Thursday, May 24, 2012


I hadn't really intended to grow cabbages, as no-one in the family is that keen on them. However, I've started  buying Kitchen Garden magazine and it invariably comes with free seeds. Well, it would have been rude not to plant them  - wouldn't it?! So, the first seeds I planted this year were cabbages - DT Brown Golden Acre (primo II). I got a bit carried away, and although I didn't plant the whole packet, I have more seedlings than we are ever going to eat! The ones in the ground are growing away nicely, despite the birds best efforts, so the potted ones are going spare. I cannot bring myself to throw them away (it's hard enough thinning my crops) - so what to do with them? I gave a few to my friend Sara (Sew Appetising) at the weekend, but that still leaves quite a few. So, I decided to give some away...

Sara pointed me at a website to make paper pots ( so I sat down with an old newspaper and wine bottle and this is the result. I wasn't sure how well they'd stay together, but once I'd put a bit of soil in they were pretty sturdy. Definitely worth doing again.

A bit of re-potting later and I was ready to put out my stall!

I initially put 8 out, and so far 6 have gone :-)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Just planted out Amy's sweetcorn (Sally and friends), along with it's companion planting - her broad bean (sadly, only "Biggy" made it), the single runner bean that grew in a toilet roll tube, and a trio of French beans (nicknamed "The triplets"!) that we bought from the outdoor education table at school. I've also put in a few more runner beans at the base of the sweetcorn, in keeping with the "Three sisters" planting method.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Finally, the sun has returned and looks like it's here for the week! And, it's British Tomato Week, so when better to put in some tomatoes? This year I'm growing Alicante (a medium sized cordon type), Gardener's Delight (another cordon, cherry sized) and Sweet Million (again, a cordon and cherry sized).

Tomatoes are pretty much the only veg I've grown previously with any success. In the past they have been in a grow bag against the house, on the patio. But I've always struggled to keep them sufficiently watered. So, where to put them this year? After much debate, I've decided to stick with the grow bag, but have invested in a pack of 3 tomato grow-pots.
These are supposed to help by encouraging 2 types of root - the deeper, water-seeking roots go down into the bag, while the shallower feeding roots develop in the pot. I've sited the bag against the south facing fence so they should (British summer willing!) get plenty of sun.
Finally, a bit of companion planting - a pot marigold (Calendula). I've also planted some basil seeds today (free with Innocent Smoothies), which will be planted out in front of the tomatoes when they're big enough.
 In the meantime I've put out the pot of basil that has been sitting on the windowsill since I bought it (the best before date is 02 Nov 2011!!).