Sunday 27 April 2014

Grow Rings - Extend your growing surface

Another great company I met at The Edible Garden Show recently was Grow Rings
These are sections that are easy to snap together and give you instant raised beds and no tools need leave the tool box!
I was given a Ring which I plan on planting my pak choi and a Mini Green House which consists of two pieces, a ring and a lid.  I am planning on growing my purple carrots in the Mini Green House which will help to keep the carrot root fly away.

These rings are perfect for someone with a small garden or patio or where space is a premium.  I plan to use them initially on the part of the allotment that we haven't prepared yet.  This way I will be growing things on an area I haven't cleared yet getting the most out of the space.

It takes a fair amount of soil and compost to fill up the ring but once you have done this you have an instant raised bed. It can be moved to anywhere you want. I have placed the first one on some of that black weed control fabric. This will help to kill off the weeds underneath which will help get this area ready to cultivate at another time, then the grow ring can be moved to another place.
I have planted my pak choi in half of the ring and not sure yet what will go in the other half but thinking maybe my purple tomatoes in a few weeks time.

You can go on the web site and watch a video about the Grow Rings if you want.

Thanks to Grow Rings for my two rings, I am really looking forward to growing some of my range of vegetables in them.  I was not paid to review them and all opinions and photos are my own.

A new tool - Wolf-Garten

At the recent Edible Garden Show I met the lovely people on the Wolf-Garten stand.  They have a really interesting concept for garden tools.  You buy a handle and then the individual garden tools and they snap onto the handle with a unique 'click system'. The products are made in Germany so are sturdy and carry a 10 year guarantee.

The lady on the stand, Yvonne was demonstrating a rather interesting looking tool designed to evenly chop and mix the compost, manure and ground soil together to make a fine soil to plant the seeds.  Well, I wanted one of these for sure!!

How happy was I when Wolf-Garten offered to send me a Soil Miller to try on the allotment and write about how I got on.

The Soil Miller breaks up dry, compacted soil into a fine tilth. This helps both the sun and the rain get to the roots of your vegetables as well as mixing up soil, compost and manure.

We have been digging and preparing our beds and mixing in compost both bought and organic from my compost heaps and loads and loads of locally scourced manure and this tool would be just perfect for us to use.

We went to help my daughter-in-law with her allotment and took the Soil Miller with us in the car as it is so easy to take with you and used it there too.

It took me a minute to get the feeling for the Soil Miller but once I got started I couldn't stop.  A bed went from this:-

In a matter of minutes to this:-

Because this is such a great piece of gear I wouldn't leave it at the allotment and once you detach it from the handle it fits really nicely into the car.

My plan is to add to the collection of tools to go onto the handle as the season progresses and I will of course post about them on here.

Many thanks to Wolf-Garten for starting me off with this ingenious system of tool. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions and photos are my own.


Sunday 13 April 2014

Keeping it in the family!

This is the second year of my allotment life and I wouldn't swop a moment. I have had great fun growing the vegetables we ate last summer and we are now getting ready to plant this year's vegetables.

I was really happy to learn that my son and daugher-in-law (DIL) were offered an allotment plot near to where they live.  As my son works most weekends it will be up to DIL to do most of the work.  Knowing how hard it is to get started your first year I wanted to offer my help digging to give DIL a helping hand in her preparations.

Since the weather forcast was good for this weekend we popped up on Saturday (after getting stuck on the M1 due to an accident) we eventually arrived, unloaded the car of our tools and wheelbarrow and got stuck in.

DIL had gotten there before us and was working away burning some rubbish.

A bored granddaughter was enticed to help us from time to time but got excited when I asked her to show me where the allotment shop was so we could get a couple of sandwiches!

We worked for about 3 hours on a beautiful Spring day and left feeling we had been helpful!

Mr R brought my Wolf-Garten Soil Miller with us and gave it a workout.

I did thank Mr R for giving up his Saturday but he agreed with me that it is always good if you can help family when it is needed.

I expect we will be back up there again before the end of the digging and planting time is up.