Real Men Sow

2017 Reflections. A Quiet One.

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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.

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Somerset Plot Progress, One Year On

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Finally, after much huffing and puffing, bonfires and green bin collections, we reclaimed the back end of the garden. The overgrown and out of control shrubs and trees are gone, and we got to move the chainlink fence back to the true boundary. It’s taken a year, but felt like a real milestone.

Like all clearance jobs, they’re knackering and require graft but provide great satisfaction. Compared to where we started the space is like a new garden, the openness making it feel much bigger.

There are still some roots that need removing, but I’ve got over excited and decided to put another raised bed in instead and tackle what’s left later on.

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Fruit Choices for Beginners and How Many Plants to Buy

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As I continue with the development of my new veg garden in Somerset (it’s a lot bigger job than I first thought!), I’m starting to consider where I want to position my permanent features such as fruit bushes and canes.

The optimum time for planting fruit bushes is the dormant period between November and February, but November is best as the soil is warmer. If you’re thinking of adding fruit to your plot, now is the perfect time to plan where you want to locate your bushes and how you’d like to grow them.

Over the last ten year of growing, I’d like to think I’ve become more sophisticated. I tend to grow what I need rather than a scattergun approach, and this is definitely the case with fruit. Where I would have once just stuck a load of plants in a basket and accidentally spent loads, I’m more considered and experienced in deciding the optimum amount for my space.

So as I embark on stocking my fruit beds, here’s a blog post about those fruits which form the mainstay of any productive allotment how many plants I’ll be ordering.
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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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