How To Keep Your Garden In Check This Summer ….

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Posted by Craig | Posted in allotment | Posted on 07-10-2013

As soon as the first weak rays of summer sunshine break through the thick spring clouds, we Brits are out in our gardens flipping sausages in shorts before you can say, “it’s only spitting”. With that in mind, keeping our gardens in check becomes a top priority for hosting successful barbecues – here are a few simple tips to help you maintain a well-manicured garden without too much strenuous grunt work. 

What to grow
Ferns: Ferns are pretty plants with frond-like leaves that flourish under a combination of shade and sunshine, so they grow particularly well in the UK.

Clematis: These gorgeous plants produce large flowers that come up year after year. Clematis is easy to contain but grows quickly – and can be trained to grow up trees, trellises and around other plants.

Honeysuckle: Another climber, honeysuckle gives off a beautiful evening fragrance. Honeysuckle flowers are small, delicate and plentiful.  

Castor oil plant: With glossy, green, jungle-like leaves, castor oil plants grow quickly, but their roots remain relatively contained, so they won’t cause any trouble below the soil’s surface.

Petunias: These brightly coloured flowers are perfect for hanging baskets. They come in a variety of shades (although purple tends to have the strongest fragrance); they grow quickly and result in a beautiful, vibrant floral display.

What not to grow
Ivy: Although beautiful and leafy, ivy should never be left to grow up the side of your house. This thirsty little plant sucks moisture from brickwork, causing damage to the structure of your home that may not be covered by your Swiftcover Home Insurance.

Top tips:
1. If you have reoccurring weeds growing near a beloved plant, you can still use a weed killer without causing any unintentional damage to surrounding plants. Simply cut the bottom from a two-litre fizzy drink bottle, place like a bell jar over the weeds and push into the soil. Squirt weed killer through the bottle top, screw the cap into place and leave until the weeds are dead.

2. If your hanging baskets seem to dry out too regularly, place a layer of water-retaining crystals (available from most garden centres) beneath the soil. When watered, they swell and keep the compost moist so you can water them less frequently.

3. Deter slugs and snails from munching on your potted plants by wrapping copper wire around pots. Sounds strange? It is, but it works!

New Start, New Blog …

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Posted by Craig | Posted in allotment | Posted on 20-11-2012

I’ve now started growing a lot more at home, and also the blog was starting to be more than just tips on growing good fruit and veg, so I thought it was time for a change!

You can now find me at my new blog at http://www.sowgrowcookeat.co.uk and I’m now on Twitter as @sowgrowcookeat. Hope you continue to follow me over there!

Help Save The Bees …

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Posted by Craig | Posted in allotment, flowers | Posted on 13-04-2012

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In recent years Britain has lost over half the honey bees kept in managed hives and wild honey bees are nearly extinct. Solitary bees are declining in more than half the areas they’ve been studied and some species of bumblebee have been lost altogether.

Bakers Pantry …

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Posted by Craig | Posted in reviews | Posted on 07-02-2012

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I’m always partial to the odd biscuit or twelve with my cuppa, so I was more than happy when I was given the opportunity to test run the Bakers Pantry Luxury Biscuit Club.

Grow One Pot …

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Posted by Craig | Posted in allotment | Posted on 13-01-2012

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My crusade for the new year is get everyone growing their own fruit and veg. I know that everyone is not lucky enough to have an allotment, a garden or even a patio. However, you can still grow your own food in even the smallest space, which is why I came up with the idea for my campaign – “Grow One Pot.” I want everyone to make a pledge to grow one thing this year and tell me what it is by leaving a comment below, and tweeting about it using the hashtag ‘#growonepot’

Our Daily Bread …

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Posted by Craig | Posted in allotment, bread | Posted on 08-01-2012

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Bread is a fundamental part of our diet: 99% of UK households buy bread and 74% of us eat it at least once a day, whether it is a quick slice of toast before we rush out the door to work, or the essential part of that hangover curing bacon sandwich.

Unfortunately, the majority of households buy the tasteless pap created by the Chorleywood Process, that is sold by supermarkets up and down the land.

With that in mind, if you make one New Year’s Resolution this year, it should be to make your own bread.

New Kid On The Blog …

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Posted by Craig | Posted in allotment | Posted on 08-01-2012

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I should really think up some better puns for the titles for my blogs as one of my New Year’s Resolutions …!

As you know, I’m always looking to show people how you can create great food with great local ingredients.

With that in mind, I have huge pleasure in introducing …

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012 …

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Posted by Craig | Posted in allotment | Posted on 02-01-2012

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Looking back at my 2011 New Year’s Resolutions post, I was pleased to see that I had accomplished some of my ‘resolutions’ for last year, although lack of time and job hunting made sure that I never had the time to get round to doing all of them.

Winner Of December’s “Cultivate, Cook & Click” Competition …

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Posted by Craig | Posted in allotment, competitons, recipe, recipes | Posted on 19-12-2011

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You must have all been busy doing your Christmas shopping this month, as there was only one entrant that complied with all the rules!

So, for the final time this year, I am pleased to announce that the winner of this month’s competition is …

December’s “Cultivate, Cook & Click” competition …

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Posted by Craig | Posted in allotment, competitons, recipe, recipes | Posted on 04-12-2011

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After a break ladies and gentlemen I am pleased to announce the return of the Cultivate, Cook & Click Competition!

So, here is a reminder of the rules …

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