10 highlights from the grow your own blogs: February 2018

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 February 2018.

1. When to sow chillies. This is a hot topic and one that everyone seems to have an opinion. Chillies are enjoying popularity in the grow your own world (long may this continue and some!) and the debate stems from their need for a long growing season. However, Andrew has some advice on the matter that offends nobody and as always, he writes it superbly.

2. The Allotment Years. This is both a sad and a positive post. Ellen Mary is saying goodbye to her plot but in the process of doing so, she summarises beautifully the key benefits having an allotment garden brings. It’s more than a place that provides fruit and vegetables, it’s a space for relaxing, working, learning and spending time with family.

3. Allotment Plans 2018. I’ve been writing my blog for two years and when I put the first words down on the page, I had no idea how much I would enjoy it. Here I am now, amazed by the number of wonderful people who choose to read what I write and join in with mine (and your) grow your own journey. I love all your comments and discussion. In this post, it thrilled me to read that something I wrote inspired Valonia. This is an inspiring post as Rob and Valonia set out their hopes and plans for the allotment garden this year.

4. Real Men Sow is on a Sabbatical But Here Are 775 Veg Growing Tips. Ten years ago, when I started on my first allotment garden, I rummaged the internet for advice and support. Jono’s blog was one of the first I discovered and I have enjoyed his writing, his advice and reading of his experiences. I’m sad Jono’s taking a break from blogging but I understand in light of his current situation. However, he leaves us with a treasure trove of his experiences to enlighten and take us armed into our grow your own adventures.

5. Top 10 Unusual Edibles to Grow in your Garden. This is a post that highlights why growing your own fruit and vegetables is so rewarding – variety. Here, Tanya shares a fantastic list of unusual crops you can grow in your own gardens and allotments to inspire the family and friends.

6. Tips for Choosing your Allotment Garden. I remember the excitement when the allotment secretary at my first allotment site called to say those magic words, ’you’re at the top of the allotment list, come and choose a garden’. When I took on the first plot, I had no idea as I looked at the options and I picked my garden without much thought. In this post, Katrina provides some advice to have in mind when you get that call and face a choice of allotment gardens. Choose wisely, as I hope you will have the plot for a long time.

7. 20 best vegetable varieties to grow. We all have our favourite vegetables to grow but it’s wonderful discovering what other people enjoy growing in their plots too. Having asked bloggers and twitterers, Alexandra has created a super-list of vegetables to grow in the garden. Some old favourites here, but some unusual ones to inspire you in your own gardens this year.

8. Do you have too many seeds? Gosh, I’m sure I do. Every year, it feels we find ourselves swimming in packets of seeds each spring. Mark discusses some important matters on the life of those seeds. If we don’t sow all the seeds from each packet, how long do they last? Should we cave in a buy fresh seed every year? As always, Mark provides some insightful purchasing choices for us to consider.

9. The 2018 Patch Plan & Space Optimism. How often have you found yourself sifting through packets of seeds whispering, ’How the hell will I grow all these things?’ You’ve overestimated the space available or perhaps not thought as you squealed with glee popping another variety of cabbage seed in the shopping basket. Kathy has written a post sharing how she manages the aspirations and the practicalities of growing on her patch in 2018

10. Grow to eat: microgreens, the tasty garnish that grows on the windowsill. Jack Wallington wrote this article in the Telegraph last month. I found myself inspired to grow them this year and reap the benefits of small space flavours to add something extra in the kitchen.

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

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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