Monthly Archives: September 2018

  • Making your Garden Season Last as Long as Possible

    Flower_in_need_of_dead_heading_fall_seasonThe temperatures are dropping and growth is slowing down.  But there are still some things that you can do in the garden to prolong the flowers and keep active outside this season.

    Its tempting to think that the fat lady has sung and you can hang up your boots for the year.  The weather is still very dry though so don’t give up yet on watering your plants, especially the ones in pots.

    If you deadhead your flowers such as roses, antirrhinums, lupins or sweet peas, they may still produce a few more flowers.

     

    seed_pods_with_seed_on_table_harvest_season

    If some of your dead heads are looking nice and dry you can collect their seeds to sow next spring. I often go to other peoples gardens and see flowers that I want for my own garden and collect them.  Different lavenders, hollyhocks, delphiniums people don't tend to mind…..

    You can still sow things too like herbs and winter salads.  I cleared away a nice spot in the greenhouse the other day in order to sow some coriander and lettuce.  The chicken thought that this was an extremely comfy new armchair that I had made her though! So I have sown the seeds into some recycled plastic ‘seed trays’ and will move them on later.

    Seeds_planted_in_plastic_trays_planting_season

  • Chillies too hot to handle and coming out of your ears...

    Chillli~-jam-in_silver-panThe hot hot hot weather has lead to a bumper crop of chillies this year and some gardeners are finding them just too hot to handle.  Having eaten them every day since August and made Chilli Sauce, Chilli flakes, Chilli truffles and 3 types of Chilli Oil here is a new recipe to help use the glut.

    Chillies and tomatoes are great to grow but difficult to keep for long, so if you would like to remember your summer fruits from the garden chilli jam is an excellent and delicious memory. Great in a cheese sandwich, fried up with chicken or you could put a couple of teaspoons in your soup to spice it up.

    Chilli Jam

    Ingredients:

    8 red peppers.
    10 red chillies.
    1 finger-sized piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
    8 cloves of garlic
    14oz (400g) of fresh tomatoes chopped – or a 400g tin of cherry tomatoes
    1lbs 8oz (750g) Preserving sugar this also helps not to make the jam too runny
    7 floz (200ml) red wine vinegar

    Preparation: 20 minutes Cooking time: 60 – 90 minutes

    Directions:

    1. Cut up your peppers and chillies keeping the chilli seeds but not the pepper ones. Put them into the food processor along with the garlic and ginger.
    2. Scrape into a heavy-bottomed pan with the tomatoes, sugar and vinegar, then bring everything to the boil.
    3. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally – skim off any scum that comes to the surface.
    4. Once the jam becomes sticky, continue cooking for 10-15 minutes more, stirring frequently
    so that it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan. It should now look like thick, bubbling lava.
    5. Cool slightly, transfer into sterilised jars, cover with lids straight away to create a vacuum, then leave to cool completely.
    6. Keeps for 3 – 12 months in a cool, dark cupboard - once you have opened it keep it in the fridge.

    For a printable version click here Chilli_Jam 

  • Award Winning planet-friendly pots!

    Haxnicks new range of Bamboo Pots and Seed Trays has won Best Garden Care - Accessories Award in the prestigious GLEE Gardening Industry Awards.

    The material used for the pots and trays is sustainable bamboo, rice and natural resin.  The range is BPA free and compostable.  Best of all, using these pots will help you reduce petrochemicals in your greenhouse.  It’s estimated that a staggering 500 million plastic plant pots are sold every year. The majority end up in landfill or in an incinerator.  Very few are  Glee_award_with_bamboo-pots recycled as there are few facilities to do so. Unfortunately, a large amount of fossil fuel is needed to produce plastic pots.  Once produced they take around 500 years to decompose.  Haxnicks Bamboo Pots once broken up in active compost will decompose in 6 to 12 months. Quite a difference!

    GLEE

    GLEE is a trade exhibition for the gardening industry.  500 leading UK and international wholesale garden suppliers exhibit there.  GLEE is where every gardening retailer; big, small, online or on the high-street can source the very best products for you. Its like a gardening Aladdin's cave!

    Damian Cardozo of Haxnicks says.  "The Products that win at GLEE are those that really move the industry forward and offer the gardener what they need.  The appetite is there for sustainable pots so it is the right time for this product.  We are very excited about playing our part in making our gardening more environmentally friendly"

    The Pots and Seed Trays are now available online and in all good Garden Centres and are the perfect choice for the environmentally aware gardener.

    In December 2019 new sizes have been added to the range.  these are the 3 inch, 4inch and 8 inch pots in both Sage Green and Terracotta colour.  This will replace even more plastic in the greenhouse.

     

     

  • Fancy some foraging? Bramble is the best free food...

    Blackberry or bramble...  Love them or hate them?

    In my garden they are a BIG nuisance, terribly invasive they've overtaken the edges of the garden and each year they creep further towards the house.  Much as I dislike them at home, in the hedgerow on my leisurely stroll to work they are different,  Here they are an abundant gift from Mother Nature which will provide all sorts of treats when teamed with the thousands of apples that have come off my tree this year.

     

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