Real Men Sow

6 Things I’ve Learnt From Growing Vegetables in a Small Space

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Having started tidying up my veg beds in readiness for moving, I’ve been reflecting on hat I’ve learned since I went from growing on an allotment to having my vegetable beds in the garden.

My growing space was effectively reduced by two thirds, but I found learning to produce good yields and tasty crops from a small area an interesting and invigorating challenge.

We’ve had an offer accepted on a house in Somerset, complete with smart greenhouse and a similar sized space to cultivate some veg as my current garden plot. There are also some ridiculously cheap allotments for rent just up the road, priced at a fiver a year for a full size plot, so whilst I decided on whether to start growing exclusively in the garden or rent myself an allotment too, here are 6 things I’ve learnt from growing in small spaces.

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Excitement, Sadness and Memories: Real Men Sow is Relocating to Somerset :)


Things have been quiet on here recently, but life has gotten a touch hectic. From December 1st, Real Men Sow will be brought to you from Somerset, as we’re relocating from our hometown of Burnham-on-Crouch to the ‘Mild Mild West’.

I’ve been clearing up my veg beds in the garden this weekend, ready for the house to go on the market. It’s a funny feeling. One of great excitement, but much sadness too. We’re leaving a lot behind, including friends, family and lots of lovely memories. I’m also passing on my Patch from Scratch, hoping that the next residents of 73 Chapel Road decide to grow some veggies in the garden too. I’ve spread some fresh horse muck on the two empty beds just in case, so they’ll be ready to go for spring.

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Yes! I Nailed Sweetcorn and It Tasted Incredible!


Finally. I grew sweetcorn. My allotment life is complete.

Sweetcorn has always proven tricky for me, and all the other Burnham allotment holders. It’s not necessarily because we’re all useless growers (although the state of my cabbages would suggest there is certainly one…), it is more a problem with the good old Burnham badgers, and their insatiable taste for the sweet yellow cobs.

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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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