26 May 2011
1. Fill a pot with seed compost after making some holes in its base. With your fingertips, make a hole about 6mm deep in the soil.
25 May 2011
Learning how to grow potatoes the easy way with no digging! Growing potatoes is easy when you know how. There are lots of varieties of potatoes to grow such as King Edward's or Maris Piper potatoes. Potatoes grow from seed potatoes and are ready to harvest in 12-28 weeks in a sunny position. Learn how to grow potatoes with this easy to follow guide complete with pictures.
1. Buy seed potatoes at the end of winter. Lay them out separately with their 'eyes' uppermost in a cool, dry, light place or windowsill. They'll take about six weeks to sprout shoots.
2. Make holes in the base of a large container, such as a bin or a large mesh sack. Add some crock, gravel, or stones and fill the container with a 10 cm (4 in) layer of soil.
3. In spring, once the potatoes have sprouted short shoots, they are ready to plant. Carefully place five potatoes on top of the soil with the shoots facing upwards.
4. Add a little more soil to cover the potatoes by a further 2.5cm 91 inch) layer.
5. Once the shoots re-appear cover them with more soil so they are just buried. This is called 'earthing up'. Keep repeating this until the container is full.
6. Keep the soil watered especially in dry weather. Remove any weeds. Use a general purpose fertilizer every couple of weeks.
7. Flowering shows that the potatoes have reached a good size, so you could lift some. Early varieties can be lifted as 'new potatoes' in early summer.
8. Otherwise wait until the leages die abck in autumn. Now tip over the container and enjoy finding the potatoes buried in the soil. Look carefully.
Last year's potaotes looked like this:
Potatoes for Schools where you can pre-register for your free seed potatoes and free grow bags. Join in with the activities too. Open to all schools, nurseries and childminders. It's also a good site for resources and seed suppliers in the UK.
Gardman 7505 2 Pack Potato Tubs
OXO Good Grips Potato Ricer
Grow your own Potato Books
Ultimate Potato Book: Hundreds of Ways to Turn America's Favorite Side Dish into a Meal
How to Grow Potatoes: A practical gardening guide for great results, with
Where do I buy seed potatoes?
Plants By Post 12 for £1.99
Primrose 12 for 2.95
Thompson and Morgan 5 tubers from £2.49 (more expensive but has a greater range of seeds and plants)
20 May 2011
Tomatoes, they come in many different shapes - round, plum-shaped,cherry or monster-sized in yellow, orange, green, red and stripy.
Grow Your Own Tomatoes Guide
1. Fill a shallow container with soil (egg boxes are great as they are biodegradable). Scatter the seeds thinly over the surface. Make sure the container has holes in the bottom for drainage.
Grow marigolds in the same pots as the tomato plants. These flowers cna keep aphids away, which might otherwise infest your tomato plant. This is called companion planting.
If you are gardening with small children, they can take part in growing tomatoes. Generally I use tomorite growbags but containers are great and children can take ownership of their plant. They can also make their own lolly stick labels and stone markers. Cover the tip of the cane with a topper or a plastic bottle to prevent any eye poking. The children can take a trip to the garden centre to select the seeds or plants and then help plant them.
For older children they can become more involved by selecting the seeds, making charts to show growth progress and to help design planting calendars.It's a great way to test maths, 'how tall is the sunflower?' or 'how big is the pumpkin?'
Companion Planting - Garden Toad
Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening
by Louise Riotte.
The classic volume on the confirmed benefits and accumulated folklore of companion planting. In addition to vegetables, it covers companion planting techniques for fruit and nut trees, grasses and grains, ornamentals, and weeds.
The Complete Guide to Companion Planting: Everything You Need to Know to Make Your Garden Successful (Back-To-Basics Gardening)
Great Garden Companions: A Companion-Planting System for a Beautiful, Chemical-Free Vegetable Garden
The A - Z of Companion Planting
Roses Love Garlic: Companion Planting and Other Secrets of Flowers