hit tracker We’re Gardening pro’s – our little known hack helps us grow affordable fruit and veg for a year – Newsmix.pics

We’re Gardening pro’s – our little known hack helps us grow affordable fruit and veg for a year

SELF sufficiency is the buzz word right now. But unless you were an avid fan of The Good Life, it can be difficult to know where to start. 

Luckily there’s a clever new book out this month by Huw Richards and Sam Cooper called The Self Sufficiency Garden – Feed Your Family and Save Money’ to show you the way.

Huw Richards

Sam Cooper is a chef, fermenter and photographer[/caption]

Huw Richards

Huw Richards is in permaculture, and is a digital creator[/caption]

Huw Richards

They lay out exactly how to set up your small space for maximum yield[/caption]

They wanted to see if they could feed a family with affordable fruit and veg every day of the year, grown on a plot no bigger than an average small garden. 

Not only did their experiment hit the target, they exceeded it – growing over 580kg of produce including 50 different crops, in the first year. 

Happily the book tells you exactly how they managed it – with a step by step guide to creating and sustaining the garden over two years. They even use worm tea to help things along the way.

And crucially, it also offers up ideas on how to prep, preserve and store what you’ve grown.

They revealed to Sun Gardening their top ten tips.  

  • SEED SAVING increases the resilience of your garden. Allow things to set seed naturally like coriander and dill. Peas and runner beans are also easy to save.
  • USE PEAT FREE COMPOST – or make your own. 
  • NO ‘CIDES’ – pesticides, fungicides, herbicides etc.  The knock on effect of using such chemicals damages soil biology and insect populations. 
  • PLUGGING GAPS WITH FLOWERS encourages biodiversity, and creates a natural, healthy, balanced garden – while discouraging diseases and pests, and stopping any one thing from taking over. 
  • WATER EFFICIENCY, like using a soaker hose or drop irrigation lets nature gradually use water as and when needed –  it’s more time efficient, freeing you up to do more fun jobs.
  • GROW PERENNIALS for lower water and compost needs.
  • WORMERYS process your food waste into nutrient-rich worm casting – which increases fertility, plus diluted worm tea is a multipurpose plant feed.
  • LEARN THE BASICS IN FLAVOUR – and how to cook the crops best suited to your garden, which frees you up to forage and harvest first, then create later
  • MAKE WEED AND WASTE INTO FEED – a great resource of nutrients which boosts your crop health and food taste without needing to buy anything in from elswhere.  
  • GO LOCAL – Build up locally sourced compost – from horse manure to spent coffee grounds from cafes and coffee shops and restaurant veg scraps. 
DK publishing

The Self Sufficiency Garden is out now[/caption]

TAKE A SLUG

THE WILDLIFE Trust and RHS have joined forces for a ‘Hug a Slug‘ campaign.

The ‘Making Friends with Molluscs’ aims to challenge the negative perceptions surrounding the gardeners biggest foe. 

There’s around 150 species of slugs and snails in the UK, and only a small fraction of these pose problems.

Not only do they feed on rotting plants, fungi, dung and even carrion, they help to recycle nitrogen and other nutrients and minerals back into the soil.  

Frogs, hedgehogs, song thrushes, and ground beetles, rely on them as a key food source. 

Kathryn Brown, Director of Climate Change and Evidence, The Wildlife Trusts, said “These marvellous molluscs help to enrich and aerate the soil, and they’re also a great food source for other incredible animals such as newts and beetles.”

Find out more at www.wildlifetrusts.org

Getty

Slugs don’t have to be the bane of our gardens, say The Wildlife Trust[/caption]

THE FINAL CUT

Ladder expert Henchman is on the lookout for Britain’s best topiary artists to enter its inaugural Topiary Awards .

There’s two categories – one for best professional topiary and one for best home garden creation.

Winners will be announced at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Flower Festival, where they will receive a trophy, a high-value prize bundle of Henchman products, an annual membership to the European Boxwood and Topiary Society and a day trip for two to one of the EBTS UK’s day-long garden trips.

Visit www.henchman.co.uk/henchman-topiary-awards

Getty

Show your skills to Henchman and win a fab prize[/caption]

EGG-CELLENT FUN

There’s tons of outdoor fun going on this Easter.

  • CHECK your local Dobbies Garden Centres for various kids workshops over the Easter holidays. 
  • Kew Gardens has a Bluey trail and there’s a giant Egg Hunt at Wisley.
  • There’s an Easter Bunny Hunt at Great Comp, in Kent.
  • Or try the Easter Trail at West Dean.
  • Cambridge University Botanical Garden has The Lost Eggs Easter Trail, while  The Eden Project is celebrating Springfest.
  • The Weir Garden has an Easter Egg Hunt, and Capel Manor Gardens has an Easter hunt as well.

Ludo Studio 2019

Kew Gardens has Bluey fun for the youngsters this Easter[/caption]

WIN!

BBC Gardeners World has announced it’s line-up for the Spring Fair, May 3-5 in Beaulieu. 

And we’ve got TEN pairs of tickets to give away for the Sunday show.

Highlights for this year include Adam Frost’s supper club, Sue Kent, Rachel De Thame, floristry workshops and a Get Growing stage as well as all the much loved favourites. 

For more details and to enter visit www.thesun.co.uk/GARDENERSWORLD 

Or write to Sun Gardeners World  competition, PO Box 3190, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8GP.

Include your name, age, email or phone. UK residents 18+ only. Ends 23.59GMT 13/04/24.

Gardener’s World T&C’s HERE and Sun Gardening Competition T&C’s HERE

Supplied

Gardeners World Spring Fair is from May 3-5 in Beaulieu, Hampshire[/caption]

SAVE!

HAVE some quiet reflection in your garden with this  £120 outdoor mirror from John Lewis

John Lewis

The John Lewis mirror for outside is worth   £120[/caption]

Or go for this budget busting  £10 B&M one.

B&M stores

This budget busting mirror from B&M is just  £10 at the moment[/caption]

LEARN!

My 2 yr old mimosa in a pot was fine last year in an unheated greenhouse during the winter.

I brought it to a porch to enjoy the flowers and perfume, but it didn’t do so well.

I think it may be pot bound and I could put it in the ground in the spring, but what about next year’s frost?

If I wrap it in fleece I won’t see flowers or perfume. What would you do? Patricia Hurley, via email. 

A. Try putting it in a bigger pot now, in a peat-free multi purpose compost, and keeping it in a sheltered sunny spot.

See how it does this winter. If it struggles again, if you’ve got a spot out the wind near your porch I’d get it in the ground in late Spring, hopefully by a south facing wall, and then trim back frost-damaged wood back to live wood. 

Alamy

Mimosa is a very sensitive plant with a lovely scent, which needs protection in winter.[/caption]

THIS WEEK’S JOB

Refresh your pots by scraping off the top few centimeters and replacing with container compost and a mixed feed. 

crocus.co.uk

Pots just need a bit of love and care sometimes to keep them in good condition[/caption]

TOP TIP

There’s nothing wrong with buying vegetable plants appearing in shops now, they’re an easy way of getting your patch going.

Alamy

If you don’t have time or patience to grow from seed – buy plug vegetable plants.[/caption]

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