Author Archives: Steve Jones

Companion Planting Apricots

companion planting apricots

Not necessarily something you’d expect to grow in the colder climes of the United Kingdom, but apricots can and are growing in Essex at least. As with most plants, conditions can be improved by companion planting. So in this post companion planting apricots I’ll expand on what will help get the best from your apricot. Companion Planting Apricots In the United Kingdom Apricots do best in South facing gardens. As apricots are self fertile there is no problem growing single trees. Sheltering Trees From Cold Shelter apricot trees with hedging or a wicker fence to protect from winds. If severe… → Read More

Companion Planting Apple Trees

compainon planting apple trees

In this country there are many orchards and therefore many apple trees all producing lovely, tasty, healthy apples. Still nothing is more pleasing than to pick an apple straight from the tree and bite into that fresh, sweet tasting goodness. So in this the first post of the series, Companion Planting Apple Trees I will share some of the vegetables and herbs that will increase yield, improve flavour, or help keep your trees healthy. Companion Planting Apple Trees Apple trees need other apple trees to pollinate. Different varieties flower at different times, so ensure that all trees planted in a… → Read More

The 5 Easiest Vegetables to grow in containers

the 5 easiest vegetables to grow in containers

If space is limited it is still possible to grow fresh, healthy vegetables in containers. In this guide, I’ll share with you the tricks that I have learned over the years. So here it is, the 5 easiest vegetables to grow in containers. Preparation is key As with everything in life, getting the basics right will make the goal easier to attain. Use the largest pot or container you can. Fill with the best compost you can find, and plant the healthiest plants you can grow. Maintenance Container grown plants need feeding regularly with a good plant food. They also… → Read More

The Number One Secret To Growing Great Plants

The Number One

Ask any gardener the secret to growing and they will all give you a different answer, but here is the number one secret to growing great plants. This is of course my own personal belief but it is based on years of gardening experience. Good Soil Having good soil is an important factor in growing great plants, the soil is where the plants get their nutrients from so of course good soil is a necessary element. This is why every season I add well rotted manure and fresh compost to my soil. Adding compost and / or manure will improve… → Read More

Growing Plants For Pollinators And Why It’s Important

Growing plants for pollinators and why it's important

In this post, I explore the reasons for growing plants for pollinators and why it’s important for your garden or vegetable plot. It is also important for the conservation of wildlife. There are reports that bees are on the decline worldwide, so any help we as growers can offer must be a good thing. Growing Plants For Pollinators And Why It’s Important According to the Bumble bee conservation trust, two species of bumble bee have become extinct in the UK since the start of the twentieth century. With another two species of bee in danger of imminent extinction. Theories as… → Read More

Don’t Waste Good Food

don't waste good food

We live in a throw away society now days, everything from cars to kitchen appliances are made to be replaced not repaired anymore. Well one place where we can all be greener and more frugal is with our vegetables. My advice is don’t waste good food. Don’t Waste Good Food There are plenty of people who don’t realise just how much food they are wasting. We learn certain processes throughout the course of our lives, and most never question them. Well I’m going to challenge your beliefs and hopefully get you to try some different approaches to using vegetables. Use… → Read More

The Most Important Thing To Remember When Transplanting Seedlings

The Most Important Thing To Remember When Transplanting Seedlings

There are many things that  need to be taken into account when transplanting or repotting seedlings. However  the most important thing to remember when transplanting seedlings will give your plants the very best start in life. Things To Remember When Transplanting Seedlings Once the seeds have germinated and they are growing strong, it’s easy to believe that the job’s done and that healthy plants are guaranteed. Apart from the obvious factors like temperature, moisture, humidity, hardening off, and light, there are other points to be aware of. Things like:- Which parts of the seedlings are delicate and easily damaged How… → Read More

The Benefits Of Epsom Salts

Nearly every modern gardening guide has a reference to Epsom Salts. So here is the growing-guides definitive guide to the benefits of Epsom Salts. What Are Epsom Salts? Epsom salts are a compound of magnesium sulfate not really a salt at all, but a naturally occurring mineral compound named after a spring found just outside Epsom in Surrey UK. The Benefits Of Epsom Salts There are many benefits from using Epsom Salts in the garden, but before we get into that lets explore exactly what Epsom Salts are. As stated earlier they are a compound of magnesium and sulfate. Both… → Read More

Growing Amaranth

Growing Amaranth

My friend has given me about a dozen Amaranth plants and I don’t have a clue how to grow them. So as I am researching them anyway I thought I’d write a post on growing Amaranth. What Is Amaranth? Amaranth is a plant similar to spinach or quinoa. It originates in South America but will survive in the UK in summer time. The common name for amaranth is Love Lies Bleeding, and amaranth means everlasting in Greek. Growing Amaranth Amaranth will grow easily in the UK in well drained soil after all frosts have finished. Sow seeds in late May… → Read More

Flowers As Companion Plants

flowers as companion plants

One of my older posts focused on Poached Egg Plant Companion Plants, this got me thinking about using other flowers as companion plants. What flowers to use and Why use them? Exactly what are the benefits? So in this post that’s what I’m going to find out. Why Use Flowers In The Vegetable Garden? Flowers are good to look at, they smell nice and they give a garden a pleasant appearance. As will soon become apparent, they also have many helpful benefits in the vegetable garden. The secret as always is placing the right flowers with the right vegetables. Flowers… → Read More