Real Men Sow

Growing Parsley and Making Parsley Pesto


One of the first gardening jobs I set about undertaking when we moved to Somerset was establishing a herb garden. Despite not offering the obvious rewards that veg plants do, herbs are still very satisfying to grow. Even the dullest of meals can be brightened up by tossing a handful of mixed leaves into the pot.

The best place for a herb garden is as close to the back door as you can. Having to leg it down to the very end of your garden to harvest herbs for dinner in the freezing winter rain is no fun at all (I know, I’ve made this mistake before), and what’s more, a herb garden is a really attractive sight from your kitchen window.

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5 Materials for Building Raised Beds on the Allotment


I’m a raised bed convertee, having used this growing system exclusively on my previous veg patch, and I’m beginning to build beds in our new garden in Somerset.

There are a number of good reasons to use raised beds, including easier access and higher soil temperatures, but a significant drawback is cost. Materials can be pricey, especially if buying new but if you’re happy to be patient and opportunistic you can pick up freebies as you come across them.

If you’re still keen and your eye for a freebie is equally as keen, here are 5 of the best materials for building raised beds.

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6 Tips for Growing Sweetcorn on the Allotment


This week, we’ve been harvesting the first of the sweetcorn crop.

With no beds built for veg built at the new house in time for summer, growing has been greatly reduced, but I couldn’t resist using a small parcel of garden behind the old greenhouse for a block of sweetcorn.

Sweetcorn plants do take up a lot of space, so if your growing area is limited you might not necessarily want to fill it with big, dominating sweetcorn plants. Each one will only produce 2-3 cobs and with good quality, local cobs found very cheaply in greengrocers this time of year, sweetcorn isn’t a bang for buck veg.


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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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