Real Men Sow

4 Things to Look Out For When Buying Seedlings on the Allotment

Posted on by in beginners, spring with 1 Comment

chilli

Recently, I blogged about the advantages of buying seedlings rather than growing from seed. With the veg patch at my new house very much a work in progress, I’ve struggled to find time and space to grow seedlings this year, so I’ve bought more seedlings than I would have done usually.

There have been a number of advantages to this approach. I haven’t needed my greenhouse (handy, as the one I’ve inherited is virtually paneless presently…), it’s been quicker and easier, and I’ve been able to concentrate on turning the garden around. However, there have been disadvantages too. Seedlings are more expensive than seeds and I’ve felt uncomfortable at times with not being in total control of the process, as well as missing the enjoyment and satisfaction of nurturing little plants from scratch.

That said, buying seedlings is an ace way of filling gaps in your growing programme, whether you’re trying to save time and focus on certain crops or pests have taken out a sowing. Normally I grow pretty much everything from seed, so this Spring has been another learning curve in the allotment adventure for me. Here are 4 things I’ve learnt to look out for when buying plants.

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6 Advantages to Buying Seedlings

plantsale

Last week, I wandered down to the Halse village plant sale in the hope of finding some strawberry plants to bulk up my fruit bed. Luckily for me, the gardening club had grown a few, so I happily snapped them up, together with some leeks, beetroots and peppers (plus a couple of bonus slices of cake) for less than a tenner.

As I walked home, basking in the satisfaction of grabbing a bargain, I began to think about buying seedlings rather than sowing them myself. The seedlings were ready to go in the ground, a job I could do in just a few minutes. It would all be very quick and easy which frankly, suits me down to the ground right now!

Later on, I started to write a blog post about the pros on cons of buying versus sowing yourself, but this soon turned into a big, long post. So I’ve split it into three, and here’s the first part: 6 advantages of buying seedlings.

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5 Ideas for Dealing With Gluts

Posted on by in beginners with 0 Comments

freerhubarb

On my way to work on Monday, a house I passed was giving away rhubarb for free. As a rhubarb-loving man currently devoid of a rhubarb patch, this was a very bright start to my week.

Rhubarb is a very valuable and delicious crop, so to be giving stalks of it away for free means you must be swimming in the stuff.

It seems odd to be considering gluts bang in the middle of the hungry gap, but then again, gluts need thinking about early if we’re going to be ready to deal with them effectively.

The endless courgettes will be upon us in the blink of an eye, so here are 6 things to do with your gluts, and remember, try to avoid on the fly glutting if you can!

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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

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  • 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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