The Market Garden

Thornless Blackberries

I love blackberries and have nostalgic memories combing the hedgerows of my grandparents farm picking these lovely soft fruit in autumn. Prickles didn’t seem so much of an issue back then, but as an adult, and foraging vast quantities for jam making and freezing, it’s not long before you’re covered in scratches. But I have an answer – thornless blackberries!

I’ll be honest; I’d never really thought about blackberry cultivars.… Continue reading

On My Oasis – Olives and September Heat

Hot, ain’t it?! And apparently tomorrow could be the hottest September day for over five decades. Blimey. Though I’m sitting here in shorts, vest and still sweating, I’m rather glad of the heat. You see, as my post last week eluded too in a non-subtle way, the growing year in 2016 has been a bit crap. So, though the days may be getting shorter, the sun might just extend… Continue reading

Sowing Hardy Annuals – Larkspur and Cornflower

I have to admit; this year’s been a bit of a bust regarding the cutting down. I severely underestimated the state of the soil in this new garden, and probably forgot just how much material I added to my old one. I was there for 10 years after all; over that time I must’ve added LOTS of compost.

So, in a bid to improve the cutting garden for 2017, I’m… Continue reading

On My Oasis – Late to the Party

Why is it that my garden is always late to the party? I’m watching Gardners’ World (the new one hour revamped version) and Monty says a horrific word – September. How did we get there?! As you might’ve read MUCH earlier on in the year, I was attempting to set up a market garden this year. Well, the results have been somewhat dismal; mostly because my plants seem… Continue reading

How to Look After Strawberries

Strawberries are awesome plants; they’re simple to grow, fruit easily and propagate with little effort. The hardest part is probably keeping pests like slug and snails away from those yummy berries! If you want to maximise your crop, you need to do a little work at the end of the fruiting season. Older plants may need throwing out, debris needs to be cut and tidied away and the runners can… Continue reading

Vegetables to Sow in July

One thing I’m really bad at when it comes to gardening is forward planning. And, yes – this is rather an issue when you’re trying to establish a Market Farm Garden. When it comes to vegetables the most important date for your calendar is the harvesting date. You can then work backwards from this, taking into account the seasonal, usual weather fluctuations etc to work out when you should… Continue reading

Growing Carrots – My First Crop

Though I may have been growing veggies for many years, I’ve never harvested a carrot crop. A few of these tasty veg were sown on the allotment but as soon as the summer season arrived, I always got busy, the crops got weedy and nothing ever came of the carrots. This year I set about growing three different varieties in my no-dig raised beds and, upon pulling some up… Continue reading

When to Harvest Pak Choi

Last year, with my first ever greenhouse and a desire to grow vegetables around the year, I was on the hunt for winter-hardy harvests I could get going in late November and keep growing until spring. I think it was Andrew over at Life on Pig Row who suggested Pak Choi; something I’d never eaten, let alone grown.

During the winter months, as you might expect, they looked a… Continue reading

How to Grow Strawberries in Vertical Gardens

I know, I know; another vertical gardening post. But there’s a reason – it seriously works, especially if you want to boost your strawberry crops.

You know the story. You watch as strawberry plants burst into flower. The fruits set and your mouth begins to water as those berries begin to swell and take on their red tint. Then, you got to pick and – BAM – a… Continue reading

Growing Cut-And-Come-Again Salads for Year Round Harvests

I’ll be honest, I’m a bit crap at successional sowing. I get all excited in early spring and sow things with gusto. Then the soil gets really warm, the heavens open and weeds start to thrive and, as a result, I get so distracted I forget to keep sowing. But if you want a continuous harvest of things like salad, carrots and even beans, it’s a good idea to repeat… Continue reading

How to Plan a Market Farm Garden – My First Year

When it comes to seeds, I’m like a kid in a sweet shop; ‘Ooh, I like that one‘, ‘Some of those‘, and ‘That one’s pretty‘. It’s an ad-hoc buying process that’s based on lust rather than sense. My planning and management on the allotment I formerly shared with my godmother wasn’t much better. I always tended to grow what everyone else was – that… Continue reading

Hi,

I'm Geoff, and I'm a plant hoarder.

Like magpies collect bright shiny things, I can't resist plants. An exquisite flower, soft ferny foliage or a beautiful majestic tree - I love them all!

Here, I'll indulge in all things flora and share my passion. Join me as I develop my garden and hoard more plants without apology.