I do not put ads on my blog but do have a counter that shows me how many visits the pages get. (The stats. count is just there so I can see if I am 'talking' to myself, luckily so far this has not happened.) By continuing your visit here you are consenting to the stats. counter tracking cookies. Cookies, that sounds like something nice to eat but not that exciting.

Growing Your Own Fruit and Vegetables

We grow our own fruit and vegetables for our meals for as much of the year as we can. Without a greenhouse we have to buy shop food in the winter months but in the spring, summer and autumn we often have enough to share with family and friends.

Read about growing your fruit and vegetables here on my growing your own food pages.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

What to sow in a gap on the allotment .... a plant that is useful

Rather than leave a bare patch of earth to produce weeds; why not sow some green manure seeds.  You will be putting the empty part of the plot to good use. A bonus is that when you dig green manure into the soil it makes improvements to it. Plus it can problem solve if you select the right one for the job.

If you want something with attractive flowers that is also a great plant for pollinators like bees, why not try sowing a patch of phacelia seeds. This hardy annual can be sown through the summer time up to September.  You can use this on most soil types. It helps to reduce weed growth on a bare patch of soil. You can either dig it into the ground or throw the foliage onto your compost heap. It will self seed around so if that wil be a problem do not allow it to flower. If you will be removing it before it flowers - just have a corner of the plot left to flower for the bees to enjoy. It is a wonderful sight to see and hear as a large quantity of pollinators visit a patch of flowering phacelia making it 'quiver' as they go from bloom to bloom.

The phacelia plant will produce its flowers in about 7-8 weeks of you sowing the seeds. The flowers go through various interesting changes in their appearance. The final stage as they are ready to set seed gives them one of their other names -  'scorpion flower'. As the seed head of the bloom curls around reminiscent of a scorpion's tail.

Here is a link to a UK site that sells green manure seeds and has information about how to grow them -

Green manure - phacelia - sowgreenmanure.co.uk

Phacelia flowers are heavenly for bees, hoverflies and other pollinating insects.

a healthy potato plant in flower

a healthy potato plant in flower
photo of potatoes in flower

home grown carrots.. grown from seed

home grown carrots.. grown from seed
photo of my first bunch of carrots 2009

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful
Home Grown Fruit can be made into delicious compote