An Introduction to Organic Growing with Steph’s Allotment
Steph is passionate about growing food organically, loves nature and spends most of her time outside. Steph shares lots of grow you own tips and gardening advice over on her Instagram channel.
During 2023, Steph is sharing insights into what she is growing and getting up to each month whilst using the RocketGro range of peat-free, organic products to help her achieve her goals.
Find Steph on Instagram here and follow her updates and insights below.
Well hasn’t this month just flown by 😲
I haven’t been to the plot as much as I’d have liked to have been due to doing some decorating at home but I’m happy with where we’re at.
My garlic is growing nicely and I’ve managed to clear the long bed which is destined for next years potatoes! I haven’t tidied too much yet as there has been so many ladybirds on the plot especially on my bean and sweetcorn plants.
I’ve had a bit of a tidy in the garden, cutting back perennials and mulching the borders.
The weather has had a lot of plants very confused. My calendula are still flowering, the roses are still on their second flush and I have so much new growth appearing on shrubs. Towards the end of the month the weather has cooled significantly though which in reality is a good thing as it’s much more seasonal now.
I’ve managed to clear a couple more areas on the plot and add some fresh compost in preparation for spring planting. Still lots of planning to do over the winter months but I’m really excited for what next season will bring.
I harvested my first ever parsnips this month and honestly one of them is an absolute whopper!! Weighing 754.5g!! First time I’ve ever managed to grow them too!
My next blog post probably won’t be until after the big day so I want to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas! I hope you all get to spend time with your loved ones doing the things you’s love, Steph 💚
October has been much slower paced when it comes to the garden and the plot. Theres lots of tidying to do, the garden needs things cutting back and the plot needs lots of beds clearing but I’m in no rush. I’ve got till spring to deal with all that and actually leaving plants over winter, as long as they’re not diseased, is great for insects such as ladybirds to hide in and most plants will break down over the winter returning goodness to the soil, feeding those beneficial micro organisms.
I’m harvesting tomatoes, beetroot, courgettes, cabbage, carrots and my lovely pears. Very small this year and not many of them but each one I utterly delicious!
I’ve still got parsnips, beetroot, brassicas and more carrots in the ground yet to lift. I’m going to pick my beetroot at the end of the month and store them in damp compost. If you leave them in the ground you do run the risk of hungry rodents nibbling as the weather turns cold.
Garlic was planted towards the end of the month. I’ve got quite a few varieties this year.
- Carcassonne Wight
- Caulk Wight
- Rose de Lautrec
I’ve planted them 6inches apart and approx 1ft between rows which means we have space to plant salads in between next spring. Garlic is great at keeping slugs off your salad leaves.
I planted my biggest cloves in the best spot keeping my smallest cloves to one side. Big cloves give big bulbs. The smaller cloves are planted in rows in my carrot bed, much closer together, which will hopefully help protect my carrots against carrot root fly next year.
Pumpkins turned out much better than I expected although still not as many as I’d hoped for but it seems most people have been the same this year. I’ve brought all my pumpkins indoors and they’re on a sunny window sill upstairs. I’ll move them into the office soon where they will stay until needed.
My tomatoes have been surprisingly good this year! Let’s face it we had a super tricky start with the cold dull spring, they really struggled to get going. Junes heatwave was too extreme and then it’s rained almost every day from July onwards! But the tomatoes have pulled through and I’ve had some amazing harvests!
This month has also been super exciting as Dean finally came home from his deployment in Cyprus. It’s been a long 16 weeks but it’s great having him home. We went a lovely wee trip to the Isle of Harris which was simply stunning! If you ever get the opportunity to visit the Scottish Outer Hebrides then you really must!
Dean has taken up photography as a hobby which means we’ve been getting out loads of walks and discovering so many new and beautiful places.
Let the adventures continue! Hope you are all getting ready for the colder months.
September certainly brough some much needed sunshine and warmth which in turn finally brought me some amazing tomato harvests! Not just a handful but great big mixing bowls full 😍
Towards the end of august my potatoes were starting to show signs of blight so the first week of September I decided to lift them all while we had our hot spell. Usually I wouldn’t lift my main crop potatoes until end of September earliest but this year has been very different.
