Growing Broad Beans

Posted by Claire, Purple Sweetpea on 13th Apr 2017

Broad beans are another one of my favourite crops to grow; before we had an allotment I don’t think we even had broad beans in our diets. Now though we use them for hummus, bean salads, and we also add them in with the carrots and broccoli as part of a cooked dinner too. Broad beans store really well in the freezer which means you can enjoy them all year round.This year we have sown two varieties, the first is called Aquadulce Claudia which is early maturing. We sowed these in late January as they cope well with the cold weather and could allow us to harvest as early as May. You can view
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For the Love of Squashes

Posted by Purple Sweetpea, Claire on 30th Mar 2017

I love growing squashes; they are a fantastic crop that gives a big harvest, you can even eat their lovely flowers that are beautiful to top a salad with. The first squashes we ever grew were Jack O' lantern Pumpkins. We sowed the seeds a little too late in the season but we still managed a harvest and both boys had a pumpkin for Halloween that they had grown from seed.Squash plants need plenty of room and grow to their full potential in a well-rotted compost pile. My favourite variety of squash to date is Patty Pans. A few years back, fairly new to gardening myself, I bought Patty Pan s
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When to Sow

Posted by Purple Sweetpea - Claire on 14th Mar 2017

This subject seems to come up ‘year in, year out’ with gardeners, apart from those who have refined their knowledge of the area and the land they grow in. You will find these people are able to give excellent advice of when exactly to sow the seeds that they want to grow and are usually happy to share this information.I am however, still learning and not quite getting it right. Last year I sowed my Sweet Corn and Patty Pans too late, resulting in a reduced crop, and I sowed my outdoor tomatoes too early and lost the plants completely.This year I nearly made the mistake of using the earli
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Getting Ready for Spring with Sunflowers

Posted by Purple Sweetpea, Claire Keen on 7th Mar 2017

Both my sons love sunflowers, they are big bright and cheerful. My youngest Sam, when he was around 17 months, cried when we cut down our first ever sunflowers at the end of the season. Since then I have left them for as long as possible for the boys to enjoy and for the birds to feast on the bountiful seeds in their enormous flowers.Sunflowers are easy to sow; nurture and they are great fun for kids too. They grow pretty fast and have a spectacular result, especially once they have opened their beautiful golden yellow heads. Last year’s sunflowers were planted in a row at our allotmen
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5 Tips for (Newbie) Greenhouses Growers

Posted by Danny on 4th Mar 2017

The introduction of a greenhouse into veg growing life is often a revelation that brings lots of extra enjoyment. However, like everything in "growing your own", there is a learning curve. Norfolk Greenhouses resident greenhouse expert has put together 5 top tips to help you skip some way along that learning curve.1. Get a thermometer.This is probably the most important tip I could give. I’d be lost without mine. Whether I’ve been working out if my peas would germinate over the next week or so, or checking how cold the temperate is before I go to bed, my thermometer has been invaluable.
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