Mr Fothergills New Seeds on Trial 2018

Mr Fothergills New Seeds on Trial 2018

Late last year I was lucky to be selected by Mr Fothergills to test some exciting new Flower and Vegetable varieties that are to be launched for sale for the 2018 Growing season.

New seed varieties from Mr Fothergills.

On trial are 2 vegetable varieties and 4 flower varieties.

Continue reading “Mr Fothergills New Seeds on Trial 2018”

Book Review: Charles Dowding’s Vegetable Garden Diary

Charles Dowding’s Vegetable Garden Diary


I recently purchased this book and thought I’d share my thoughts on it.

Over the last few years I have purchased a few of Charles’ other Gardening titles, and  in line with his advice on how to set up raised beds easily I did just that and now successfully grow a wide variety of produce.

My biggest raised bed.
My biggest raised bed.

The Book

The book is intended as a manual of Gardening techniques filled with splendid illustrations and contains many pictures of Charles’ own garden and produce.

Big pictures and lots of information.
Big pictures and lots of information.

168 pages long, at least three-quarters of the book is Charles’ advice on how to grow great crops.

Although devised as a diary, it is in-fact a perpetual or any day dairy designed for you to add your own notes, comments and to  store your own information, for future reference.

Beautifully set out with space to write your own notes accompanied by lovely pictures relevant to the time of month.

The advice printed in the diary section is linked to each week of the year, some of the information included is when is the best time to sow, different tried sowing and planting methods, the advantages of no dig which results in less time needed, and how to control weeds by mulching.

Start of the seed sowing
Start of the seed sowing

The seed sowing starts in the Diary on Valentine’s day, and guides you through on what to sow right through to the week before Valentine’s day the next year, Charles also covers how to feed soil, for resulting  strong and healthy growth and more productivity, and the best times to harvest, including information on storing your produce.

This book has been designed as a gardening companion with seasonal pointers, the intention is that you can add your own notes alongside the advice given by Charles.

Ring bound for easy use.
wire bound for easy use.

The book is wire bound and the covers are laminated for easy use when out and about in the garden.

Sections covering everything you might ever need.
Sections covering everything you might ever need.

I’ve already read this book cover to cover twice and made notes along the way, and I’ve  set out my planned seed sowing regime for the coming Spring following Charles’ advice, and already started adding more mulch to my raised beds in order to get my no-dig adventure off the best start in 2017.

And through the pages of Charles book I’ve discovered the solution to my ponderings  on how to grow lots of onions close together in order to produce lots of pickled onion sized onions for my Pickling needs in 2017.

7 seeds sown close together give many smaller onions. perfect size for Pickling.
7 seeds sown close together give many smaller onions. perfect size for Pickling.

I’ve found this book easy to follow and beautifully set out, there is a large index containing everything I needed to know and I cannot wait o get sowing my seeds.

This is a great book for any beginner or the more experienced Gardener, and would be a great Christmas present for any Allotment Grower.

The Book is priced at £14.95 or Signed at £15.95 Direct from Charles who Self Published the book.

Order here

The book is also available from that other online bookshop, but I suggest you buy directly from Charles as he posts out very quickly.

For more information on Charles Dowding’s other Books, Courses, and the No-dig method visit his site here.


(Disclaimer, I do not, and have not gained in any way by reviewing this book)

The Decline of the Evil Weevil and The 5 best things at the Edible Garden Show 2016

29-I pod 031Following on from my last post where I discovered an outbreak of Vine Weevil in my Strawberry tubs I set about dumping infected plants, and dumping the compost away from my garden, some new Strawberry Plants ordered and a recommended chemical purchased and applied.

A necessary evil.?
A necessary evil.?

I’ve also started to receive parcels of plants that I ordered earlier in the year.

Newly arrived baby Fuchsia plants.
Newly arrived baby Fuchsia plants.
12-I phone late march 014
Potted and growing on.

12 new Fuchsia plants, a mixture of Bush and Uprights. I’m hoping to go potastic this year and make up a few nice containers of mixed plants. (Vine Weevil Permitting.!)

The Fuchsia plants came from a mail order company that I have used in the past called Potash Nursery they also attend many of the major flower shows throughout the year.

Seed sowing has started....
Seed sowing has started….

I was hoping for some settled weather over Easter so I could potter in the garden and faff with a bit of seed sowing in the greenhouse, however storm Katie blew through last night dumping almost an inch of rain on the garden leaving everything soggy and a bit meh.

So I just thought I’d show you some of the best things I spotted during my recent, and first visit to the Edible Garden Show which was held recently at Stoneleigh park in Warwickshire.

I visited on the Saturday.
I visited on the Saturday.



The first item that caught my eye was this…

The Garden Scoot in bright purple.
The Garden Scoot in bright purple.

A seat on wheels that you can move about sidewards on. (I just thought it had big eyes).

Available from Garden Scoot.


This dinky living picture frame and these splendid seed packets on the Sea Spring Seeds stand.


Kitchen Garden Magazine stand.
Kitchen Garden Magazine stand.

Kitchen Garden Magazine.

This stand in-particular stood out to me as it was nicely set up with lots of little offers on.



I also went to a couple of talks, and the one below stood out to me quite positively.

The talk was called Growing in small spaces by Mark Abbot-Compton.

A Talk by this chap.
A Talk by this chap.

Mark runs a  website called Learn How to Garden,  Gardening it is pioneering teaching using internet courses that give step by step tuition to beginner gardeners right through to the more technical aspects of horticulture and an online monthly interactive publication.

His talk was very interesting, and interesting in which an ‘old hand’ like myself a learned few new bits of info, such as the reason why seed packets state why Cabbage crops should be 2ft apart*.


Beautifully designed seed packets from Meadow in my Garden.
Beautifully designed seed packets from Meadow in my Garden.

Each of these packets of seed looked like little works of art to me.

The stall was Meadow in my Garden. but  I noticed from the packet that the contents were supplied by Thomas Etty Esq. Heritage Seeds.


So that was the 5 best things I saw, to be honest there were lots of interesting things, and many of them were quite pricey for what they were.

The only purchase I made however was a subscription to a magazine which gave out extra seeds if you subscribed at the show. Also it appeared to me that every other stall sold Chilli pepper seedlings, as I’ve already got an increasing population of chilli seedlings in my greenhouse I did without.



*Cabbages are stated to be 2ft apart because the wheelbase of Massey Ferguson tractors are 4ft apart, and it was so the tractors could move about the fields for harvesting & spraying etc….


Bye for now…

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