I lifted an amazing haul of potatoes. So many shapes and sizes including one that looks like Mickey Mouse!
I also lifted all my onions and got them into the greenhouse to dry. Not a great haul from the onions, most quite small and some with rot too sadly. But still a good amount and they taste amazingly even the red onions have a real rich, strong flavour to them 👌
Mid month we had a super exciting trip! All the RocketGro team met up at the RocketGro farm in Somerset and it was truly amazing seeing where all that amazing compost is made! The process from start to finish is just amazing and I’m so pleased I got to see it all in action!
This trip was also where I got to meet the lovely Kirsty from @mylittleallotment who I’ve been following on Instagram for ever! A true friendship is blossoming from that RocketGro compost 🥰
I was also lucky enough to attend the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show at Newby Hall & Gardens this month and it was just wonderful! Of course the show veg caught my eye straight away. I’ve never seen such perfect, uniform veg before 😲
And then there’s the giant veg which is always rather ugly but certainly makes you laugh. I might try my hand at some show veg next year, it certainly looks fun!
This month has been all about harvesting! I’ve ignored the weeds and the mess on the plot, I’ve got all winter to deal with that. The harvests have been amazing and really kept me going this month 💚
Although the weather hasn’t improved much the harvests have certainly made up for it 😍 Beans galore! And an epic cucumber year. The baby corn has been amazing and I’ve more beetroot than I know what to do with!
Brassicas haven’t faired well due to caterpillars, even though they are netted. Pumpkins are few and far between and tomatoes are only just ripening. It’s certainly been a mixed bag.
The garden is looking incredible. Verbena lollipop is showing off, the hydrangeas are flowering and my Gaura has popped open too. The Calendula have been a fantastic addition to the garden this year. They’ve been flowering for ages and aren’t showing any signs of stopping.
Mid month and it’s time for some sowing! Over wintering onions can be sown from the 18th August onwards so still time if you haven’t already. Make sure they are Japanese varieties and suitable for overwintering.
I’ve also sown beetroot, spinach, Pak Choi, hardy spring onions and some pansies 🌸 most of these will stay in the greenhouse over winter, some being planted into the greenhouse beds once the tomatoes finish. I’ve used the RocketGro Seed & Cutting compost for all these. With the onions I’ve actually added a thin layer of the Stage 2&3 compost in the bottom to give them a small feed as they grow. I’m hoping not to need to pot the onions on before planting out so I’ll be keeping an eye on them.
By mid month everything was starting to slow and I was preparing for a steady autumn but by the end of the month everything is going again! My courgettes are giving me loads suddenly, the beans are appearing overnight. Raspberries galore and the strawberries are even producing again! It’s certainly exciting.
As we head into September I’m looking forward to lots of harvests and some sunny days (the weather man has promised us!)
It’s an exciting month with the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show coming up and a visit to the RocketGro farm!
I’ll be lifting the rest of my potatoes this month and pre ordering my garlic for planting in October. September is a great month to start reflecting on the growing year and making notes for next years plans.
Hoping you all have a warm, sunny September.
Well I won’t dwindle too much on the weather but goodness me wasn’t July a washout 🌧️ I’ve never known a summer month to be quite so wet!
On the plus side our newly planted garden and fresh laid turf has been well and truly watered in.
This month has been tough for me. I’ve had to adjust to life on my own again as my partner has jetted off to Cyprus for 4 months. We had a scare with one of our cats being poorly, the weather has been a disaster and I fell out of love with my allotment 😢
Unfortunately in the height of summer things can get a bit overwhelming and I had a burnout. But as the month went on there was many positives that gave me a boost 💪
My garlic this year has been epic! Truly the best I’ve ever grown! Huge bulbs that smell amazing and have been drying in the greenhouse for storage 🧄 the Magic Mulch in late spring certainly worked its magic.
