Real Men Sow

Autumn Care for Rhubarb on the Allotment

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Rhubarb is one of my favourite allotment crops. When we’re slogging our way through February, those pinky crowns, gently pushing up through the soil, arrive just when you really need a little dose of hope.

By March, you’re not far from the first crops of the season, and the early and completely delicious rhubarb harvests are exhilarating, as well as a symbol of spring commencing.

So, it’s important we look after our rhubarb crowns to ensure as good a Spring crop as we can. Plants are very low maintenance, but will always respond better if given some much deserved TLC – and now is the perfect time to do just that.

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8 Tips for Planting Overwintering Onions


I picked up my overwintering onion sets from the allotment shop at the weekend, ready to go in the ground over the next few days. I like overwintering onions, as it is nice to see something growing on the plot during the winter.

I chose radar, which is a good variety for overwintering, and can be planted between September and December.

A homegrown onion is a pretty potent thing, and will bring tears to even the hardiest eyes!

If you’ve never grown onions before and fancy giving them a go, here’s 8 planting tips I have picked up whilst I’ve had my allotment.

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Four Things I Could Have Done to Help Prevent Tomato Blight


Recently, I’ve been pondering what I could have done to prevent the tomato blight that ripped through all my outdoor tomatoes this year.

Tomato blight is a funny old thing. It’s a disease that affects the foliage and fruit of the tomato plant and causes rot. Blight is most common during cool wet, weather and spreads quickly if the conditions are right.

And there’s the crux. In the first instance, there isn’t much you can do. You can’t influence the weather.

However, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this year compared to others, it’s that some of this year’s methods certainly haven’t helped when it comes to controlling my blight problems.

So here’s 4 things I could have done to try and keep the blight away.

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About Real Men Sow

meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope.

However, three years on, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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Allotment Cakes for the Weekend

  • An Allotment Cake for the Weekend #12 – Lemon Curd & Blueberry Loaf Cake
  • An Allotment Cake For the Weekend #11 – Apple and Cinnamon Flapjacks
  • An Allotment Cake For the Weekend #10 – Fresh Ginger and Apple Cake
  • Good Food Magazine Marrow and Pecan Cake
  • A Rhubarbey Roundup, and Whatever Happened to Allotment Cakes for the Weekend?
  • (Not) An Allotment Cake for the Weekend #7 Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream
  • Allotment Cakes for the Weekend #7 Waitrose Rhubarb, Macadamia and White Chocolate Cake
  • Allotment Cakes for the Weekend #6 – Carl Legge’s Rhubarb and Polenta Cake

Saving £500 a year!

During 2011, I kept a diary of how much money I save from growing my own fruit and vegetables. After totalling all my outgoings, I saved approximately £500 over the year. I made a spreadsheet to calculate these savings - it’s nothing too complicated, as I’m no Excel guru, but hopefully someone else will find it as useful (and strangely fun) as me. For more info, visit my Money Saving Experiment page by clicking here.


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