What do I want from Large Seed Companies?

At the heart of it, I’m an amateur home gardener with only a limited amount of free time to devote to the immensely satisfying pastime of growing my own fruit and vegetables. With this in mind, I spend a fair amount of time each year carefully selecting which crops and different varieties to grow to…

Climbing Bean – Blauhilde

There are plenty of good reasons why it’s always worth trying out new and different varieties of even the most traditional allotment staples. Different varieties can exhibit useful variations in flavour, colour, shape, productivity, disease tolerance and crucially suitability to your individual growing conditions. However, for the Blauhilde variety of climbing french beans it’s all…

Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit.

I absolutely love growing beans; they’re super easy to grow, massively productive in only a small space and most importantly extremely tasty and versatile to cook with. In the few years that I’ve had an allotment, my love of growing beans has ballooned from sowing a few rows of the usual staples to devoting a…

Ready, Set, Grow!

After holding off for a couple of weeks since the start of April, I finally took the plunge this week and sowed my Giant Pumpkin seeds from Matthew Oliver. As with all of my Cucurbit seeds, they were sown about three centimetres deep in damp seed compost and then placed in the heated propagator. After…

How to Grow Hablitzia

Imagine such homegrown vegetables that you could plant once and then harvest a plentiful supply of tasty leaves, shoots, roots, flowers or tubers year upon year with almost no additional effort. Welcome to the wonderful world of perennial vegetables! One of my favourite perennial vegetables which has been a regular feature on my allotment for…

Giant Pumpkin Growing Competition!

As I wrote in February, I’ve been inspired by Matthew Oliver and I’m going to try growing a giant pumpkin for the first time this year. Several other folks in the ever so lovely Twitter gardening community have also expressed an interest and decided to have a go at growing a giant pumpkin as well…

How to Grow Achocha

I absolutely adore peppers and they feature in plenty of our regular homecooked meals however I’ve never really had that much success growing them myself. They need a long growing season, plenty of heat and they take up all too precious space in the greenhouse. On the other hand; Achocha is astoundingly easy to grow,…

Ready, Set, Sow!

It’s that wonderful time of year again when seed sowing can begin in earnest and every windowsill in the house is packed with tiny little seedlings. I don’t tend to sow anything before the start of March and so this last week has been a flurry of activity having sowed most of my chillis, tomatoes,…

Growing a Giant!

Like most people, I’m always proud and perhaps even slightly smug when I harvest my carrots and find a particularly large specimen or even if by pure luck I have a single leek that actually has a reasonable thickness. However, I’ve never really had any interest in specifically growing giant vegetables. That is, until I…

How to Grow Shark Fin Melon

I’m always sceptical when any crop or variety is described as either rampant, vigorous or massively productive as these terms are all too often overused in certain seed catalogues. However, Sharks Fin Melon is without a doubt the most rampant, vigorous and productive crop that I have ever grown! What is it? Shark Fin Melon (Cucurbita Ficifolia)…

What I’m Growing in 2017

After many evenings perusing seed catalogues, afternoons excitingly coming home to find glorious envelopes of seeds have arrived in the post and taking part in the brilliant Twitter #SeedCircle16. Here is a lovely list of everything I want to try and grow this year on the allotment and in the greenhouse; Brassicas: Red Cabbage –…

How to Grow Cucamelons

Before I start, I am acutely aware that I am somewhat behind the times (or perhaps fashionably late!) in trying to grow Cucamelons. What was once a novelty fruit popularised by James Wong now seems to be available from all of the major seed companies. Although it’s the first year that I’ve been able to…