New veg seeds from Johnsons

Trio of healthy, colourful and disease-resistant crops

Kale Sympatic
Kale Sympatic. Picture; Johnsons

It’s new seed time again and Johnsons is introducing three exclusive varieties for the 2017/18 season.

Kale Sympatic (£1.79 for 250 seeds) offers a 10-month harvest when grown as a mature plant and a baby leaf variety. The baby leaves can be picked from June to December, while mature plants can be harvested from September to March.

Sow from March to September for a near constant supply – by sowing next month, you’ll have baby leaves until December.

It is extremely hardy (down to -18C) and vigorous roots provide resistance to wind rock. The attractive tightly curled leaves are Continue reading “New veg seeds from Johnsons”

Growing giant vegetables

Champion gardener’s secrets revealed at Harrogate Autumn Flower Show

Kevin Fortey marrow
Giant veg grower Kevin Fortey, who will be at this year’s Harrogate Autumn Flower Show. Picture; NOEHS/Harrogate Flower Show

The world of giant veg growing is one of closely guarded secrets and rituals… until now.

British record holder and author Kevin Fortey will reveal the tricks of the trade at Harrogate Autumn Flower Show (September 15-17), with talks to mark the launch of three new classes for novice growers.

Aimed at gardeners who have never won a prize for super-sized specimens, the beginner classes will invite entries for marrows, tomatoes, and runner beans. Continue reading “Growing giant vegetables”

Harrogate Autumn Flower Show 2017

Countdown to the giant veg show – September 15-17

Far from winding down in early autumn, Harrogate Autumn Flower Show is a great place for inspiration and buying end-of-season bargains – and my favourite show.

Plant nursery displays, live expert demonstrations and Continue reading “Harrogate Autumn Flower Show 2017”

Bare root plants and rose offer from Dobies

Cheaper, stronger plants with more choice

Dobies Autumn Catalogues 2017Going bare root is the savvy gardener’s choice – not only are plants cheaper than pot grown, there’s a wider choice of varieties to choose from. Plants are stronger, free-flowering and earlier to get going in spring.

Often people shy away from bare root because they don’t look great – they are dormant when they are sent out, unlike fresh-faced pot-grown plants.

However, planting in autumn when there’s still some Continue reading “Bare root plants and rose offer from Dobies”

Brexit backlash: gardeners back ‘Euro veg’

Seeds with British names plummet: Euro names sell well

Veg
Picture; DT Brown

You can make statistics prove anything you want but here’s an interesting finding from DT Brown’s veg seed sales patterns during the last year.

Since the Brexit, sales of vegetable seeds with European connections are considerably up, while some varieties with British links have performed poorly. Continue reading “Brexit backlash: gardeners back ‘Euro veg’”

Win The Jam Maker’s Garden book

new gardening cookbook review and competition

The Jam Maker's Garden
The Jam Maker’s Garden by Holly Farrell

Ever grown a crop of fruit or veg and it’s done so well you end up with a glut and haven’t got a clue how to use or preserve it?

Well, this new book, The Jam Maker’s Garden – Grow Your Own Seasonal Preserves could be the answer – and you can win one in this week’s competition.

Written by Holly Farrell with pictures by Jason Ingram and published by Frances Lincoln, this is NOT a book to keep on the shelf – you’ll need it to hand in the kitchen when you bring your crops indoors and decide what to do with them.

As well as a useful beginners’ section on what equipment you’ll need to make jams, jellies, chutneys, ketchup, curds, etc, the Continue reading “Win The Jam Maker’s Garden book”