10 highlights from the grow your own blogs: November

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 November.

1. Christmas Gifts for Gardeners. Yes, it’s that time of year when we find ourselves searching our minds (and the internet) for the perfect gift for loved ones and friends. It just wouldn’t be a November update without a post about the upcoming festivities. Luckily for us, Modern Veg Plot has put together a fantastic list of suggestions for a gardening gift to give this Christmas. If you need to find just the thing for a gardening friend or, even better, want to ignite the gardening fire-bug inside a loved one, then this is the post for you.

2. Planning Ahead. Planning is important. It’s even more important to reflect. Experience provides us with the knowledge to effectively make better plans. I’m pleased to have discovered another new grow-your-own blogger to the mix and in this post, reflection on past experience is part of the planning of a new plot and a new journey. Go on, say hello.

3. Apple Tree Pruning course. What an opportunity! I’ll tell you how much of an opportunity this is – It sold out within days of Lou publishing this post. This is a fantastic chance to not only learn a useful skill, whether you are a grow-your-own enthusiast or a backyard gardener with a quintessential apple tree to admire, but a chance to spend a whole day with my feisty friend and professionally cool (think female Samuel L Jackson with an Estuary English accent cool) gardener. If that wasn’t enough, you will also be giving some of the fees to a fantastic charity. Don’t be disheartened to hear the course is sold out this time, I’ve spoken with Lou and there will be another. She’s overwhelmed with the response to this opportunity and if you use the contact form in the post, she’ll let you know when the next one-day course is planned. P.S. She will be emailing you while hanging out the kitchen window. Quick, do it now!

4. A wee visit to the plot. I’ve missed them. If you haven’t read The Quest for Veg before, then let me just tell you, if you had, you’d have missed them too. But they are back! Here’s a review of their visit to the plot after a short time away. It’s amazing to see that life goes on. And so do the crops!

5. Allotment update. “Such crops as I have still standing seem to include several that have not covered themselves in glory this year, rusty leeks, piddling little parsnips, moth-eaten spinach. Cauli’s were not bad, but you only want so much.” With a quote like that, why wouldn’t you want to read this post? But you must. What this post provides is a taste of reality. The reality of a busy life conflated by weather and daylight hours. But, it’s also a flavour of why we do what we do. Why we go back and why we plan for the next season.

6. 9 unbelievably good reasons to get a polytunnel. There are many good reasons to get a polytunnel and it’s something I’m currently in the process of doing on my allotment. As well as growing a wider variety of crops and extending the season, Becky has a few other tongue-in-cheek suggestions too.

7. Plot Pressure – #MyRealView. My allotment is rarely an image of perfection. It is constantly a moving beast. A battle with weeds and sometimes a firefight It is a changing palette, and certainly a shifting landscape. All of which are linked to my own personal situation. A few weeks ago, Annabelle wrote a wonderful post. It’s incredibly true and identifies a very important issue that many of us face – The pressure of gardens and allotments always looking tip top and perfect.

8. Are you a safe gardener? Beware of unexpected injuries! According to the official research, gardening (home) and allotments (leisure) are responsible for around 47,000 Accident & Emergency visits each year in the UK. Wow! A fascinating post from Matt left me gobsmacked by some of the injuries reported by people who enjoy what I always thought was a gentle, relaxing and good for health activity.

9. Chard Glorious Chard. It’s been a frosty November and I’m not necessarily sad about this. It feels right to have cold, crisp weather in winter for a change. Katie is raving about one crop that not only stands well through this weather, it adds a well needed spot of colour too. What is it? Chard of course. As Katie says, it’s easy to grow and it’s a cut and come again vegetable which is hardy making it perfect for that second growing season.

10. TOP 7 Successes of 2017. Reflection at the end of the year is very important. We learn so much through the season and we need to draw on that experience to replicate what we do or improve on what didn’t work. In this positive post, Katrina is reflecting back on 7 successes of growing on her allotment in 2017.

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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One thought on “10 highlights from the grow your own blogs: November

  1. Another great roundup Richard.
    I’ve enjoyed reading all of these, but especially the prospect of planning ahead, and garden safety! So many brilliant topics covered, and I’m happy to say I recognise some of these blogs!
    Thanks for sharing Richard 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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