I’ve also harvested my new potatoes which is always a fun harvest. You can’t beat digging through the soil with your hands to find potato treasure! Unfortunately I’ve also had a rodent of some sort digging for this treasure so we had a few nibbled tubers but that’s ok, there’s plenty to go round.
As the months gone on harvests have been coming in thick and fast! Courgettes galore, cucumbers, peas, beans and the first carrots! I created a couple salad beds at home but unfortunately the wet weather has meant slugs galore and they enjoyed my tiny seedlings as soon as they popped through 🐌 im going to look at nematode treatments to help protect my garden from them. Thankfully the allotment never seems to have much damage and I imagine that’s thanks to our resident hedgehog and a few toads I’ve spotted too.
The garden has been spectacular since we transformed it. I’m so in love with our new space! I’ve seen a huge increase in bees and butterflies. An abundance of hover flies, a toad in the compost bin and even more birds including our lovely woodpecker family! I also spotted my first Bullfinch in the garden.
As we head into august there’s still loads of harvests to come and I’ll be sowing some seeds of beetroot, spring cabbage, salad leaves and dwarf French beans. August is also a good month for starting perennial flowers from seed so I’ll be doing those too.
All we need now is a little more sunshine so my tomatoes can start to ripen, I can’t believe we’re into august and I haven’t had a fresh tomato yet 😲 there must be a sunshine dance we can all do ☀️
The weather turned hot, very hot! And dry, very dry! Everything is growing and the more tender plants such as pumpkins and tomatoes have been planted into their final spots.
Salad leaf harvests aplenty but making sure to harvest as soon as they’re ready as the hot dry heat will inevitably cause them to bolt.
We spent a few days going round different gardens and open gardens in the North and decided to revamp our own garden! Not an ideal time of year to do it but after much consideration and planning we bit the bullet! 😬
We removed the path, made the borders bigger and laid a lovely fresh lawn. We used a mix of RocketGro Tree & Shrub compost and Beds & Borders compost to give our new borders a great boost. We carefully planned our plantings following a blue/purple, pink & white colour scheme. It’s turned out just beautiful and already there has been a huge increase in bees 🐝
On the plot there’s been more sowings and plantings of beans, carrots, spring onions and beetroot followed by the first harvests of courgettes, potatoes, peas, beetroot and garlic and not forgetting the raspberries which were mostly scoffed on the plot 😋
Amazingly given how hot and dry it’s been the plot hasn’t needed much watering at all. New plantings I water regularly initially to get them going but the rest looks after itself. Mulching with RocketGro Magic Mulch helps retain moisture in the ground keeping plants happy and well fed plus the addition of the RocketGro Fruit & Veg compost in the beds helps hold onto moisture during these hot spells.
I’m looking forward to watching my garden grow as we head into July. I’ll be taking notes about what is flowering and when so that I can make sure I have year round interest as well as nectar rich plants in flower for our pollinators.
The plot is now rewarding me for all the hard work with lots of lovely organic fruits and veggies and as we head into July I’m really looking forward to the inevitable courgette glut 😆
Happy Growing everyone! 💚
May has been a busy month with lots of planting out, seed sowing and daily checking for what’s flowering and popping through 😍
Peas, onions, beetroot and spinach to name just a few of this months plantings. The temperatures have been a bit hit and miss so more tender plants have had to hang fire until mid-month 🪴
Potatoes keep popping through and are growing really well. I’ve been keeping them mulched with fresh grass clippings which I’ve had in plentiful supply.
I’m still picking lots of rhubarb, maybe had a few too many crumbles now 🤭 but it’s been a superb year for rhubarb!
The tulips have been flowering amazingly this month 😍 I need to add lots more this autumn for an even better display next spring. I’ve got some in the garden and on the plot and they really bring so much joy to both.
The blossom on the fruit trees has been amazing this month! Hopefully this means we’re in for a super fruit year 🍎
You might remember I lifted and replanted my fruit trees in the winter and they are absolutely thriving in their tubs filled with RocketGro compost. I used a mixture of well-rotted horse manure, homemade compost then RocketGro Soil Improver and RocketGro Tree & Shrub Compost, finishing off with a layer of my favourite, Magic Mulch.
