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The Guardian’s Alys Fowler is always worth a read. I loved her first book The Edible Garden: How to Have Your Garden and Eat It and her BBC tv series (recently re-aired on the Good Food channel). You can also follow Alys Fowler on Twitter at twitter.com/alysfowler

This week she shares her top money-saving tips for gardeners.

Not completely finalized, but this is my allotment planting plan for 2009. I’ve rotated the beds from last year so hopefully that should work in my favour. I’m also going to try making some willow branch wigwams soon to grow my peas and beans over. I’ve got a large willow tree looming over my plot and pinching all the light so I think some serious pruning is in order.

Plus I’ve starting some indoor sowing and after a beautiful day today, it finally feels like spring has really sprung. I can’t wait to get going!

allotment2

Nice article by Dan Pearson in this week’s Observer magazine on what to grow on your allotment this year.

Dan Pearson - Got to pick a packet or two

Dan Pearson - Got to pick a packet or two

I think I might take his advice on the french beans this time round as the dwarf variety I grew last year were buckling under their own weight midway through the season:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/feb/08/gardens

I’ve just been browsing the web for a greenhouse instruction manual that might help me reassemble the greenhouse I won on Ebay earlier this week and found this site:

http://www.greenhousepeople.co.uk/info/Technical+Help.html

It’s got a list of lots of different sizes and and makes of greenhouse, plus some tips on preparing a base for your greenhouse. Might be handy for someone out there.

I must be really getting into this growing lark as spent the last hour or so transcribing a vegetable sowing and planting calendar that I got with a copy of ‘Grow your own‘. I’ve posted it here (in excel format) for people to download. It’s designed to print landscape on A4. Let me know if you have any problems downloading.

Download at https://raggedradishes.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/growing_calendar.xls or click on the image below.

Vegetable Chart

I’ve just picked up a note at the local supermarket for a forthcoming Open Day on Saturday, 10th Feb 10am-3pm at Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate

“Free Open Day on growing your own veg, talks, advice, demonstrations, children’s activities, displays, meet the TV programme contributors.

RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Crag Lane, Harrogate HG3 1QB Tel: 01423 565 418 email: harlowcarr@rhs.org.uk

Handy for anybody around the Harrogate area – and if it’s too wet and windy you can always pop into Betty’s Tea Rooms for a fat rascal!

RHS Grow Your Own Veg

Take a look at the ‘Grow Your Own Veg’ book by Carol Klein for more vegetable growing advice to support the BBC2 series.

Midge watches on while I get to grips with heaps of manure! Well at least I’m having fun (I think) 😉

But all in all good progress this weekend. I’ve found a good source of manure from a nearby stables which I’ve begun to dig in to the main plot. I’ve also started a ‘hotbed’, planted out my Rhubarb (Victoria) and whilst I was planted it discovered another one already well on its way.

I’ve started watching a TV programme called ‘Grow Your Own Veg‘ that’s just begun on Friday at 8:30pm on BBC2 which should come in handy. Plus Sue (Mark’s mum) dug out an article from the paper that had some good tips and also had an offer to get a free veg starter pack open to the first 1,000 registrants at www.rhs.org.uk/vegetables/

Some early starters for 2007 ready for the cold frame – from herbs and strawberries to caulis and annuals.

Just looking for help with my companion planting for my veg plot and came across a handy little table…

Plant Good Companions Bad
Companions
Basil Pepper, Tomato, Marigold  
Bush Beans Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Lettuce, Pea, Radish, Strawberry, Savory, Tansy, Marigold Onion
Pole Beans Carrots, Corn Cucumber, Eggplant, Lettuce, Pea, Radish, Savory, Tansy Beets, Onion
Beets Bush Beans, Cabbage, Onion, Sage  
Cabbage Family Bush Beans, Beets, Celery, Onions, Tomato, All Strong Herbs, Marigold, Nasturtium Strawberry
Carrots Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Lettuce, Onion, Peas, Radish, Tomato, Sage Dill
Celery Bush Beans, Cabbage, Onion, Spinach, Tomato  
Corn Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Cucumber, Melons, Peas, Squash Tomato
Cucumbers Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Corn, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Radish, Marigold, Nasturtium, Savory No Strong Herbs
Eggplant Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Spinach  
Lettuce Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Cucumbers, Onion, Radish, Strawberries  
Melons Corn, Nasturtium, Radish  
Onion Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Cucumber, Lettuce, Pepper, Squash, Strawberries, Tomato, Savory Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Peas
Parsley Tomato  
Peas Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Corn Cucumber, Radish, Turnips Onion
Pepper Onion  
Radish Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Cucumber, Lettuce, Melons, Peas, Squash Hyssop
Spinach Celery, Eggplant, Cauliflower  
Squash Corn, Onion, Radish  
Strawberry Bush Beans, Lettuce, Onion, Spinach Cabbage
Tomato Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Onion, Mint Corn, Fennel

I started some carrot and onion seeds a couple of weeks back in my coldframe to see if I could get a head start on 2007. They’ve just begun to germinate over the last few days – going to keep an eye on these little guys across the season – although I’m not expecting prize winners…

More about Ragged Radishes…

Ragged Radishes is the garden allotment blog of Lucy Crosbie (that's me). As a novice allotment owner, I took on plot no. 27 at the Burras Lane site in Otley, West Yorkshire in Oct 2006. I've now moved to a lovely house with a large garden in Knaresborough.

Have a read, or just a nosey around and please feel free to comment on my posts and photos...

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