Real Men Sow

6 Tips for Growing Broad Beans


If you haven’t overwintered your broad beans, the chances are you are thinking about sowing some seeds pretty soon. The days are gradually getting longer, and broad beans are one of the earliest seeds that can be sown on the allotment.

A sowing now will yield harvests from May, which will be very welcome during the sparse hungry gap period.

Here are 6 top tips I’ve picked up for growing successful broad bean crops.

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5 Common Mistakes I Make on the Allotment


New year, new plot, new start…

…well that’s the theory anyway. :)

My latest patch in Somerset will be my second kitchen garden space, on top of the two allotments I ran previously. This year will also be my 10th year of growing veg, a decade that has brought me much joy, lots of tasty food and yes – plenty of mistakes.

As I begin clearing the area that will become my veg patch I’m in reflective mood, and now seems to the perfect time to start a new series on the blog: the best and worst of Real Men Sow; the good, the bad and the ugly of the last decade.

And where better to start than the cock ups. Here are of 5 of the most common mistakes I make during the allotment year.

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Happy New Year and Festive Garden Clearance

Posted on by in somerset with 4 Comments

After just over a month at our new Somerset home, I got out in the garden in between Christmas and New Year and made some mess. I’d previously given a brief overview of my plans for garden clearance and veg patch creation, and joined by my ever industrious mum, we began by removing this humongous pampas grass (3 year old actual size).


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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

  • 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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