Peat Free Gardening

by David Bundy

Peat Free Gardening has been a passion of mine for many a year, although the composition and success rate without the addition of nutrients has not always been any better, other than knowing I am not destroying the natural peat. In other word many peat free composts have been a result of a negative reaction rather than a positive one.   The reasons not to use peat are many. Peat is a unique natural habitat that supports an important biodiversity of flora ...

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For Peat's Sake!

by Annie Sutcliffe

The time is fast approaching when we gardeners start to sow our first seeds of the season.  Can I implore you to think carefully about your choice of growing medium?   Many (indeed most) of the products on sale to the public are at least partly comprised of peat– an unsustainable source that is a disaster for the environment. Even if labelled “environmentally friendly” or “organic”, if it doesn’t say “peat-free” then it isn’t!   Peat is primarily sourced from lowland raised bogs – ...

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Make a splash for wildlife

by Annie Sutcliffe

Did you know that a pond can be the most significant wildlife feature in a garden or allotment?   The UK is losing its natural ponds and wetlands at an alarming rate, and domestic water features can make a real difference to the network of habitats available for our wildlife.   Even the smallest pond can make a difference and you will be amazed to see how quickly frogs, toads, newts and damsel- and dragonflies will find and colonise any new water. You may ...

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Praise for allotments and “weedy corners”!

by Annie Sutcliffe

Recent research, published in the journal "Nature Ecology and Evolution", which examined land use in cities, has identified pollinators’ favourite places and flowers. The results suggest that the best way to support a rich mix of pollinator species, resilient to climate change and other challenges, is to increase the number of allotments.  They are particularly good places for pollinators because they provide a mix of fruit and vegetable flowers, plus weedy corners full of native plants. Planting appropriate flowers in gardens also ...

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In at the deep end!

by Melvin Cator

“So, what are you going to do when you retire?” Was a question I was asked many times (mainly by my wife). In an attempt to put an end to the questioning, I flippantly said “I’ll get an allotment”.   As time went on, I realised that this wasn’t such a bad idea after all. When I asked around, people suggested that the waiting list for allotments was so long, I would probably be dead before one became available.   Undeterred, I went on ...

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Grow Big

by Kevin Moores

I grow giant veg for shows and would just like to take you through some stuff that I have learnt over the years, on how I grow giant veg/show veg. I’m not saying this is the right way to grow these veg but I’m telling you how I’m growing and showing them.   First will be carrots, I grow sweet candle carrots for show in 2ft x 2ft boxes filled with sharp sand. I bore holes out with a 3 inch drain ...

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