Many thanks to Gillian from Grundisburgh for sending us this picture of Wonderpost Organic Banana Tomato Legs (the Yellow tray) growing in a mix of Wonderpost Farm Fresh Compost, and our Professional Potting Blend.
It’s great to see our customers growing their own food and helping reduce our enormous Carbon footprint, whilst being able to enjoy a delicious Tomato or two, or three, or four…
Thanks again Gillian
We’re getting into superfoods!
Love it or hate it, there’s no denying the fact that beetroot is good for you. Historically the whole of the plant has been eaten and yes, you can eat the leaves – Tom Hunt, a chef, writer and broadcaster has a rather interesting recipe for Beetroot leaf borani, which I am going to try once our crop has grown. But of course it’s the root which is normally eaten. Beetroot is a good source of iron and naturally occurring folic acid as well as containing antioxidants. I’m told they slow the ageing process so I’m wondering if that means I can ditch the moisturiser!
As there is so much goodness packed into beetroot it would be crazy not to grow some on our Wonderpost allotment. So I delved into our store of organic seeds and set about sowing them. After preparing the soil by creating a fine tilth I then simply made a very small slit in the soil 2cm deep and sprinkled the seeds trying to space them out a bit. This is the difficult process because often seeds land up very close to each other which happened with me. Not to worry though, as I will probably thin the seedlings out so that the plants are about 15cm apart – this will enable the beets to enable grow to a fair size. After sowing the seed I then gently raked the soil over the slit and applied a dressing of chicken manure at a rate of 150 grams per square metre. I then left Roger to water the seeds!
I only sowed a row of seeds which I reckon will provide enough beetroots for Roger’s family and mine but if there is a glut I will probably pickle them for use later in the year.
Chitting for the first time!
I love growing potatoes in the garden and delight in creating Nev’s special potato salad from a freshly harvested crop. Unusually this year I have decided to have a go a chitting my seed potatoes. For those of you that have not come across this weird horticultural term – chitting simply means encouraging the seed potatoes to sprout before planting. In essence this is all about getting the tubers growing earlier which in turn encourages them to produce earlier allowing me to harvest (and gorge) earlier.
Chitting is so easy – in January or February six weeks before you intend to plant the potatoes simply get an old egg box and stand the blunt end of the tubers (where the ‘eyes’ are) upright in the egg carton and then store in a cool place with plenty of natural light. I’ve put mine in the garden shed. The tubers will be ready to plant out once the shoots that sprout from the ‘eyes’ are about 1.5cm to 2.5cm long.
The variety I have chosen to plant this year is Home Guard, a first early variety which, when planted out in late February will be ready to harvest in May. As usual I will be planting half in the part of our allotment that has had a liberal dose of our fantastic sol improver added to it and the other half in the ‘non Wonderpost part of the allotment. I’m also going to experiment with only chitting half of the tubers as well to see exactly what difference this process makes to the harvesting time.
Look out for my next blog and video when I show you how to plant potatoes.
Planning your plot and getting organic
If you are a keen gardener there’s a very good chance that when you are not gardening you are thinking about gardening! Am I right? If I am then there’s a fair chance that
As you’ve probably guessed by now, here at the Wonderpost HQ we are mad keen on gardening in a way that doesn’t ruin the planet. We try and reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible – in fact I wonder if there are many people that have as short a commute to work as our Chief composter, Roger. It literally takes Roger less than a minute to walk from his front door to our HQ here in Hasketon. So, we are passionate about bringing you great gardening products with good environmental credentials and that’s why we have added the organic seeds to our range. But why organic? Simply because these seeds have been produced in organic growing systems which means that the soil has been well cared for and only natural fertilisers and pest control have been used.
Roger has been busy this last week uploading the seeds onto our website so please do check out our range. If there’s something you can’t find then give us a shout and we will see if we can add it to the range.
Can it get any easier?
When I first discovered horticulture at the tender age of 17 I was interested in getting some ‘easy wins’ in the garden. Well, it doesn’t come much easier than Rhubarb. This fantastic plant is so easy to grow and yields edible red stalks – and by the way, the redder the stalks, the sweeter the flavour.
As a keen amateur cook I often use Rhubarb in my recipes and have recently taken to making some Rhubarb vodka too. So it seemed only right that we should plant some Rhubarb crowns in the Wonderpost allotment. I choose the variety ‘Red Champagne’ which is a sweet tasting early fruiting variety. This variety is readily available in most garden centres and is typically sold as an unpotted ‘crown’. If you miss the chance to buy the crowns this autumn then don’t worry because most garden centres sell potted varieties of Rhubarb in the Spring.
Rhubarb likes to be planted in an open, sunny position and needs soil that is well drained. Just as well, really, as our
Ideally we do not want to harvest the stalks next Spring as we need to allow the newly planted crowns to establish a root system but in March 2020 what, I’m going to put an upturned bucket over the crowns – this will encourage the stalks to grow as they are searching for light and will produce some delicious fresh stalks. I’ve then got two choices – either make more vodka or some Rhubarb and ginger jam.