Food you grow yourself is fresh, healthy, and nutritious, but if you’re new to gardening, it’s not always easy to know where to start. If you’re wondering whether you have the space or the knowhow to grow your own, here’s the inspiration you need. And if you’re looking for new fruit and veg to try, or you’re not sure what went wrong with a recent crop, try following some of these helpful grow-your-own blogs….
If you’re wondering about the simplest thing to grow, you need to check out The Unconventional Gardener. In episode 1 of her new Podcast, host Emma gives you the low-down on a NASA project to grow radishes on the moon; if radishes will grow in space, then your windowsill, balcony planter, patio container or veg patch are likely to produce successful results too.
A freelance science writer and ethnobotanist, Emma loves to grow food for the table and is fascinated by hydroponics and other high tech “ways of feeding people”. Fun, fact-packed and informative, check out Emma’s post about the inflammation-busting potential of the humble pond-loving duckweed.
“You know when your onions are ready when the stems fall over,” says Claire of Claire’s Allotment. She also mentions that if you’re planning to store your harvest for later use, it’s vital to dry it – she suggests laying your onions out in your garage or shed for between four and six weeks.
A great source of interest and inspiration, do check out Claire’s monthly allotment updates – they’re great videos that are packed with helpful advice for fellow gardeners. Want to get youngsters into gardening? Claire is also the author of a series of gardening themed children’s stories – perfect for inspiring the next generation of growers!
If you’d like to know what seeds you can sow in autumn, Richard of The Veg Grower Podcast has just the advice you’re looking for. In fact, rather than thinking of September as the end of the gardening year, he thinks of it as the beginning, and the ideal time to plant cabbages, onion sets, peas, and sow some green manures.
Richard’s podcast is a wonderful gardening diary which provides plenty of food for thought. Living in West Sussex, Richard’s local climate is suitable for growing some excellent grape varieties which, coupled with a sell off at his local garden centre means a “grape arch” is on the cards.
Most gardening bloggers write about their gardens and allotments, but at the Blackberry Garden, blogger Alison occasionally writes to her garden as well which adds a lovely reflective tone to things. On a more practical note, you’ll also love this blog because Alison brings you lots of garden updates, reports on garden visits and also writes excellent book reviews.
Alison says she bought her garden with a house attached – a third of an acre in total – and, as her lovely photographs show, she’s created something pretty special. If you’re looking for a highly knowledgeable source of gardening info, this is the place for you.
This October, you should think about sowing broad beans in pots in a cold greenhouse, says Mandy at MandyCanUDigIt. In fact, if you’re new to gardening, or keen to sharpen up your horticultural skills, Mandy’s excellent ‘Jobs’, section provides a very handy month-by-month guide to the garden tasks that need your attention.
Mandy is a ‘freelance journalist, specialist gardening copywriter and plantaholic with roots firmly planted in working-class NE England,’ and her mission is to unlock gardening for all – especially ‘the often excluded – the less able, the hard-up or beginners.’ Looking for tips on growing runner beans in cooler climates? Mandy has the answers for you.
Do your potatoes have blight? It’s not your fault, say Andrew and Carol Oldham of Life On Pig Row, In fact, “if you watered the soil, [and] if your potatoes flowered, there’s a good chance that you may have a crop.” Find out how they got on when their main crop was struck down in its prime.
If anyone knows how to create a productive garden, it’s the Oldhams. Having dug their own wartime-style ‘Dig for Victory’ garden on their quarter-acre plot, they’re veterans of growing for the table. Here you’ll find great advice for growing your own hearty fruit and veg. Wondering how to plant out your marrows? Easy step-by-step instructions await.
“Eating a peach or nectarine that’s been allowed to ripen naturally on the tree is a delight,” says Karen at the Bramble Garden. She grows hers in containers which make it easy to move them inside and out as the weather changes, overwintering them in her polytunnel.
Bramble Garden is a place where Karen “tries to grow as much food, fruit and flowers as [she] can – whilst tiptoeing around wildlife.” Her nature-friendly approach to growing has seen tawny owls take up residence, and one year, the hedgehogs had a litter of five.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our selection of some of the best grow-your-own blogs. Got a favourite gardening blog you’d like us to feature? Drop us a line via our Facebook page, and we’d be delighted to take a look.