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What to do this week

Ah the joys of spring – seedlings bursting forth, bulbs flowering and a cacophony of birdsong – all of which for me tends to bring a mix of heady optimism and mild panic. It’s such a busy time of year –  I always wish April was twice as long! Where to start? Based on past experience (both successes and regrets), here’s my April ‘bucket list’:

Plant summer bulbs – …Read More

Evening sunshine

Time to titivate

I love this time of year. As the longest day comes and goes, a profound shift of gear occurs in the garden. Week by week, plants get bigger, bolder and brighter, and your gardening jobs change from hard graft to to harvesting the fruits of your labours. It’s the sweetest of times – everything is fresh and green and one by one, a multitude of different fruits ripen, delighting the …Read More

Scratchy

Here come the girls

Meet Thelma and Louise. They’re the latest additions to our rapidly growing (home garden) hen count, just over three weeks old and already full of chirpy energy. They, and their sisters (we hope they’re girls!) arrived as eggs from our local community garden, The Green Backyard in mid February, and spent the first three weeks here in the alien-looking incubator.

They’re hybrids of a very cute breed called the “silkie”  – …Read More

toms-and-Squash

To dig, or not to dig? Part 1

“Yippee” I thought, as the dark, freshly-turned folds of fenland soil presented themselves to me the first time I clapped eyes on my allotment just under two years ago. At first glance, the soil looked like the too-good-to-be-true ‘wonderloam’ my Aunty Jane used to moan about seeing on Gardeners’ World.
However, when I stuck my spade into it, I was in for a shock. This freshly-rotavated ‘wonderloam’ was in fact a …Read More

Salad - Lettuce

Eating autumn leaves

Mid October might seem an odd time to be writing about the joys of home-grown salad, but let me assure you – there’s plenty to be nibbling on at this time of year. My successional sowings have done really well – I’ve just started harvesting the first rocket, mizuna and cress I sowed in early September, along with red cos lettuce sown on 17 July and chicories sown just after …Read More

Taraxacum-officinale

Beat the weeds, eat the weeds…….

Ah April… the days suddenly stretch out, the sun gets stronger and stronger and everywhere you look, green shoots burst forth from the rapidly-warming soil. But among the hostas, the primulas and the tulips, something sinister lurks…
Just as our precious garden plants stir into life, so unfortunately do the weeds. In the vegetable garden, so the old adage goes, only sow outdoors once the weeds have started to grow. And they’re definitely growing! Ground …Read More

Safety hints for using weedkillers

ALWAYS read the manufacturers’ instructions.
Make sure you buy the right chemical for the job you want to do.
Wear gloves when handling the concentrated weedkiller and the diluted solution.
DO NOT get it on your skin or in your mouth and eyes.
DO NOT apply liquid herbicides as a fine mist. Even in still air they will drift where you don’t want them to.
DO NOT apply during windy conditions.
DO NOT accept bottles of …Read More

seedling weeds

Getting down to it – the brand new garden part 3

Forking can be quite a satisfactory job if you have the time. You insert a sharp fork into the top spit and loosen all the weeds by the roots. These can then be removed with the fork or a rake and disposed of. Unless you have a lot of almost unremovable weeds such as bindweed (convolvulus) or couch grass, this method produces comparatively clean ground in which to replant and …Read More