Tomatoes this year have been slow due to a cold dull spring however they are looking good and healthy 🍅 I need to pot on sooner next time so I’ve made a note in my diary for next year. The new blend Seed Compost has been amazing though and they’ve grown really well in it (in fact everything has!).
By mid-month the plot is looking great! It’s filling up with life from fruit, veg and flowers. We just need some good weather now for everything to kick off ☀️ I’ve started feeding a few things with the RocketGro Plant Fuel which gives a great boost!
Let’s see what June holds for us! 💚
Well April was certainly interesting!
I’ve never known such a dull, cold spring, it’s been a tough one!Things have been super slow to grow but as we head into May with the promise of more sunshine and some warmth the plants are starting to perk up 🌱
I’ve been busy sowing and potting on with RocketGro Seed & Cutting compost.
The new blend is superb 👌
Planting out has been on hold due to slow growth and wet weather but I’ll soon be getting the hardier veg in the ground. Brassicas, onions, spinach and peas are first to go in the ground. Mid May I’ll be planting the tender plants such as tomatoes and peppers into the greenhouse beds and the pumpkins and courgettes will be planted out on the plot.
There’s still lots of sowing to be done in May. Beans, Beetroot, salad leaves, carrots, cabbage and turnip.
It’s also a good time to take cuttings from perennials and shrubs ✂️ the Seed & Cutting compost is the perfect blend for this job.
I managed to mulch my entire garden in April! They’ve promised another heatwave so giving your garden beds and borders a good mulch with RocketGro Magic Mulch is a great move to making sure your borders don’t dry out during the summer.
I’m looking forward to visiting a few gardens in May, and getting new ideas for our own garden. I want to add more colour to the garden and we’ve decided on a warm colour palate of apricots, oranges, purples and whites with a splash of pinks too. I must add more tulips and spring flowering bulbs to the garden, we’ve lacked so much colour this spring and tulips will make a huge difference 🌷
And some very exciting news to end on, we have a hedgehog who’s moved into the garden and has built a nest under the Spirea! I’m so excited! We’ve been in this house 8 years (new build and we are the first owners) and have never seen a hedgehog here before so this is super exciting 🦔
I hope you’re all getting your grow on and looking forward to a super May! 💚
Hello everyone! 👋
Super excited to be a RocketGrower for 2023 and even more excited to share with you all my Grow Your Own journey!
February was all about planning and prepping. I’ve added well rotted manure to a few beds and started mulching my other beds with RocketGro Fruit & Veg compost.
Spring bulbs have all been appearing and my autumn planted garlic is looking great!🤩
So far I have sown Onions, Shallots and Leeks. Spinach, salad leaves and brassicas. Broad beans, peppers, aubergine and beefsteak tomatoes. The new blend Seed & Cutting compost is just lovely and everything has germinated and grown really well in it so far.
I finally filled my diy tiered strawberry planters and I’m so so pleased with them! I’ve filled them with RocketGro Fruit & Veg compost and I’ll mulch with Magic Mulch as we head into late spring. 24 strawberry runners have filled both planters so I’m looking forward to a lovely summer harvest.
My greenhouse has had a good shuffle and tidy ready for it to fill up with lots of lovely seedlings I’ve added more shelving to increase space as much as possible. Come April/May there will barely be room to move
The garden has had a bit of a tidy up too. Cutting back some shrubs and splitting herbaceous perennials such as Dicentra (Bleeding Heart). Mulching the borders with Magic Mulch to give everything a good boost. I’ve also seen an incredible amount of worms in the borders when I’ve been splitting plants, they must be loving RocketGro!
As we head into March the seed sowing really steps up a notch! It can be tricky to juggle space, making sure seedlings have as much light as possible is so important! Moving plants indoors on really cold nights really helps keep them happy. It’s also worth bringing your seed compost indoors to warm up before seed sowing!
