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Tagged with 'Grow your own'

Choosing the Healthiest Foods to Grow in Your Garden

tomato plant in containerGrowing your own fruit and vegetables needn't be just a dream and when you get it right there's nothing better. If you have access to a balcony, a patio or are lucky enough to have space for a raised bed, you already have everything you need to start growing your own.

Start by Growing the Healthiest Foods


Knowing what to grow first or what to concentrate your efforts on from the outset means you'll be getting the benefits sooner.

Fresh fruit and vegetables in general are good for your overall well-being and specifically:

Good for a healthy heart
A strong immune system
Reducing risks of cancers
Boosting essential vitamins

Of course individual vegetables and fruits have their own benefits. Beetroots and carrots, containing red-pigments, are especially associated with reducing the risks associated with some cancers.

Video - Growing Vegetables

If you have room in the garden this video gives some great information on what to grow, soil types and much more. Click the button below to play now...



For some great ideas on growing your own and selecting the ideal fruit and vegetables Click here >>

New Patio Tomatoes - Introducing Donna and Tarzan

Grow Your Own TomatoesGrowing your own fruit and vegetables isn't as difficult as you may think. Especially when there's a new selection of hybrid tomato varieties that have just been released.

The two new tomato plants, named Donna & Tarzan, are perfect for growing on your patio, in containers and in pots with the aim being to get some great tasting fruit that's also easy to grow.

The new cherry tomato varieties are aimed squarely at the home gardener. Donna is great for growing in baskets and produces lots of sweet tasting fruit that's great to pop straight into your mouth.

Tarzan it good for growing in pots and produces a high volume of tangy and tasty fruit you won't be disappointed with.

Donna & Tarzan Tomato Plant Highlights:

Aimed at the home gardener

Easy to grow in a sunny spot

Compact bush size

Good volume of fruit

Cropping time late summer/autumn

The plants generally don't need to be supported and are ideal for trailing from containers. It's estimated that Donna should produce around 100 fruits around 3cm across; it has a beautifully fresh and sweet flavour.

Tarzen produces a slightly larger more sharper tasting fruit, having a diameter of around 5cm, and the bush grows taller to around 40cm. This is an ideal tomato for barbecues and can compete with meats as it has a more piquant taste.

Overall both of these new 'grow your own' varieties make a great choice for the patio. For more information and to buy the plants click here >>

 

So What's the Most Popular to Grow from Seed?

I've dabbled in the past at growing my own vegetables and herbs with varying success. It probably didn't help that I was trying to grow from seed without the use of a raised bed so it wasn't a massive success.

Of course the inevitable happened. Weeds slowly but surely started to take over and I lost the battle in spectacular style. However, I've not given up completely and here's some interesting information about growing your own and perhaps what to start with.

Click the image below to see the full size graphic...

Most Popular Vegetables and Herbs

Garden seed information supplied by http://www.seedparade.co.uk/

Growing Vegetables - November

If you’re a keen gardener, you will still be out in the garden regardless of the slow down for the autumn and winter months and the colder weather coming in. If you’re a vegetable gardener in particular, there is still a lot to be done.

Now is the ideal time to consider planting broad beans, which if you decide on planting should be just about ready to harvest in late spring. If you decide on planting now, you may well find they avoid being subject to blight or the dreaded black fly. Ideally, they need to be sown in milder dry weather, if the soil is wet and heavy the seeds could rot. In well drained, sheltered soil you will find they will thrive and a perfect remedy to overcome the onset of early frosts and for protection through the winter months is the use of a garden fleece.

A garden fleece will offer frost protection from the worst of the winter elements whilst allowing plants to develop beneath them. Made from a breathable weatherproof lightweight material they will provide a protected insulated environment for plants.

garlic

If you are feeling a little more cosmopolitan, November is a great time to plant garlic cloves for harvesting next summer. Ideally buy bulbs from seed merchants which are virus free and bred for local growing. If not, you can sow shop bought garlic, but the results may prove a little more hit and miss. If the weather is mild, plant out in prepared ground and cover to protect from the worst of the weather. If you are concerned about the weather being a little too harsh, you could plant in trays and set out the baby plants next spring.

It is worth remembering that if a particularly dry period is encountered, you will need to water the garlic seeds, as the cloves need to swell to result in a good crop the following summer.

leaf collectorOther jobs which can be done around the garden in November include collecting autumn leaves from lawns (a lawn vacuum makes short work of this task) and borders and composting them. Moving and transplanting shrubs which have outgrown their original position and pruning rambling roses which have flowered.

If you are mainly a vegetable gardener, then you will want to consider preparing the soil ready for next spring.  If you are looking to keep warm, then get the beds not in use turned over and mulched accordingly with manure and compost.  For those that are in use, get the garden tools out and in-between growing crops to make sure there are no weeds.  Collect all vegetable refuse and dispose of to the compost heap.  Don’t allow it to rot near growing plants.



You still have time to plant trees and shrubs around the garden.  Do so now before any frost sets in, frost protection jackets are ideal if you are concerned for any newly bedded in trees or shrubs.

November is a busy time in the garden, as with any other time.  Wrap up well, enjoy the changing weather, and keep a warm pot of coffee nearby to enjoy as you work.

The mentioned above are available from the following:

Leaf Vacuum www.mowermagic.co.uk

Garlic Bulbs www.thompson-morgan.com

Compost Bin www.wigglywigglers.co.uk

For more information on composting:

Checkout www.gardenorganic.org.uk

Bringing Your Harvest Home


September’s one of the best months on the plot as all the hard work of the earlier months is rewarded with (literally) crates of fruit and vegetables. But having brought your harvest home, what’s to do with all those courgettes? Tomatoes? Apples? Plums? Here are some ideas to help you make the best of all that wholesome fruit and veg. Pssst! Don’t worry if you don’t grow your own, taking advantage of what’s seasonal in the shops, is also good and saves money.


Courgettes and other members of the squash family
My favourites include courgette and brie soup, or baked courgette omelette for an easy supper. Don’t forget that squash and pumpkins will store for many months if dried properly in the sun, so there’s plenty of time to use these up. Pumpkin (or butternut squash) soup spiced with some crushed coriander seed is one of my favourite winter warmers.


Tomatoes
Tomato and red pepper soup takes care of two crops in abundance at this time of year and can be served hot or cold depending on the weather. Making your own tomato sauce for bottling or freezing is a good way of using up tomatoes kilos at a time and tastes so much nicer than shop bought.




Fruit
Jam always goes down well, both in the home and as a gift. This year’s fruit crop is looking more prolific than usual, so consider making other preserves such as jellies or cheeses. Weight for weight these use up much more fruit than jam making does. Jelly making is also very flexible as the recipe can easily be adapted to the amount of liquid obtained after straining the fruit.


Good places for further glut busting ideas:


A list of seasonal recipes where you’ll also find details many of the ideas mentioned above.


UK Veg Gardeners: Ideas and Recipes for Using Gluts Up – a discussion group on this popular gardening forum.


Books:
What Will I Do With All Those Courgettes? – more than enough recipes for all those courgettes and any which transform themselves into marrow.
How to Store Your Home Grown Produce – a comprehensive guide to freezing, bottling, preserves, pickling, drying etc. with a few recipes thrown in for good measure.

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