June is a magical time for gardeners. All risk of frost has passed now, which gives us an exciting opportunity to grow a wide range of tasty vegetables from seed. Unless you have a balcony or patio garden, there’s no need to bother with pots and compost. Seize the moment and sow seeds directly in the ground where you want you want your plants to grow.
I never purchase supermarket watermelons; I dislike their lack of flavour and irritating hard seeds. However, after years of growing melons for Melon Trials, I hope I always spend spring and summertime growing watermelons! The best watermelon I’ve grown so far is ‘Little Darling’. I adore this watermelon’s sensationally sweet flavour and refreshingly crisp texture. ‘Little Darling’ produces hardly any seeds, the few seeds that do materialise are soft and not noticeable.
Spring and summer weather often leaves plants and gardeners wilting during punishing droughts and intense heatwaves. Raising plants in containers requires far more water than growing plants in the ground. If you’ve got a penchant for container gardening, I’d like to introduce you to self-watering containers: literal lifesavers for plants and gardeners!
Raspberries are one of our most delicious but expensive fruits. The good news is that raspberries are also incredibly productive, easy to grow, and they don’t take up much room. We can make huge savings by growing raspberries in our gardens and allotments.
I adore growing raspberries! For over 25 years, I’ve grown a vast selection of raspberry cultivars in various sized gardens and allotments; I’m excited to share my knowledge and help you grow an abundance of raspberries.
April is a truly generous and forgiving time of year for gardeners. This month provides us with numerous opportunities to grow an extensive range of exciting and exotic fruit and vegetables from seed.
Although there’s a wealth of seed choices on offer, not all of the unusual edibles we can grow are guaranteed to succeed in our variable climate and not every variety produces the best flavoured harvest.
Every year, I trial new plants and products in my quest to discover the top performing composts and the tastiest and most productive edible plants.
Last year, the Quadgrow Self Watering Planter performed exceptionally well in my Trials. Growing tomatoes is easy with the Quadgrow; simply top up the Quadgrow’s 30l reservoir with Nutrigrow and water and the planter will automatically water and fertilise your plants for around two weeks.
I’m a peat-free gardener; I am a passionate advocate for using peat-free composts. Every year, I uncover the best quality peat-free composts on the market in my peat-free Compost Trials. I ran this Compost Trial to help you find top quality composts that will enable your tomato plants to produce bumper harvests of tomatoes!
Earlier this year, Greenhouse Sensation sent me a Quadgrow Self Watering Planter to try. If you’ve not seen a Quadgrow before, it’s a plastic container growing system (made from recycled plastic) that uses capillary action to provide plants with automatic watering. This clever design alters the way we irrigate plants. Instead of watering plants in the traditional sense (watering plants from above with a watering can), with the Quadgrow we deliver the water and nutrients right where they’re needed – at the plants’ roots.
October offers us many opportunities in the garden. The soil is still warm, so it’s a great time for planting or moving plants that aren’t yet in their ideal position. It’s worth taking time out to consider how your garden works for you. Did you sustain any losses over the dry spring and summer? Has this opened up any new planting opportunities?
This year, I’ve been running more Trials with Tomatoes; I’ll share all the results from my Tomato Trials with you in due course, but today I wanted to show you my Quadgrow Self Watering Planter. Most of my tomato plants have now given up or been affected by Late Blight, but the tomatoes in my Quadgrow have (for the moment) escaped this disease.
As autumn’s whisper reverberates through our landscape, many plants are now fading, as they respond to the changing season and become rapidly aged by the ever lengthening nights’ embrace. This is a season of salvage, protection, and celebration; it’s time to bring tender plants inside our homes, conservatories, and glasshouses, and to gather in our harvest.
Growing tomatoes is so much fun! Tomato plants will grow happily in a sunny border or in large containers of peat-free compost.
There are two types of tomatoes – cordon and bush tomatoes. Cordon (also known as indeterminate) tomatoes can form tall plants, reaching 2m or more! Don’t worry – you can ‘stop’ your plants from growing any taller by simply pinching out the tip of your plant’s stem, when your plants have reached your desired height.
I feel a strong and passionate desire to protect our planet’s peat bogs. This is an urgent matter, it’s not something we can keep putting off to consider again in the future, at a more convenient time – for the peat that is being extracted now can’t be saved and so if we continue as we have done in the past, the opportunities we have in our hands, right in front of us now, will be lost forever.
Peatlands are extraordinary environments, which now cover just 2-3% of our planet’s surface. Home to a fascinating range of native plants and wildlife, peatlands form unique ecosystems that support incredible flora and fauna. Many of the plants, insects, birds, and wildlife that have evolved in these boggy, acidic areas can’t survive anywhere else.
Twine is an essential product for gardeners. This small, but vital product helps us to support, tie in, and train our plants. Garden twine assists us as we hang up bunches of herbs, garlic, and onions, for storing and drying. Twine enables us to mark out rows, and carry out all manner of garden tasks. Whether you enjoy growing vegetables, fruit, herbs, or cut flowers, if you’re fond of tending herbaceous borders, or you enjoy taking part in any other form of gardening activity; twine is a universally useful product!
I am a passionate advocate for going peat free. I’ve always been a peat free gardener, but I’ve not always managed to find good quality peat free compost. To search for good quality peat free products, I run peat free Compost Trials every year. Dalefoot Composts have been the top performing compost brand, in all of my trials to date.
I just adore growing fruit and vegetables! Any form of edible gardening is a soul enriching experience, which I would encourage you to try.When to sow tomato seeds and plant tomato plants outside?
I love growing fruit, vegetables, and herbs. We’ve all got our favourite heritage tomatoes, but have you tried any new tomato varieties? Last year, I grew lots of new tomato varieties, as part of my quest to discover the most delicious and productive tomato cultivars available to gardeners!
The objectives of this Tomato Trial were to identify delicious, productive, disease resistant tomato varieties, and to discover whether any of the trialled tomato cultivars perform differently when planted in the ground or grown in a container.
I don’t like slug pellets. Slug pellets have had a disastrous effect on the wild food chain – as well as killing slugs and snails, slug pellets harm hedgehogs, song thrushes, and other creatures. Slug pellets kill these dear animals in the most cruel, drawn out, and painful manner. Nothing could induce me to use slug pellets in my garden, allotment, or anywhere for that matter – however large the slug or snail population had become, and however many of my precious plants had been eaten.
I used to have a large glasshouse. I felt so fortunate to be able to enjoy the use of my glasshouse, every day I appreciated the exciting range of crops I could grow inside, and the extended growing season and more bountiful harvest that my glasshouse helped to provide me with. I was so grateful, excited, and so inspired by the vast array of glorious fruit and vegetables that I grew inside my glasshouse.