My biggest tip for March is not too slow too much too early unless you can provide enough light to stop your seedlings going leggy. Tinfoil really helps to bounce light back at your plants so use some on your window sills to keep your seedlings well lit!
I’m really looking forward to this year and using RocketGro for all my growing. Last years results were amazing and I’m sure this year is going to be just as good, if not better!
Have a great month everyone, I’m off to sow some more tomatoes
Can you believe it’s nearly Christmas!! Where has the year gone?!
November has been a much slower paced month. The weather has not been pleasant with only a few dry days. This month I’ve been reflecting on what’s worked and what hasn’t. What I need to do before spring and any other jobs I want to do over the winter months.
We had our first pickings of tiny turnips, they were delicious! I’ll be sowing more of those next year. I’m also determined to master how to grow swede next year, I’ve never been very successful 😅
The home greenhouse has been scrubbed clean and bubble wrapped ready for next seasons sowings. The bubblewrap helps hold the heat and will give my citrus plants and potted dahlias a little extra protection over the colder months.
I’ve also cleared the allotment greenhouses and given them a good mulch with RocketGro Magic Mulch, I love this stuff!! The greenhouse beds have worked hard this summer so now it’s time to enrich them ready for late spring plantings. Remember to keep your greenhouse beds watered, you don’t want the soil drying out too much over winter.
This month I’ve been harvesting carrots, beetroot, turnips and the last of the green beans. The late sowing of French beans was so worth it!
I’ve finished off mulching the plot beds with home made compost and RocketGro. Then covered with cardboard to keep weeks (and cats) at bay 🐱
Next month I’m hoping to get my strawberries all moved into their new planters and then turn the long bed they are in into another carrot bed. The carrots have been unreal this year so having double the growing space will just be amazing! My plan is to interplant with spring onions and quick cropping small greens and radish.
As an experiment I’ve sown some herbs indoors, no extra heat, just a sunny window cill and we’ll see what happens 🌿
I decided to add even more bulbs to the borders for a super spring display! I planted those the last week of November and the bulbs I planted beginning October are coming through already!
I’ve had a truly great year growing with RocketGro and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with the RocketGro team in 2023! Lots of exciting new products to come and I’ll be sharing with you all what I’m getting up to in the garden and on the plot.
Anyway, I hope you all have the most wonderful Christmas with those you love. The coming months are perfect for reflecting on your growing year and planning ahead for 2023!
Let’s make it a great one!
October has been a much slower month on the plot, there is no urgency to get things done straight away. It’s a nice time to start tidying the beds, planning for next season and tackling any constructing tasks needed (for me it’s creating a frame for my gooseberries!)
There’s still lots of goodies to be picked and turned into hearty nutritious meals. I’ve been harvesting carrots, potatoes, beetroot, green beans and tomatoes weekly.
This years carrots have been fantastic and I put it down to the early soil prep using RocketGro soil improver and RocketGro fruit & veg compost. They have loved the loose texture of the compost and there has been enough feed to keep them happy all season without needing any extra.
I’ve done a lot of tidying in the garden this month, cutting back and moving shrubs, tidying out the pond and lots of mulching!
I’ve also planted some crocus, daffodils and allium bulbs in the lawn and borders.
The August sown onions have been potted on in groups of 3. I found last years multi sown seedlings performed so well so I’m trying it on a much bigger scale this time.
I’ve spruced up my fence planters with some gorgeous little violas which will give colour right through the cold winter months. I’ve used RocketGro Multi-Purpose compost for these planters and topped with Magic Mulch.
I’ve also started prepping the allotment beds for winter with a good mulch and cardboard to cover them.
The last of the tomatoes have now been picked and the greenhouses are ready for clearing too.
The end of the month I planted my garlic, always a great day as garlic is one of my favourite things to grow!
November I’ll be focussing on sorting the allotment paths and tidying the compost area. I’m also planning on moving my fruit trees and creating a small seating area! Always lots to do!
I hope you all have a great November!
September was a much colder/wetter month than I had hoped for which meant some things didn’t do as well as we would have liked but most things thankfully were fine, phew!
