Real Men Sow

5 Dwarf Veg Varieties to Grow in Small Spaces

french beans

Last week, Kim asked me on Twitter if I had any thoughts on veg to grow in a new raised bed she had finished building.

This struck a chord with me – growing in raised beds is a lot about crop choice and efficient use of space. Having used raised beds for the last few years, space is a biggie in my garden, especially when compared to the free and easy, chuck it anywhere option on my roomy allotment plot.

I learnt this the hard way, when I over-planted and my back garden patch became a vegetable jungle. Each plant competed for the same space, bogging one another down and making getting around more like a strenuous yoga workout than a potter in the garden.

The next year, my plot plan was very different. One change I made was increased use of smaller, dwarf veg varieties. These littler but equally productive plants are great if you’re growing in a small space.

Here are 5 I’ve had success with.

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6 Tips To Help Your Veg Seedlings Grow Strong

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I caught some snails in my greenhouse earlier, the buggers. They’d been hiding out in the roof and nibbling on plants over the last few nights. No lasting damage, but enough to get me thinking: I really must look after my seedlings.

Of course, seedling care goes much further than flinging a few snails out of the shed. Us allotmenteerists are currently in a critical period. This is make or break for the little plants we have grown from seed and hope will go on to provide us with bountiful harvests.

We best look after them. Here are 6 things to do to help your seedlings grow strong.

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8 Winter Veg to Sow Now


After months of often cold, miserable weather, things are looking up. Spring is here, shortly to be followed by Summer. Of course, no one wants to talk about Winter!

So apologies for bringing up the subject. But it’s actually very important this time of year.

If you’re trying to save money from growing veg, are attempting to be as self sufficient as possible or just like fresh veg available all year, ensuring a steady stream of harvests through Winter is vital.

That’s why I always try to find some time to plan the Winter crops properly, as well as the more glamorous but shorter lived Summer favourites.

The next few weeks are the perfect time to sow those hardy, reliable winter veg so that they provide harvests come the colder months. Here are 8 easy to grow crops that will keep you in food during those dark days of January and February

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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

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  • 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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