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Growing Beetroot

A super food!  Beetroot is a naturally sweet and nutritious root vegetable.  It stores energy as sugar in its roots; if the plant completes its life cycle this stored sugar would be used to make the flowers and seeds. It has recently been proven that the pigment in beetroot can aid blood pressure regulation.  It…

Growing Blackcurrants

Blackcurrants are a particularly versatile fruit, packed with vitamin C.  Use them in pies, summer pudding, jams, cordials, smoothies, fruit compotes and if there is a surplus they are easily frozen. One healthy bush will yield 10lbs of fruit. They are one of the easier fruits to grow; not fussy about soil requirements and straight…

Growing Citrus

Grow Citrus in a nutrient-rich compost such as Levingtons Citrus compost. Repot in spring when the plants become pot-bound. In years when not repotting, topdress (again, in spring), removing the top 5cm (2in) of compost and replacing it with fresh. Water freely in summer, but don’t allow the pot to stand in water. Water moderately…

Growing Pumpkins

Preparing the soil Start by preparing the soil by applying three to five barrow loads of compost or manure for each plant you want to grow. This is best done in the Autumn but can be done in early spring so long as the manure isn’t too strong. In Spring, apply a good granular fertiliser…

Crops Overview

Why do we need crop rotation? Beneficial in minimising plant problems. Previous crops can benefit following crop. Here is a basic three year rotation plan: Year One Brassicas, Roots, Legumes Year Two Roots, Legumes, Brassicas Year Three Legumes, Brassicas, Roots Alternative growing methods: not everything needs to be grown in the ground, Tubs / Raised…

Under Glass & Direct

Indoor Sowing: Fill seed tray or pot with compost, gently firm to eliminate air pockets, water and allow to drain before sowing. Place or scatter (depending on seed size) seed thinly over surface. Sieve layer of compost over seed. Do not cover exceptionally fine seed. Water with fine rosed watering can or stand in water…

Tomato Ring Culture

Overview: Ring culture is a means of growing Tomatoes that allows fibrous feeding roots to develop within a bottomless ‘ring’ (where fertiliser is applied), whilst courser water-seeking roots develop into the ground, aggregate, ‘Growbag’ or Container. Traditionally, the ‘ring’ or bottomless pot is about 8” (20cm) deep and 9-10” (22-25cm) in diameter, which is then…

Growing Blueberries

Blueberries are ericaceous (lime-hating) plants.  They belong to the genus Vaccinium which also includes cranberries and bilberries. Blueberries cannot be neglected, but they are certainly worth the effort and a well grown mature plant will produce more than 5 lbs of fruit per plant. Planting In the New Forest many (but not all) of us…

Growing Potatoes

In spring, dig well-rotted manure into the top 30-cm (12-ins) of soil, if manure is unavailable use home made compost, bagged manure or leafmould with a general organic fertilizer. Never add lime before planting potatoes, as this can encourage scab. Chitting encourages the tubers to produce strong, sturdy sprouts and gives an earlier maturing crop.…

Veg in Containers

If you don’t have a vegetable patch do not despair! Many vegetables perform well in pots, and arranged near your kitchen they are both attractive and convenient to pick. What container? Terracotta pots look attractive but tend dry out faster than plastic. Plastic pots are also lighter to move about. Consider recycled planters like old…