Another month seems to have passed by so quickly and I am getting further behind with my allotment jobs, no matter how quickly I seems to be working. November’s weather has again been strangely mild, which has meant more time outside getting more of autumn to do list, done! However, I still have a few more jobs to do I will continue doing these all the way through the cold winter months.
During November i’ve managed to plant all my garlic cloves, onion sets and start to dig up some of my dahlia tubers for storage. Ive started to clear back dead plan material and got my compost piles sorted to hopefully make my own compost successfully in 2023. Ive also started lightly weeding my No Dig beds and covering them with a thin layer of cardboard and either Magic Mulch or the Soil improver. I will be continuing to finish my No Dig beds into December and then I’m all caught up ready for next season.
I absolutely love being part of the online growing and gardening community and I was extremely lucky to be invited to the Garden Media Guild Awards 2022 to their fancy dinner on Friday the 25th of November held at the Savoy! I had a wonderful time meeting lots of other people in the horticultural industry, watching the awards ceremony and seeing lots of gardening celebrities presenting the awards. It was also an excuse to clean my nails, do my hair and swap my muddy gardening clothes for a dress (now you won’t see that happen very often).
Ive had an excellent year working as a Rocket Gro ambassador and can’t wait to be working as part of the Rocket Gro team into 2023. I am very excited to showcase and try all of Rocket Gro’s new products and show you all the great ideas I have for my allotment and garden going into next season.
Now its time for me to go a spend some quality time with my two daughters, getting into the Christmas spirit and making sure Santa Claus has me on his nice list!
Merry Christmas & a very happy new year
Kirsty- My Little Allotment
October has been a beautiful start to autumn with mild temperature and lots of sunshine, but that has followed by lots and lots of rain meaning some of my allotment trips have been an absolute washout! Even if the weather is proving tricky, I have still made some progress with my plot autumn and winter preparations. I have to say even if it sounds a little crazy, I think my favourite time of the year to garden is autumn. I love nothing more than clearing my plot, making plans, buying seeds and gardening when it isn’t ridiculously hot and rewarding myself with a nice cuppa at the end of it all.
At the start of October, I got the autumn growing underway by sowing my autumn and winter vegetable seeds in my garden. I used the Rocket Gro Peat Free Fruit and vegetable compost in my VegTrug and sowed my seeds directly into the compost outside, now at the end of October the seedlings are growing well. To keep the growing season going all year round I am definitely going to grow some microgreens and herbs on my windowsills at home.
I think the best thing about October so far is that even thought we have had loads of rain; on the dry days they have been incredibly mild and even some of the days have been quite warm. My greenhouse is absolutely loving the autumn sunshine and it’s giving my chilli plants lots of time to ripen.
Ive made a good start at the allotment with my Autumn prep, building a new compost bay, digging out lots of perennial weeds, cutting back the brambles, harvesting the last of my vegetables and topping up my raised beds with cardboard and compost. At home i’ve been busy in the garden mulching the top of all my pots, composting old plants and making a start on sweeping up all the fallen leaves to make some leaf mould.
I love gardening in the autumn I always find it extremely therapeutic, clearing the garden/allotment and leaving the ground to rest ready for spring where its needs to reenergise to bring it all back to life. I always feel that I connect with this pattern and clear my mind and recharge myself over the colder months ready for a busy spring and summer.
Love My Little Allotment
September has been a lovely month, we have still had some beautiful weather but towards the end the cold started to creep in and it’s now turning into my favourite time of the year, autumn. The leaves are turning, the plants are dying back and most importantly my squash and pumpkins are curing on the vines.
I love autumn and gardening during autumn, I think it’s the wind down of the crazy summer and the big clear up that gets me excited for what’s going to come in the 2023 growing season. I love to plan, prep and get areas stripped back and ready for spring. I always try to keep myself as busy as possible over the colder months by planning lots of jobs on the allotment to keep my mental health in balance.
One of the first jobs for me during September was to clear and tidy up the greenhouse in my garden. It had become overrun with dead plants, and I needed to make space to optimise the areas in my greenhouse to carry on growing and ripening the chilli plants before its too late. All the old plants I took out were put in my home composting bin to minimise waste. The bindweed in my garden as somewhat taken over and has crept into my greenhouse, so I had some fun ripping this out. I moved all my chilli plants onto the top tier of racking to make the most of the sunlight, I gave them a good water and feed and have shut all the vents and doors on the greenhouse to help them along.
