10 highlights from the grow your own blogs: July

There’s a fantastic number of allotment, kitchen garden and grow your own bloggers out there. I read as many as I can for inspiration, advice and to find out what everyone is getting up to.

Here are a few of my favourite articles and blog posts from July.

1. We like our peas! After the success of growing peas on our allotment this summer, I can certainly agree with this blog from Sue. Have a look at this wonderful timeline of sowing and growing a selection of fantastic peas on her plot at Green Lane. I’m also a huge fan of Kelvedon Wonder – it was a prolific cropper with fantastic flavour.

2. Enjoy these two easy home grown gin cocktails: Now, if you catch my twitter feed on a Friday evening, you may know I’m pretty keen on a drop of ale. However, I’m not that particular about my booze and I am rather fond of a refreshing G&T. What I love about this post from those two thirsty gardeners is it combines booze and grow your own. Perfick!

3. A beginner’s guide to growing fruit: Head gardener Lucy Chamberlain has been writing a cracking little series for the Guardian. I loved this article in which Lucy provides a straight forward guide to growing your own fruit and demonstrates how easy it can be.

4. Allotment month 20 – It’s in the flavour: One thing that always makes me super impressed about Jack is the 40 minut40-minute to the allotment doesn’t stop him from producing some incredible crops. In this blog, he describes the key benefit to growing your own veg – flavour. It’s something I tell anyone that will listen to me when I bang on about our allotment – the veg tastes completely different to that found in the supermarkets and I have reached the conclusion that you will only believe it when you try it yourself.

5. Beetroot to yourself: Jane shares her success in growing beetroot, a crop she has until now had little success. The triumph might be a result of sowing the seeds in modules rather than directly in the bed and I have to agree with this approach as I had such a successful, early crop of beetroot this year growing the same way. In this post, Jane shares her tips with transplanting, successional sowing and growing five varieties of beetroots.

6. A long overdue plot update: I agree with Jack. Where has the year gone? All of sudden the Summer is passed the mid point and we will be pulling on the jumpers and cursing the dark evenings. However, don’t despair just yet, in this post, Jack shares some wonderful pictures of the success of the crops grown on the allotment – what a bumper harvest to delight in too.

7. 30 ways to cook those excess courgettes: It happens every year no matter how careful you are with the number of courgette plants you grow – glut. This is such a great post from Matt. Just when you thought you couldn’t face another bite of courgette this year, here’s a feast of ways in which you can get through the excess.

8. Rhubarb Gin and Rhubarb cordial: Look, I can’t help it. When it comes to grow your own and booze I just can’t resist. So here’s another one from July courtesy of Katie who’s a bit of a secret gin lover and usually enjoys a drink of gin and lemonade with a splash of homemade elderflower cordial in the summer months.

9. Children’s gardening: I agree with Alexandra – the time to garden with children is when they’re young and still close to you. This is a fantastic post that provides some really great ideas, products and seeds to really keep the little one’s interest up when you are out in the garden.

10. End of June round up and tour of the plot: I love a good nose around other allotmenteer’s gardens. In this post, Sandra and Andrew provide a wonderful update and tour of their allotment after six months of hard work.

You can read all the Sharpen Your Spades Top 10 posts here.

I love to read as many grow your own blogs as possible, especially by new allotment holders, kitchen gardeners and grow your own enthusiasts. Drop me a comment below with a blog I might be missing out on.


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