Real Men Sow

It’s Harvest Time for Maincrop Carrots!


This week, I harvested the best carrot I have ever grown in my allotmenteerist life. I was dead chuffed.

My carrots have never really been much to write home about. They’ve been reasonable and plenty, but certainly not anything to trouble the local village shows. However, this 222g, 21cm long corker is streets ahead of any carrot I’ve ever grown before.

I’m not sure if the shift from tough Essex clay to crumbly Somerset loam has made the difference, but I’ve had a few impressive specimens amongst the short row of maincrop I sowed this year.

So anyway, now I’ve temporarily turned Real Men Sow from the cheery allotment blog to the smug allotment blog, I’ll get on with the real post matter in hand: harvesting those carrotting maincroppers.

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The Real Men Sow Guide to Making Your Own Compost


Ever mowed the lawn, tossed the cuttings into the green bin and thought ‘there must be something better I can do with all that?’

Well, ponder no more, because those lovely, fresh clippings can be easily and cheaply transformed into compost – a cheap and highly nutritious soil improver that will help your plants to thrive far more than anything you can buy in the shops.

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5 Tips for Extending Your Greenhouse Tomato Harvest


The bountiful, beautiful tomato harvest is one of the highlights of the growing year. Big, juicy and incredibly tasty, a homegrown tom knocks the socks off the supermarket equivalent.

And the good news is that tasty tomatoes don’t have to stop at the end of summer. Since inheriting a greenhouse a few years back, my tomatoes grown under the glass have yielded fruit until the end of November.

This year is no exception, and in a time of growing transition for me, this is an excuse to get very excited. My tomatoes were late to ripen, but now they’re here I’m determined to look after the plants and maximise the length of the yield.

So, if you’re lucky enough to have a greenhouse stacked full of tomatoes, here are some tips on making the harvest last as long as possible.

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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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