Ive made a little room in the greenhouse, so I am hoping to sow some more autumn seeds to get started off. I will be sowing some Swiss chard, lettuce, rocket and spinach. I’m also going to start off some autumn sown sweet peas, calendula and cornflowers to give myself something to do and grow over the cold months.
The next job ive started at home in my garden is mulching the tops of my garden pots. As the flowers and plants are dying back, I have cut of old dead plant material and popped it in the compost. I have then added a layer of RocketGro Magic Mulch to the top of the pots, this will help feed the plant and help restore some moisture lost after a very hot summer. Growing in pots can be difficult but as I live in a rented property, I need to make everything accessible for moving. Looking after pots and containers in the garden is important through the autumn and winter months too.
Ive spent a bit of time on the plot mostly to harvest some vegetables and check how things are looking. I have a little bit of time at the end of September on the allotment to start clearing areas up, the area I want to plant my garlic cloves and onion set in. I will probably get these in the ground in October. I also want to look at getting the outside of my shed painted before its too cold, but it’s a big shed so a not a quick task. I have a couple of raised beds and an allotment bed that I need have died back so will look at clearing them and mulching them ready for spring. These areas will be no dig so I will give them a light weed, cover them with a layer of cardboard and top with some Magic mulch or Soil Improver. I will also add some leaf mulch that I collect from my front garden at home.
Ive absolutely loved the hot summer in the garden and on my plot but I’m even more excited for autumn. Cant wait to show you what I get up to.
Well, that’s another beautiful month of sunshine, but this time a little rain thrown into the mix has been a welcomed sight on the allotment. It’s been a tricky month again and this year has proven to be my trickiest year to date in the 5 years owning my allotment. The great thing about gardening is that every season is different, and you will continuously learn new things, every season something will happen that didn’t happen previously, and you will adapt, which is the best part of the gardening experience for me, but it really has been hard!
Most of August has been spent watering, feeding and harvesting some lovely crops, the plot is looking very autumnal already and this is down to not having enough time to water and the intense heat we have had over the past couple of months. Even though some things have been a failure and I’m feeling a little downhearted I also have some plants still growing and many harvests to come.
The pumpkin and squash vines are growing rapidly with lots of fruits setting. The corn, beans and tomatoes are growing strong, and I still need to get my potatoes out of the ground. The flowers on the other hand have not been a success and this is due to watering. My allotment plot does not have access to a hosepipe and its all done by hand with watering cans, I just simple couldn’t keep up with how big my plot is and the time I had spare. However, one part of my allotment that I worked on a lot in the spring has been growing fantastically.
The best part of the allotment for me has been the No Dig bed I created with Rocket Gro compost at the start of the season. I used cardboard first and laid this on the soil and used a nice thick layer of compost over the top, I used a mixture of magic mulch, soil improver and multipurpose compost. this bed has survived the hot weather the most as it’s been mulched well with compost. Mulching is a great way of holding the moisture under the soil, so the plants have absolutely loved it. The compost has also provided a feed keeping the plants in great health.
I’m really excited to head into the autumn and winter months, for me these are my favourite months. I love the preparation side of the garden and allotment. I really enjoy stripping the garden back, prepping all the allotment beds, clearing, cleaning and then most importantly planning and having all the excitement of what I am going to be doing next season. I’m looking forward to using Rocket Gro products in my autumn/winter prep for my allotment and I have all my bags of mulch and soil improver ready to get the plot sorted. Make sure you follow my journey on my social media pages so you can see how the progress is going.
My aim is that the rest of 2022 will be spent getting my allotment plot back up to speed and getting a few little projects that have been in the pipeline done on my allotment plot. Hopefully I will finally have use of 100% of the growing space on my allotment which has taken me a while to get too. It’s been around 5 years to get fully up and running so just remember when you take on an allotment plot, you won’t see results straight away and that’s ok. I feel that 2023 has a wonderful feeling to it already, I have lots of ideas, hopefully more time on the plot and it will be the best year to date.
I have a few jobs I want to complete over the next month one of them is to clear a growing space ready for my garlic and onions bulbs to be planted in October. I have some autumn and winter growing vegetable seeds to sow in my greenhouse and directly outside, I want to paint my shed before it gets too cold and of course to enjoy some proper time on my allotment getting my hands back in the soil.
Maintenance, Mulching, and More. July with Kirsty
Welcome back to my RocketGro monthly diary.
Discover what I’ve been up to in my garden during July and see which of RocketGro’s organic peat-free gardening products have been improving my plants.
