Saturday, February 24 2018

Great Bowden Gardening Advice



Second article in the
Summer 2016
Newsletter, p11






Ideas for those who garden in containers


Over recent years Harborough District Council (HDC) has bequeathed to us various containers, not least of which is the blue bin 'insert'. These 'sorting' bins – some of which need to be drilled to provide drainage – make useful containers for growing all sorts of vegetables. Creative re-use at its best!

You can adapt most of these ideas to suit small raised beds or square-metre gardens.



Venturing into Vegetables – Additional Resources

On my bookshelf…

[Note: the 'book' links go to simply for ease of doing and not for reasons of preference. For new, in-print books, please visit our local bricks-and-mortar booksellers; for second-hand books please cruise the many shelves of books in our local charity shops.]  
Joy Larkcom's Creative Vegetable Gardening: Growing Vegetables with Flowers in the Classic Tradition is out of print but there are good second-hand copies around, or try the library. This book beautifully illustrates the practical – and holistic – approach of growing vegetables with flowers. Her latest book (not yet read) Creative Vegetable Gardening appears to cover some of that ground. Her other practical and informative vegetable-related titles are also on the linked page.
Charles Dowding – where to start? Organic Gardening: The Natural No-dig Way and How to grow Winter Vegetables are firm favourites; and Charles Dowding's Vegetable Course (as yet unread) seems like a good investment at £15.
Two books stand out in the Royal Horticultural Society's Grow Your Own series:
Carol Klein's highly successful RHS Grow Your Own: Veg, and Kay Maguire's Crops in Pots: with 30 step-by-step projects using vegetables, fruit and herbs. Another RHS book worth owning is James Wong's Grow for Flavour.
Organic Gardening by Geoff Hamilton – if you find a good second-hand copy, grab it; especially if it's the  2011 hard cover edition updated by Geoff's son, Nick. And for leisurely winter-time reading, what else but books by the master of year-round vegetable production, Eliot Coleman.

On my notice board…

A simplified list of 'what to plant when' – by no means comprehensive but it covers a lot of what I grow. An at-a-glance reference, it gives approximate sowing, planting, and harvesting times.

On my radar…

Plenty of hands-on learning with Nick Hamilton and his colleagues at Barnsdale Gardens.

In the village archive…

And still available on this website: three newsletters written specifically for members of the Great Bowden & District Garden Society but of value to all vegetable growers. Don't be put off by the focus of growing for local shows – dive in and harvest some top class know-how from Roger Brown, one of the Society's foremost vegetable growers.
Autumn-Winter Newsletter – of huge value in this newsletter is a list of vegetable varieties which over the years have proven reliable and consistent; saves a lot of trial and error on your part.
Spring Newsletter – brief information about growing from seed: onions, leeks, carrots, beetroot, marrows, courgettes, French and runner beans; also onions and shallots from sets. Cabbages,  lettuce, and and main crop potatoes get a mention too!
Summer Newsletter – not particularly helpful to the general grower; but if you plan to show your produce locally the content is a reminder of what needs to be done as show day approaches.

And finally…

There is plenty of online help available. The websites of major seed suppliers usually have an 'advice section'; some have online videos that demonstrate how to sow, pot-on and plant out, plus advice about aftercare.
Companies with a long association of supplying growers with fruit and vegetable seeds include:
Kings Seeds, who have close links to the National Allotment Society and its members. Suttons Seeds also run 'seed schemes' for independent groups of allotment holders and leisure gardeners. D. T. Brown are specialist suppliers of fruit and vegetables by mail order. The Organic Gardening Catalogue has a strong association with Garden Organic. If you are a member of Garden Organic you can claim a 10% discount on purchases from this catalogue. The Real Seed Company and Chiltern Seeds (among others) supply more unusual heirloom seeds.



First article in the Spring 2016
Newsletter, p11




PDF of  Vegetables What to Plant When







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