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8 July – Potato Blight
Html5 video code using media elements js – fine for single videos but want playlists sometimes


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Wonder Plugin Gallery – mpeg4 video 

8 July – Potato Blight
Html5 video code using media elements js – fine for single videos but want playlists sometimes

30 June 2014 Celery

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Planting trench celery

16 June 2014 Snails pest to farmers gardeners

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Snails a pest to farmers and gardeners. Have some fun with a snail race

June Gardening Notes

Flaming June, as it is often called due to the often hot spells we can get – or with the vagaries of the British weather to signal farmers frustrations when rain can spoil the hay generally made in June, is a time to make time to enjoy your garden, plot or allotment. So make sure you take time to sit back with a tea, wine or beer and just drink in the view of all your hard work to date!

Gardening without a garden.

BeanWigWamWhether you have been raising plants from seed or have bought the plants from a garden centre now is the time to plant some out. Runner beans can be planted against any support you have prepared, like a wigwam of garden canes, this can be done in a large pot even. It is important that you harden plants off before you do or they can suffer a growth check. Harden them off by standing them outside your greenhouse or cold frame during the day avoiding full sunlight initially as this can score tender leaves. Then plant 2 plants at the foot of each cane. Runner beans can also be planted in containers still growing up canes or other support.

Marrows and courgettes.

CourgetteGrowBagThese can be sown direct or plants transplanted. Grow bags on a patio are ideal for this. If you are planting in your garden it is best to enrich the soil with plenty of organic matter – dig a hole put rotted manure or other organic matter in then pile the soil back on to form a small mound. This can be done and left for a couple of weeks until plants have been hardened off and the last risk of late frosts gone. Then plant or sow courgettes or marrows (marrows are really just large courgettes!) in depressions on the top of the mound this helps to hold water around this thirsty crop. Plants should be about 60 cm apart.

Sow Turnips

Now is the time to directly sow turnips for an autumn crop in a finely raked drilled about 2cm deep in rows 15 cm apart. Sow seed thinly and then take out smaller seedlings to leave plants about every 10 cm.

Plant Out All Winter Brassicas

From own raised seeds or purchased plants – remember to harden off first. Prepare finely rake and consolidated ground then plant out your cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts etc These all generally need plenty of room around 60 cm in each direction. Young plants will also need protection against birds and cabbage root fly by covering with fine mesh or cabbage root discs if you are trying to avoid use of sprays etc. You can grow catch crops between your brassica rows /plants such as lettuce, radish and spring onions. These will grow and be used well before they interfere with the brassicas.


You can also watch farmers planting brassicas at latest 2 June post

seedingSow Now

Turnips, sweetcorn, swedes, radish, winter cabbage, (early June) beetroot, peas, kohl, rabi, kale, lettuce, endive, chicory, carrots, beans.

trowelPlant Now

Sweet potatoes, tomatoes, squashes, cucumbers, celeriac, celery, leeks, peppers, cauliflowers, summer cabbages, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli.

fruitHarvest Now

Spinach, rhubarb, radish, leafy salads, first new potatoes, broad beans

For succession

Some of the things listed to sow such as lettuce and radish should be sown in small quantities every 2-3 weeks so you have a steady supply of these over the summer rather than a glut followed by a famine!




19 May 2014 – Tour of our plot

19 May 2014 – Tour of our plot!

  • Allotment Update – See how crops have progress on our allotment.

Gardening Without A Garden

No garden No worries there are still lots of ways you can grow your own food.


You can use….

Large Plant Pot

Large Plant Pot

Any large plant pot. Just fill with a suitable compost and start sowing your seeds.

You can also use grow bags

Grow Bags

Grow Bags

Or if you can get a larger container like this old wooden packing box. Or you can buy raised beds too.

Grow in a box

Grow in a box

Follow us over coming weeks as we garden without a garden….

14 April 2014 – Preparing for your Preparers

Grow 2 Educate – Prepare for your preparers!

Although we have not had the snow ice and cold of previous springs things are still not growing, first lack of rain (yes we had a dry time when rest of country was floating!) , then lack of sun now colder than average temperatures are not helping. Things planted when it warmed up in early March have hardly grown. But the seasons march on so although it may not be very spring like impatience has won through and potatoes have been planted in hope for some of those lovely warm spring days we all enjoy.