July has been a scorcher! We have had new record temperatures and no rain for weeks; I think I’ve forgotten what rain is. It’s been a bit of a battle keeping on top of watering in the garden and the allotment, especially in my greenhouse.
The only saving grace I’ve had is that my large allotment beds were mulched earlier in the year.
Mulching is so important to retain water in plants and this year I made sure that all of my key plants and areas that need a lot of watering were heavily mulched in the spring. This includes directly around the base of the plants when they have been transferred outside.
I use RocketGro’s Peat-Free Magic Mulch and my plants love it. Mulching is the best way to retain water in the soil and therefore helps keep the plants watered even during the hottest and driest months.
The harvests are starting to appear. My greenhouse is producing an abundance of cucumbers, basil, chillies, and the tomatoes are almost ready to harvest towards the end of the month.
I am really excited for this year’s harvest and it is looking like it’s going to be a good one.
The squash and pumpkins are starting to flower so I’m making sure that these plants are watered regularly and fed once a week to allow them to thrive.
Pumpkin and squash plants are extremely thirsty and hungry plants so make sure you look after them over the next few weeks
Maintaining through the heat
At home I have lots of pots and containers to grow flowers and vegetables in and these will naturally dry out a lot quicker than the ground. You will need to water and feed these pots and containers more regularly as they have less nutrients to pull up from the soil.
I have been using RocketGro’s Natural Organic Plant Fuel once a week. I give the plants a good soak of water first and then I use one capful of feed in a watering can and go over the pots and containers again.
Going into August, my focus is to keep feeding, pruning, deadheading, harvesting, and watering my plants to get the best out of them. As we get closer to autumn, I will be getting seeds ready to sow autumn and winter harvests.
Kirsty Ward’s Gardening Diaries
Welcome back! Keep scrolling to read about everything that happened in my garden in June 2022 and how to get the most out of RocketGro’s peat free, organic gardening products.
This is the month where I see the most progress on my allotment and in my garden. Nearly everything gets planted out by the end of June and a lot of the plants and seed in the ground start to show signs of growing fruits.
All my tomato, cucumber, courgette, and chilli plants are now flowering and starting to grow lovely fruits.
The squash, pumpkin, and bean plants are all growing strong along the ground and up the climbing frames.
My harvests are now bountiful, with tubs full of strawberries, arms full of rhubarb and salad leaves coming out of my ears. The greenhouse is looking lush, and everything is growing well.
Watering, feeding, deadheading, and pruning are the key things to keep my allotment and garden looking fabulous and increasing the harvests. We have been blessed with lovely warm weather so far, so it is important to keep greenhouses, polytunnels and any plants in containers and pots sufficiently watered.
As I have mulched the borders and beds on my allotment with RocketGro’s Magic Mulch they can go for longer periods of time without water as the mulch will help retain that moisture under the soil.
I make sure that I set aside a bit of time every other day to do a quick sweep of the garden, deadheading plants so that they will grow more flowers over a longer period.
It is also key that once some plants flower that you gently feed them once a week. Here is what is on my list:
I haven’t started to feed my plants yet because I have been using RocketGro’s Fruit & Veg Compost for most of my plants and this contains some feed already. I will start my feeding routine towards the end of June.
June is a good time to sow more:
- Salad leaves
- Spring onion
This means that you will have a successional harvest of salad throughout the summer.
Come back in July to keep up to date with what is happening in my allotment and take a look at the rest of RocketGro’s products on their website here.
Hi, I’m Kirsty, one of the RocketGro ambassadors. Every month of 2022 I will be taking you through what’s been going on in my allotment, and how I’ve been using RocketGro’s peat-free organic products to get the most out of my harvest.
May is one of those months where my allotment really comes to life; it’s an exciting time where all your seedlings start to be planted into the ground, shoots of green appear from the seeds you’ve sown, and bursts of colour come from the flowers that are starting to appear.
I’ve been busy on the plot and in my greenhouse planting up and setting up a self-watering system in the greenhouse. I have planted 20 different varieties of tomatoes with RocketGro’s Fruit & Veg Compost into self-watering pots. They have been planted for a couple of weeks now and are absolutely thriving.
Another way to make sure that moisture is maintained is to mulch around the plant with RocketGro’s Magic Mulch. Not only does this help retain water but the slow release of feed will help nourish your plants.
I’ve planted out my squash plants. These were originally sowed in RocketGro’s Seed & Cutting Compost, and I have allowed them to germinate, establish a good root system and grow a little before planting outside.
I also waited until May to do this so that the risk of frost has passed as they are tender plants.
