Real Men Sow

Grateful for an Extra Pair of Hands and Some Freebie Scaffold Planks

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It’s weird not growing veg*.

I’ve struggled to get my beds built as quickly as I thought. When we moved to Somerset in December, I was confident that rescuing the back of the garden from abyss and turning the space into a vegetable patch would be a doddle. I’d done it once, I could easily do it again.

However, things are trickier this time around and I have definitely underestimated the task. Back in Burnham on my original Patch from Scratch, the biggest problems were mainly hawthorn which were relatively easy to pull out once cut back. The back of the garden was scruffy and unruly rather than the jungle we inherited here!

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The Problem With Broad Beans

Before I start, I should probably declare that I really like broad beans. They’re a very tasty vegetable which I enjoy growing. This isn’t an anti broadie post. There, that’s my disclaimer.

However, I have developed a broad bean prejudice that needs tackling. The problem with broad beans is that they’re so difficult to justify in limited space, but so tempting to sow at the same time. Being a plant that you can grow over winter as well as one of the first things to sow in a new year, they have a certain amount of excitement associated with them. Together we lap up the Spring conditions, and they grow into lovely, healthy plants.

But then this happens:


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6 Tips To Help Refurb an Old Greenhouse


Now, I’m about as far from a renovating Restoration Man hero as you could possibly get, but one thing I do like is a greenhouse refurb…

At my previous house, I inherited a knackered old greenhouse, with (amongst other things) endless missing panes, a broken vent and a jammed-solid door. The inside harboured problems too. Once I’d cleared out the shoulder high weeds, there were other problems inside too, such as missing clips, buried junk, and shards of broken glass.

However, any greenhouse is not to be sniffed at, whatever the condition. They’re brilliant tools for veg growing, but they’re also expensive , so if you’re lucky enough to have one on your plot or in the garden, it is well worth going to the effort of repair. I’ve started patching up the greenhouse that is in my new garden, and I’m following most the same tips and pointers as I did before. Here are 6 tips for getting a greenhouse ship shape.

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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 #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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