Real Men Sow

Caring for Your Garden Wildlife this Winter


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Although we may not spend as much time in the garden or allotment in the winter as we do during the summer, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be accommodating to you animal guests. It’s important to take steps to look after the wildlife that may come across your garden to help them survive the harsher weathers. Fortunately, garden plant retailer Dobies have provided some suggestions as to how we can help:

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How to Get an Allotment


If you’re considering applying for an allotment plot, now’s a good time to get your name down.

As allotment holders begin the annual ritual of putting the plot to bed in time for winter, many allotment committees choose Autumn to start renewing tenant leases and requesting rent for the forthcoming year.

Unfortunately, previous research has suggested that over 100,000 wannabe plotholders are currently on waiting lists, but this number is thought to be reducing as committees put more effort into passing on abandoned allotments and offering more half size plots.

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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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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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