Real Men Sow

Real Men Sow is on a Sabbatical But Here Are 775 Veg Growing Tips


Real Men Sow is on a sabbatical. Feet up, in front of the fire watching tele and drinking hot chocolate type of thing.

After 7 years of blogging, I fancy writing about something a bit different in the time I’ve got spare after work and the marathon event that is forcing my wonderful but demanding boys into bed.

I don’t know what that is yet, but it’s a liberating feeling to get myself a big piece of paper out and start a fresh project. It’s taken me a long time to make this decision. A lot of love and effort has gone into RMS but blog has slowed down to a gentle stop and I think I need to find my love of blogging all over again.

I will be posting progress on my new plot on Instagram, so if you’d like to see how I get on this summer, give me a follow on there.

In the meantime, here’s the greatest hits: a list of every tip based post that’s ever appeared on the blog. There’s an average of 6.57 tips in each of the 118 posts below (which makes a whopping 775 tips!), ranging from decreasing the slug population to making sure you enjoy the biggest, juiciest tomatoes at harvest time.

And of course, you can always buy my book. :)

As always, thanks for reading and see you soon. I’m off to check on my forced rhubarb!


How to Make a Runner Bean Trench
8 Ways to Get Free Seeds
6 Great Veg for Shady Spots
10 Tips When Planning the Plot
Jan’s Allotment Jobs for February
How Much Does It Cost To Get Started on an Allotment
My Favourite 5 Rhubarb Recipes
Growing Peas in a Container
My 5 Favourite Broad Bean Recipes
Mum’s Super Squash Planting Method
What to Sow in July
How Much Do I Really Need to Water
4 Reasons to Make Jam and 6 Tips for Making Jam
Preventing Leek Rust
Growing Big Baking Potatoes
What to Sow in March
Growing in Trenches
Planting a Late French Bean Crop
The Real Men Sow Guide to Digging
Seven Tips to Make Digging Easier
The Benefits of a Manageable Plot
Potting Up Strawberry Runners
Tips for the Time Constrained Allotmenteerist
Creating a Herb Garden
8 Household Items to Reuse on the Allotment
7 Ways to Get Cheap Seeds
Low Maintenance Crops for My Nan
8 Beginners Tips for Greenhouse Growing
6 Tips for Growing Beetroot
The Principles of Intercropping
How to Plant Out Leeks
Growing Peas Up a Wigwam
What to Sow in August
8 Reasons to Take on an Allotment
Summer Mistakes to Avoid
How to Store Apples
When Are Butternut Squashes Ready to Harvest
8 Organic Growing Tips that Anyone Can Follow
Reasons to Use Raised Beds for Veg Growing
Clearing an Allotment Plot Without Rotovating
Allotment Jobs for October
When Are Maincrop Potatoes Ready to Harvest
Growing Carrots in Containers
Beginner Tips for Buying Fruit Bushes
Different Types of Organic Matter to Replenish Your Soil
A Few Tips for Buying Seeds
Tips for Protecting Allotment Plants During the Cold
Reasons to Tidy Up the Allotment Shed
Tips for Looking After Common Winter Veg
5 Ways to Catch Up If You’re Behind
9 Allotment Jobs to Do When the Weather is Rubbish
7 Sowing Tips for Beginners
6 Tips for a Successful Broad Bean Crop
What to Sow in February
Tips for Successful Parsnip Germination
10 Tips for Sowing in Pots
A Brief Guide to Multi-Purpose Compost
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Clay Soil
Seeds to Sow in March
9 Tips for Growing Squashes
12 Tips for Planting Out
Seeds to Sow in April
5 Jobs to Ensure a Good Strawberry Harvest
5 Steps I’ve Taken to Reduce the Slug Population
5 Techniques for Successful Salad and Lettuce
6 Common Allotment Disasters and How to Prevent Them
Ways to Get Growing Even If Your Allotment is Overgrown
7 Tips for Effective Watering on the Allotment
How to Grow Your Own Basil on the Allotment
6 Key Allotment Jobs for Summer
Growing Outdoor Cucumbers on the Allotment
What to Sow in July
Growing Runner Beans on the Allotment
5 Tips for Ripening Tomatoes
5 Tips for Stewing Fruit
Quick and Easy Ways to Deal With Common Autumn Fruit
Autumn Care for Rhubarb
8 Tips for Planting Overwintering Onions
4 Things I Could Have Done to Prevent Tomato Blight
7 Tips for Storing Potatoes
Freezing Summer Allotment Veg for Winter
Keeping Things Small and Manageable
8 Allotment Jobs for Early Winter
Overwintering Broad Beans on the Allotment
Tips for Making Kitchen Compost
5 Neat Tricks for Bringing the Growing Season Forward
5 of the Earliest Veg Seeds You Can Sow on the Allotment
Protecting Your Allotment Veg From the Wind
7 Tips for Planning Your Allotment Plot
5 Tips for Growing Veg in Small Spaces
7 Tips for Protecting Your Plants From Frost
7 Tomato Growing Tips
What is Hardening Off?
7 Tips for Making Weeding Easier
Getting Rid of Blackfly
4 Ways I’ve Kept Growing Veg with Kids
Allotment Dos and Don’ts in the Rain
8 Tips for Enjoying the Tastiest Kale
7 Tips for Getting the Most From Tidying the Plot
How I Made My Raised Beds
6 Ways of Making The Most of the Allotment in Winter
6 Allotment Fruits for Beginners
7 Tips for Tidying Up the Greenhouse
Spring: How To Decide the Right Time to Sow
8 Tips to Help Your Seeds Germinate
5 Dwarf Veg Varieties to Grow in Small Spaces
6 Tips to Help Your Seedlings Grow Strong
6 Things I’ve Learnt From Growing Veg in a Small Space
4 Veg for Overwintering
5 Common Mistakes I Make
6 Tips to Help Refurb an Old Greenhouse
4 Things to Look Out for When Buying Seedlings
6 Advantages to Buying Seedlings
8 More Tips for Effective Watering on the Allotment
6 Tips for Growing Sweetcorn
Real Men Sow Guide to Making Your Own Compost
5 Tips for Extending Your Greenhouse Tomato Compost
How To Get An Allotment

Using Hops on the Veg Beds for the First Time


We finally have veg beds in the garden, and they’re covered in lovely organic matter, ready for 2018. After a year out from clearing, digging and not growing anything particularly meaningful, this feels like a big breakthrough.

As for the organic matter, it may look like weak horse poo spread over the top of the soil, but on closer inspection, this soil improver is something I’ve not used before.

Read more →

2017 Reflections. A Quiet One.


Merry Christmas everyone!

With a 4 and a 2 year old in the house, Christmas has been as chaotic but memorable, as you might expect. Presents were exchanged, and a delicious turkey feast devoured. However, one thing was missing this year: for the first time in almost a decade, there was nothing homegrown on the Christmas menu.

Building the new veg patch continues, and I managed a few crops in pots and borders this summer, but I’ve now been veg bed-less for over a year. It has seemed like a very long time, and as the year has progressed, I’ve found myself reflecting on this.

Read more →

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

  • Allotment Cakes for the Weekend #14 – Courgette, Lime and Coconut Cake
  • Allotment Cakes for the Weekend #13 – Jamie Oliver’s Squash Muffins
  • 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

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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