10 highlights from the grow your own blogs: August

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 August.

1. What Gardeners can do to save Hedgehogs. It’s horrifying that these adorable, spiky creatures are under threat and that gardeners might have to take some responsibility for the issue. In this post, Tanya provides some tips to help us ensure we help these slug munching machines to thrive in our allotments and gardens.

2. Rhubarb and Ginger Jam. It’s about the time when you need to stop picking rhubarb to allow the crowns to gather strength for next years crop. If you want to make one more flourish with a few of those delicious stems, then Katie’s recipe sounds like the ideal way to say ta ta for the season. Just think of next year when you spread it on your toast!

3. The tomato-processing factory. When you produce as many tomatoes in the kitchen garden as Mark does, then you want to have a well-oiled processing machine to ensure you savor every last drop of the little beauties. Here’s a glimpse of that magical production line in action and a few ideas if you are lucky enough to be enjoying a tomato glut of your own.

4. 8 Things About My Somerset Garden. It’s so great to have Jono back on the blog since he left his allotment and moved home to Somerset. As he turns the garden into a productive veg patch, he’s reflected on the things he’s learned about it so far.

5. Growing back to our roots. On the face of it, this might seem a sad post. I’m sure we have all been there when life gets in the way of the tasks and the pleasure of being in the allotment garden. It can feel incredibly disheartening to return to the plot to see the weeds have taken hold and the plants have a look of neglect. However, it’s fantastic to see that not all is lost and that sometimes you need to experience this to regain the enthusiasm and to see the best course of action to ensure you keep growing and keep enjoying this activity.

6. The times they are a changing. I’ve read Wendy Shillam’s blog for quite a while. If you live in an urban location, then her roof top plot is a must read. It’s packed with advice and Wendy’s first-hand experience on growing edibles in this kind of environment. In this post, Wendy wants to hear from her readers on the direction her blog should go. Take a read and add a comment and certainly stay and look around if you’ve not paid her a visit before.

7. Lemony Courgette Pasta and Pesto. I’m sure even the most ardent courgette fan will have had enough of this prolific cropping plant for one year. However, before you turn your back and shout ‘Courgette Crisis my Arse!’ use a final few in this great summer dish. If you grow your own basil, then you might only need to pop out for a couple of ingredients. This looks like a fantastic, simple home-grown dish from Claire and James.

8. The year of the onion. Any grower of edibles will be aware that every year is different in terms of success. What proves to be the star of the vegetable rack one year, might be poor the following year. This is what makes growing your own both challenging and also exciting. For Zoe, this year definitely the year of the onion. An Allium feast for the eyes and stomach in this post from Zoe Naylor.

9. A Small Victory. This post is so spot on. Growing your own fruit and vegetables will always have its ups and downs and each year might only bring you one significant victory – but it’s that victory that will push all the less successful projects out of the window and simply bring you delight. It also brings you back year on year to do it over again. In this post, Ade (One-half of those Agents of Field) is bouncing over his fantastic looking Melons. (Hello!)

10. Bricking it: Melanzane Parmigiana. Judy’s adopted greenhouse is certainly paying her handsomely this year. It’s brimming with produce including aubergines, cucumbers, basil, and tomatoes. As always, Judy has a cracking recipe to use up her successful bounty. Looking for an alternative to pasta in your lasagne? It’s right here.

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 and I’ll pop it in my reader.


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