Victorians referred to potatoes as ‘preparers’ along with carrots onions and beet. Basically because they are deep rooting and open up the ground and make it better for other crops like brassicas, ‘deterioraters’ as greedy feeders and ‘surface’ crops like French Beans, peas and salads, in Victorian parlance. Like so many of the ‘old’ ways learnt through ‘trial and error’ they are not far from what today’s scientific knowledge tells us. So in preparing for potatoes you need to make sure that you prepare ground deep enough with this in mind. The traditional way is by digging a trench 15 cm deep and placing the potatoes in the bottom then covering over with sufficient soil to protect from any late frosts – even adding more soil if severe frost is expected, especially if first leaves are just emerging. You can also plant potatoes a bit like farmers do make the rows and then plant into them – see website for more details – .or see our food stories to see how farmers plant potatoes

You can also plant potatoes in pots or even potato bags and grow them on your patio. Once you have done this once and tasted your first new potatoes you will do it every year.

I have also started some brassicas (Cabbage Cauli Broccoli) in a nursery bed – basically just a small raised bed with a plastic cover over. You could do the same on a windowsill. These plants will be grown and then transplanted in to the plot later. You can buy these plants later rather than raise them from seed – I love a red cabbage dish I make, so this was high on my list of brassicas to grow but could not find red cabbage seed in several garden centres, luckily my in-laws found some plants on a trip to Bath, not sure how that stacks up on the food miles front as they were making the trip anyway, but there you are one should not look a gift horse (especially an in-law one!!) in the mouth.  These plants are now in the cold frame hardening off. Hopefully we will be planting them out next time!

24 March 2014 – Planning over!

All the planning is over, almost!


Grow 2 Educate – Failing to plan is planning to fail!

Well I’ve been planning this long enough so now’s the time to put these plans in to action – or at least it was until the other half suggested putting the garden seat where we could site and look at our plot! So already we have enjoyed several cuppa’s sat looking (Planning!) instead of doing!!! A watcher not a doer something I am known to call others!!!!

So to the action! Having had a cloche in place a week, or 2, spring planting started with another row of broad beans, the first row having been planted back in November, are now growing nicely protected from our garden pheasants under nets. The leaves of these were starting to look a little yellow so I gave then a little bit of fertiliser and worked it in by hoeing the few weeds which had grown.

A second row was planted now in the spring so give a steady harvest of beans in the summer. Rather than make a drill, I find it easiest to plant Broad beans simply by pushing the seed into the ground about 4-5 cm deep 1 seed every 25cm or so.

Next to the Beans I planted a row of peas this time I made a drill about 2cm deep and placed the peas along it at 5cm intervals before carefully raking soil back over them. The cloche then went back on to keep warming the ground.

Next came a row of parsnips – these are best planted at 25 cm intervals in groups of 3-4 seeds for later thinning. Parsnips can be slow to germinate and also slow to grow once emerged, but you can make use of this by planting a catch crop in the gaps in the rows, this will be harvested long before the parsnips are near ready, it will also serve to ‘mark’ the row. So in between the seed stations I planted some early salad, with spring onions, radish and lettuce.

Carrots were next in drills 2 cm deep sown relatively thinly. Next to the carrots, in order to try and deter carrot fly, were sown some garlic bulbs and onion seeds.
It was science week last week so I went into 4 local schools to do an Assembly ‘The ABC of Science, Technology Engineering & Maths in Food Production’ This highlighted the key role these STEM Subjects are in today’s food production. (ABC of STEM in Food production videos) I also helped them to start growing some of their own vegetables. We planted potatoes at Holme-Upon-Spalding-Moor as they have a gardening area. The other schools I visited were all in Hull and had very few, or nonexistent, facilities for growing in their school grounds. So I started them off growing Microgreens in the classroom. They will eat some of these as microgreens but I picked plants, such as peas, carrots and raddish which they can also enjoy later too. They will plant some of these seedlings, like peas, on into recycled plastic pop bottles – so should be able to enjoy their own mangetout or peas later in the summer. A sad fact but any help in schools with these growing activities is always much appreciated. Visit to see video of how to plant the seeds I have mentioned this week – next time I will be planting potatoes.