Grow It Yourself – June

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By now your veg patch and fruit bushes should be flourishing, if the slugs haven’t ravaged the lot!  It can be like a war zone out there, trying to protect against beasties eating your crops before you do. the clear winner in slug prevention is the copper band. They are expensive but they last for years around a plastic or ceramic pot (they don’t stick well to wood), so now I am going to plant some more climbing french beans in a large pot with copper tape around and woe betide any slug that gets past that!! If you’re keen … more

Grow It Yourself – May

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May came in with a ground frost which killed the nasturtiums but not my runner beans, which are still alive and kicking in the veg plot! May 3rd saw the first TTL Growers’ Market of the year.  It came with a cold start, which freaked out the poor tomato plants, but plenty of sun to bring out the shoppers!  The plants all recovered and we sold a lot. It was lovely to meet so many people and encourage them on their horticultural journey.  A big thank you to all who helped on Saturday. Don’t worry if you missed it; we … more

Grow It Yourself – April

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Apologies for the lateness of the April GIY blog, I’ve been too busy planting and potting on my tomato seedlings and other newly sprouted plants. I have masses! I’ve grown so many because the first TTL Growers’ Market of the year is in two weeks time on the 3rd of May. So if you are planning on growing tomatoes please buy them from us, not a garden centre! I have small ones (Gardener’s Delight), medium ones (Ailsa Craig) and big ones (Super Marmand).  At the moment they are in 3″ pots selling for 50p. Once they have to be potted … more

Grow It Yourself – March

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March has to be the month when it all kicks off in the garden and the greenhouse. The weather can be very unpredictable though so you have to watch the forecasts carefully.  Once we get towards the middle of the month you can plant onion sets, early potatoes and peas outside. I suggest you start some peas off in pots too (see photo), as insurance.  Soak the seeds overnight first before planting.  Peas have long roots so cardboard tubes are ideal to plant them in.When they are ready to go out in the garden, harden them off for a few … more

Sustainable Gardening in LGC

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Last week a few TTL’ers went to the Hub on Station Road to meet with Elizabeth Towler (Environment & Landscape Officer from the LGC Heritage Foundation) and Steve Howells (Chairman of the ARCH Community Group who run the local “In Bloom” competition).  It was a heart-warming meeting because their ideas square nicely with the Transition ethos. They want to put the ‘Garden’ back into Garden City by providing encouragement and education for residents who aren’t natural gardeners and who lack the knowledge to start growing their own food and creating gardens with wildlife in mind.  They want to encourage SUSTAINABILITY … more

Grow It Yourself – February

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I really must quote from a pamphlet I found in my Dad’s desk; a facsimile of “The Gardener’s Monthly Directions etc” published in 1688 and re-printed in 1980.  It says: “FEBRUARY. Now the Weather begins to alter, although sometimes January be open and temperate, and this Month severely cold, yet to the most part the inclining of the Sun to the Vernal Equinox, doth produce a moderation of the past colds, and encourage the ingenious Gardener to trim his Trees, and stir his Ground, mixing his rotten Dung in the digging thereof, for the setting and sowing of Beans, Pease, … more

Grow It Yourself – January

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If you’re all worn out from Christmas and New Year celebrations, you’ll be pleased to hear that there’s not much to do at this time of year in the garden, unless you want to plant shrubs and trees.  Winter is the ideal time to do just that. Mark Diacono (who some of you may be familiar with from Otter Farm, River Cottage, and his articles in the Daily Telegraph) has some interesting suggestions for planting an edible hedge. Mixed fruit and nut bushes which grow well together not only provide you with food but also attract wildlife. He suggests mixing … more

Grow It Yourself

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This is the first in a series of monthly Grow It Yourself (GIY) blogs from Diane, one of TTL’s most keen and experienced fruit and veg growers.  These will be a regular feature so if you have any questions or topics you’d like covered, please leave a comment. December in the Garden There’s not a lot to do outside at this time of year now that the garden has gone to sleep for the winter, but there are things you can do in the comfort of your armchair, e.g. planning next year’s crop.  When planning your plot for next year, … more

Preserving Your Harvest

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Recipes & tips from our recent Transition Tuesday are linked below, just click a title. Making Jam Mincemeat & Red Onion Marmalade Recipes (not together!) Damson Chutney Sue’s green Tomato Pickle, Diane’s Bramble Jelly and Poor Man’s Capers Maryla’s kompot drink recipe Maryla’s courgette cake recipe Let me know if there are any I’ve forgotten or if you have trouble with any of the files. We also heard about drying produce in a dryer, and bottling – much eaiser than you might think, as long as you seal it when it’s all hot. Any further tips or recipes please add below. … more

Fruit!

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 We are busy pulling together our fruit projects for this coming autumn. There are going to be three this year and you can find out more by going to the Harvest page. Now correct me if I’m wrong but I am pretty sure that Letchworth gardens were originally planted with different fruit trees so that residents could share and all have a variety to eat. I know of figs, cherries, apples, pears, plums, greengages…. I would really like to know more about this. Are there any local history experts out there that know more? But whether it was on purpose or … more