeness. The only problem i have now is the Girls now want a bit more carved into there pumpkin than the standard triangle eyes and mouth.
Simon Mcninnis Pumpkin carving
My daughter Gwyneth was very pleased to see the Dahlia that is names after her had won first prize. My dad bred this Dahlia many years ago now and names it after my daughter when she was about two years old. It is a water lily type that has become quite popular over the years and is a regular prize winner.
Gwyneth stood next to her Dahlias
Malvern is such a big show and you really do need both days to get to see it all properly there where lots of parts of the show that i never got to see. It would have been nice to have had time to watch some of the entertainment in the arenas and do a little shopping. by 5 o'clock the legs and feet where aching and it was time to go home. Eleanor had already given up while i was talking to Medwyn and parked her self in front of the display next door.
I am already looking forward to Malvern next year and the date is in the diary 26th-27th September 2015 but we still have the spring show before them to look forward too.
 Eleanor had had enough by the end of the day

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Grumpy products for a grumpy gardener

Now my Wife and Girls will completely agree with the fact that i am grumpy a lot of the time. So i was very pleased to learn that there is a range of gardening product called the Grumpy Gardener ideal for me and any other Grumpy folk out there. The Grumpy Gardener Range is produced by Grean Base you may remember them from Dragons Den with there wheel barrow booster. They now have a whole range of gardening products sold under the Grumpy Gardener Name I have been trying out one of there products this week The Grow Grid.
The Grow Grid is a woven polypropylene sheet with ready cut out 75mm holes to plant through. The holes have been cut out using heat so you will not get any frayed edges. The sheet it's self is 1.5m x 2m now i have been trying out Grow Grid size D which has 77 holes in it there are another 3 sizes available with a different number of holes in each. Each pack also comes with six pegs t help secure it to the ground and stop it blowing away.
I placed the Grow Grid on one of my new raised beds unfortunately the grid was slightly wider than the bed So i had to tuck the sides into the soil it was then pegged down to the soil to stop it blowing away. Now as i was planting out spring cabbage ideally i should have used one of the other Grids but all i did to get around this was miss out a row. Now when we first laid the Grow Grid it is a bit bumpy but as soon we watered the bed it flattened out and seemed to stick to the bed. But why go to the expense of the Grow Grid instead of just planting straight in to the ground. Well no one likes weeding for starters Grow Grid smothers all weeds so saving you hours of weeding. The Grow Grid also prevents water evaporating from the soil so reducing the need for so much watering. I would defiantly recommend this product to any veg grower as it will save you loads of time that you would have normally spent weeding and watering. Giving you more time to spend doing other gardening jobs in your garden or you could just put your feet up in front of the telly.