Why is no-dig better? From my small trials with no dig gardening I have found this method to be superior to traditional double digging. Weed seeds are not dug to the top of the soil to germinate every year. No back breaking digging is needed every year. The crops from dig vs no dig beds are essentially the same. Beyond that, not disturbing the soil keeps a good structure, allows beneficial biology to live and is just less work.
The benefits of mulching the garden, especially bare ground over winter is something that is widely accepted as being incredibly valuable. Not only does a mulch protect the soil microbiology but it helps the soil structure, prevents leaching of nutrients and stops weeds. Over the years I have tried quite a few different products. Woodchips are cheap and widely available but seem to attract slugs in our climate. Straw doesn’t break down fast enough in the winter so isn’t ideal.
If you are looking to try something new and different this year then there is nothing better to experiment with than tomatoes. Here are four strange, unusual and potentially weird varieties that we have enjoyed growing. Tomato “Black Cherry” – this is an old “black” variety that has a superb smoky taste. It’s an open pollinated variety which means you can save your own seeds. This is currently my favourite variety although many seed suppliers have begun replacing this with “Black Opal”.
There is no doubt that flowers are an essential part of any beautiful garden. Can you eat them too? The answer is YES. Summer salads can be transformed using just a few stunning edible flowers. A word of warning before we begin: you must be able to correctly identify the plants in your garden before eating any flowers. Many plants and flowers not listed here are poisonous and shouldn’t be consumed.
Nothing tastes better than fresh young spinach leaves in a summer salad. In this article we will discuss how to grow spinach all summer long. Over the past few years spinach has had a real revival, not only is it now considered a “superfood” by many but the use in salads has highlighted how tasty young spinach leaves can be. The days of boiled-to-death spinach are over. The first consideration for a good spinach crop is the soil.
Soil testing is something that home-gardeners don’t often do however testing your soil will help guide you towards the correct amendments to add to your soil. When growing a large number of crops intensively (for example a veg plot or allotment) it’s really important that you are working with good soil. I got my soil testing kit from Hutton Soils who provided me with a very detailed report. The kit comes with detailed instructions on how to collect a soil sample.
Every week I receive emails from people wanting to know the best vegetables to grow in containers. Here I share 3 vegetables that are best for growing in containers. Runner Beans No other crop thrives in containers like runner beans do, they are one of the best veg to grow. Not only can you get huge harvests from a single pot but they will put on a display on beautiful delicate flowers for months.
Worm castings (also called vermicompost) are in my opinion the very best soil amendment that you can use in your garden. I have bought worm casts for years and the results have always been impressive, especially for seed sowing. Worm castings can be incredibly expensive though. This brings me to today’s post. I intend to build my own womery in order to produce my own worm casts. Before we begin I want to quickly just mention a few key points.
Every vegetable gardener needs a greenhouse. There are no two opinions about this statement. Greenhouses can help significantly extend the viable growing period in the garden. Having a greenhouse in the garden also helps propagating plants, sowing early seeds and hardening off. Improved control over temperature and provision of heat in the areas where it is required is all possible by having a greenhouse in the garden. These elements make a greenhouse a very important requirement of every vegetable gardener.
If you've been put off the idea of growing beetroot because of memories of vinegary slices in salads, think again. Try growing a few and roasting them: you’ll be converted! In this article I will teach you step by step how to grow your own beetroot from seed. As well as the well-known red beetroots, you can also buy golden varieties. These have the advantage of not bleeding when you cut them, and the leaves can also be cooked like spinach.