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Five-a-Dale Growers Society

Aye Up, now then and how art thee

Bert here! Well it’s my first experience of this Blogging malarkey so I hope you’ll encourage me by reading it!

I’ve lived in Five-a-dale since I was a wee pickle so I have.

I live with the wife Barb who owns roots and fruits, and together we provide the towns folk with top quality fruit and vegetables.

I grow it and she sells it, what could be better than that.

Now I grow my vegetables down at my allotments with my good pal Pa, he’s a parsnip by the way.

So, if us grouchy gardeners can do it, you can too!

Growing fruit and veg naturally is good for your health and the environment, plus its saves money on your supermarket bills too.

So, come on and have a go and see what you can grow. You can’t beet it!!!

On the first day of each month I’ll be doing my best to teach you how to grow food so let’s get stated.

GETTING STARTED

Pa and I are lucky enough to have a patch of earth each for growing our greens at five-a-dale allotments. If you don’t have a garden, look up your local allotment and see whether they have a space. Even if you don’t have a garden, you can grow stuff just about anywhere: pots, window boxes, and grandparent’s houses!

Check with your school- they may have a veg patch, ask if you can help.

I went to Chelsea flower show last year and I noticed an urban garden design. In the garden they had old trainers attached to a wall with tomatoes growing out of them. So, you can grow just about anywhere.

PLANNING

is the most important thing.

Make your plan dependant on the size of your patch and what you want to grow.

There are so many fruits and vegetables to consider.

Read on for information about how and when to plant your fruit and veg, and when it will be ready to harvest. You can get seeds and baby plants from garden centres, supermarkets and the internet. On the back of the seed packets you will see more information about how to plant and grow crops.

It’s taken Pa and me many years to get our patches in perfect condition, so if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

EQUIPMENT

You will need some basic tools-a spade, a fork and a trowel to start with. These are fairly cheap in the shops or maybe you can ask someone to lend you a set.

NOW YOUR READY TO GO

The first thing you will need to do is prepare the veg patch by getting rid of any weeds or grass. Weed killer works but I’m an organic gardener. Instead of using chemicals, you could cover the ground with some old carpet or cardboard. This stops the light getting to the weeds and they will die away in a few weeks. Weigh it down to stop the cover blowing away.

Then the hard part-you’ll need to dig your path over and add some nice organic fertiliser such as horse manure, wonderful stuff!  With your veg patch clear, your equipment and plan all set, you are ready to grow!

Below are some tips on what to do each month to grow your own produce.

JANUARY

January is usually the coolest month of the year. Brr!

Fortunately, there’s not too much to do this month. Top of the list is to clean up your plot and get rid of any damaged and rotten crops. This job should keep you warm!

HARVEST: Brussel sprouts, cabbages, leeks and parsnips.

SOW AND PLANT: The days are still too short and cold to sow seeds outdoors. Sowings of onions, lettuce, peas, broad bean, radishes and early carrots can be made under protection towards the end of the month.

JOBS: Protect over wintering vegetables from the frost under cloches or fleece, you can but this from a good garden centre, but don’t forget to allow plenty of fresh air to get in on sunny days.

Under the protection, winter sunshine temperatures can get as high as on a hot summer’s day.

Support Brussels sprouts and sprouting broccoli with strong stakes to stop them being blown over in high winds. On days when the soil is frozen, stack manure and compost close to where it can be dug in later.

If you have any plants or seedlings shivering in a green house, cover  them with layers of newspaper on frosty nights, but remove it on warm days. Check on any fruit and vegetables in the store and remove any that are diseased or soft. When the weather and soil conditions allow, plant out soft fruit bushes.

Spray all fruit trees and bushes with garlic winter wash on a fine day.

Order seed potatoes, plus seed trays. On days when you can’t work on your plot, perhaps clean your shed, green house and tools. Check that watering cans and buckets down leek.

Oh and let’s not forget the wild birds and animals, they still need our help. You could ask someone to help you make a bird table, its great fun watching them bickering over some seed and nuts. They will also need fresh water putting out, particularly if the puddles are frozen!

Catch you early February!  Bye for now.