10 highlights from the grow your own blogs: September 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 September 2018.

1. Courgette Cake with Lime Buttercream. Look, we all do it. We plant more courgettes that we think is necessary and then face the flood of courgettes as a consequence. They seem to appear overnight and there’s always one we miss that grows to the size of a leg. They are prolific croppers and one of the best value plants you could ever grow. They also provide their fruit over a long period and even in September, the air is blue from cursing allotment holders as they discover another bucket load to take home for the table. I think this is a fantastic recipe by Kathy Slack (gluts & gluttony) to use up some of those courgettes and ensure you don’t completely regret growing the dam things in the first place.

2. No dig flower borders – easy, weed-free and brilliant. You already know I’m a no-dig convert on my allotment garden. This transformative effect was a result of reading Charles Dowding’s books and watching his fantastic video tutorials on YouTube. When you think of Charles, you primarily think of the incredible vegetables he produces in his modest, no dig market garden in Somerset. However, Alexandra met Charles and explored no dig in the context of growing flowers too. If you are predominately a flower grower or like me enjoy them on the allotment amongst the fruit and vegetable beds, then this fantastic article busts some myths and provides some advice on no dig gardening for your flower borders.

3. Autumn on the allotment. I’m always on the lookout for new allotment or grow your own bloggers to add to my monthly top ten and give a little shout out. And this month I’d like you all to say a collective hello to Homely Girl Cooks. Autumn winds may blow and the season may bring a heavy downpour or two – but there’s always a bit of pleasure to be had on the allotment. With a mug of tea, of course.

4. Spicy Squash or Pumpkin Soup Recipe. I’m sure that when you’ve grown your own squash or pumpkins you will be forever hooked. They are extraordinarily appealing. Not just because the varieties available to grow look fantastic dotted across the allotment beds, but unlike the insipid orange football versions that will fill the supermarket shelves soon, they can taste incredible. I’m already a fan of spicy pumpkin soup – but there’s always room for another in the collection.

5. Summer Aubergines. I’ve not grown aubergines for a while. The last time I tried I didn’t have much success. I’m going to try again next year as there are so many varieties and I think a wonderful crop for the kitchen. I have the polytunnel of course, but here’s some eggplant inspiration from Hema that shows you can just as easily grow them in a pot on a sunny patio.

6. Mini Apple Turnovers. I have a confession. Like Katrina, I have a little apple tree at the bottom of my plot. Unfortunately, it’s in the much-neglected section of the garden. I’ve just not got to it yet. How embarrassing. More importantly, I’m missing out on making this incredible recipe with the crop I have no doubt been losing out on. Don’t you do the same!

7. Gardening products you need. (And those you don’t.) I love Andrew’s blog. He’s a fabulous writer (I’m very jealous!) and professional gardener. It’s a privilege for us that he’s always willing to share valuable advice. Here’s some honest and considered direction on products for the garden that you need and of equal importance – those you really don’t.

8. Allotment Month 34: happy herbal, apple disaster, persistent prairie. I know something about Jack’s allotment that always inspires me whenever he shares an update. It’s a 45-minute journey away! My plot is a 2-minute drive away and I often struggle to juggle work, life and keep on top of allotment maintenance. He’s giving himself a pat on the back in this post – and bloody right too!

9. Spuds, gluts and deliciousness! That Annabelle is inspiring. It’s been a very busy year with the talks, visits, becoming the ambassador for the marvellous charity Thrive and beginning the process of setting up a social enterprise. Importantly, she’s still been enjoying her allotment garden. Being late is fashionable. In growing your own, it can be delicious too!

10. Starting again…..again. Here’s Adam sharing a feeling I’ve written about lately. The summer has been a hot sticky mess. Many of us have struggled in the allotment garden. And at times it’s left us demotivated. However, brush yourself down. Pull those pesky weeds and take the autumn opportunity to start again and look forward to a new year of doing what we all love – growing veg.

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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