Pumpkins and squashes are thirsty plants, so it is very important that they get enough water and feed. To overcome this, I planted a pot next to it [see photo] so that when you water the plant you water directly into the pot, so it goes straight to the roots. This avoids some of the water being evaporated on the surface.
There has been a lot of growth throughout May. It’s great to see all the fruit developing on the trees, there’s lots of rhubarb to harvest, the herbs are flowering, strawberries flourishing and all the dahlias are shooting up through the ground.
During June I will be focusing on planting out the last of my seedlings, sowing seeds directly into the beds to have a successful harvest of salads like
- Spring onions
I will also be planting out the rest of my dahlias and pinching them out, so they grow bigger and bushier and have more flowers. Weeding, watering, and feeding will continue, and the first harvest will be nearly ready to be picked.
Make sure you check back next month for more updates and discover the full range of RocketGro’s organic peat-free gardening products here.
Welcome back to my RocketGro journal. This is where I let you in on what I’ve been up to and what products I’m using to keep my garden in the best shape possible.
The mixed weather has made gardening this month a little bit of a battle. Snow, sun and not a lot of rain has left my allotment dry and my water butt empty. I am hoping for a nice soaking of rain soon so that my plants can flourish!
I’ve been a busy bee finishing off my no-dig beds using the RocketGro Multi-Purpose Potting Compost. The raised beds have also been topped up with a mixture of RocketGro’s Multi-Purpose and RocketGro’s Peat-Free Fruit & Veg Compost. Both will be ready to plant during May after the risk of frost has passed.
During April I move my seedlings into larger pots, so that they have more space to grow. I have so far re-potted all my tomatoes, chillies, and aubergines using RocketGro’s Seed & Cutting Compost. This compost is specifically designed for young plants and seedlings and my tomatoes are now growing ridiculously quickly!
I also tried out RocketGro’s Peat-Free Ericaceous Compost with my pink azalea, which has been a big success. The plant is absolutely thriving and is just about to burst into flower. This compost is specifically for acid soil loving plants- just like my azaleas – but would also be perfect for blueberries and rhododendrons.
Pumpkins and squashes are my absolute favourite vegetables to grow. They are easy, fun, fast growing, and come in an incredible range of colours and sizes. I have around 20 varieties growing this year and planted them into RocketGro’s Seed & Cutting Compost to start them off on their growing journey.
I will harden them off in May once they are big enough by keeping them outside during the day and moving them back into the greenhouse at night. By the end of May I will transplant them into their final growing positions on the allotment. To help them reach their full potential I will mulch the base of the plants using RocketGro’s Magic Mulch to help retain moisture and feed high-quality nutrients throughout the growing season.
What I am Looking Forward to in May
This is the most exciting month for me as the last frost date passes, and the big plant-out begins. I can’t wait to get my allotment beds filled up with vegetable plants and see how they thrive during the growing season.
Discover the rest of RocketGro’s organic peat-free gardening products here.
Follow me on Instagram here and stay up to date with exclusive month-by-moth updates on my allotment right here on the RocketGro journal.
Welcome to my journal entry for March. Keep reading to see what I’ve been up to this month and get some top tips for how to get the most out of your garden.
March is the month where you need to prepare your garden to make sure that crazy April is less hectic!
I should have completed my groundwork last autumn but fell behind- that’s okay. On the agenda for my March groundwork was:
- Clearing weeds
- Digging beds
- Creating no-dig beds
This was made so much easier with RocketGro’s Peat-Free Multi-Purpose Compost that meant my soil was ready to plant straight into, and RocketGro’s Magic Mulch that suppresses weeds and is key for super easy no-dig beds.
Sow to Grow
The long sowing marathon begins in March. Here is the list of seeds that I planted through March to get the most out of your harvests and to give pollinators the longest supply of food throughout the year:
Here, I used the RocketGro’s Seed & Cutting Compost, which I’ve had amazing results with.
My pumpkin patch needed mulching during March in preparation for the pumpkin and squash plants being planted later. The RocketGro Magic Mulch is a great way to improve water retention under the soil, perfect for hungry plants like pumpkins. Magic Mulch is also a great source of food during the growing season.
Other Jobs To Do
My raised beds needed another layer of RocketGo’s Multi-Purpose Potting Compost. Over time, raised beds slowly start to decrease in depth so they need a fresh layer of compost on top each year. This helps replenish the nutrients to maintain the quality of produce!
What I am Looking Forward to in April
Repotting, light weeding and a lot more seed sowing! Also I love seeing the first small harvests from the plot coming through.