I picked my first Aubergines EVER! They’ve done so well this year with the lovely hot summer.
The tomatoes have been fabulous! Harvesting so many all month! Lots of soups, sauces, chutneys and salads with those.
I’ve also lifted all my second early potatoes now with just my main crops still in the ground. Late sowings of beetroot have replaced those which means we now have a continuous supply of beetroot for the colder months
A new potato variety for me this year is Pink Fir Apple which I have to say is a lovely waxy type with a buttery/nutty taste, super delicious!
I’ve been picking lots of carrots this month and they really are fantastic! The early soil prep in my raised beds using RocketGro Soil Improver and a top dressing of Fruit & Veg compost have really done the trick. I also added a generous amount of home made compost into the beds early in the year.
All the onions were lifted this month. I really should have lifted them sooner and when the weather was hot and dry. I waited a little too long and with the cold, wet weather a lot of the tops had started to go a bit mushy, not nice! Once lifted I left them to fry for a week in the greenhouse before bringing home to dry further in crates. Overall they have been great, all grown from seed too!
Apples & Pears are ready this month and they are unbelievably tiny! Lots of them but just so small, however what they lack in size they have made up for in sweetness. I’m thinking I might move my fruit trees this winter to a more open position with a bit more space for them.
Pumpkins and Winter Squash have been lifted early due to the weather. They will ripen further and cure at home nicely. Currently decorating my dining room with their lovely autumnal colours. I like to keep them somewhere warm to cure properly then they can move somewhere cooler if you wish. I will most probably keep mine in the dining room until needed.
A late sowing of French Beans has meant I’ve had lovely pickings from late September and through into October which has been great. My earlier sowing are all now finished but these should keep us going until the first frosts hopefully.
October I’ll be starting to tidy the plot beds, clearing some areas but leaving a lot for ladybirds and other critters to hide in over winter.
I will be planting my garlic mid-month and clearing out the greenhouses once the tomatoes have finished (they’re not done yet). There’s also spring bulbs to be planted in the garden and lots of mulching to do ready for the colder months.
Best get to it! Have a great October everyone!
August has been a super busy month for me! The hot, dry weather has created a greater workload both at work in the garden nursery and in my own garden and allotment. There’s been lots of watering, mulching, harvesting and tidying to do. Thankfully in North Yorkshire we have had spells of rain which have helped prevent any drought disasters (hurrah) and lots of mulching when planting out has meant the ground hasn’t dried out as quickly. I always give the ground a good layer of Magic Mulch when planting any young plants out.
August is probably the biggest month for harvests. From potatoes and tomatoes to sweetcorn and salads, there’s pretty much everything available!
My biggest success this year has been my Baby Corn, variety Snowbaby. It’s my first year growing baby corn and it’s just amazing! Around 5cobs per plant and they are double the size of shop bought! My biggest fail would be both my leeks and brassicas. Leeks have all bolted and my brassicas are skeletons thanks to those hungry caterpillars! I’m currently building a more permanent brassica cage to protect my veg next year. I do plant a few extra sacrificial brassica plants in amongst my flower border just for the caterpillars to keep them happy.
August and September are great months for potting up strawberry runners and giving yourself lots of free plants to either keep, replace older plants, or gift to friends/neighbours.
I’ve been sowing more seeds this month, perennials for next summer, Foxgloves, Gaura, Lupins, Larkspur and many more. Plus Spring cabbage, Kohl Rabi, Beetroot, Winter Greens and Onions.
I’ve enjoyed a few day trips out to different gardens this month too. I visited Kiplin Hall earlier in the month and then Newby Hall and Breezy Knees Garden more recently. All superb gardens and I would highly recommend a visit, especially Breezy Knees just outside York, it’s absolutely stunning!
The harvests have been amazing! The gardens have been glorious. And the weather has been sublime but for me the best part of August has to be my partner, Dean, finally getting back home after 4 months in the Falklands! We’ve been doing lots of days out, visiting family, golfing and of course we decided to change parts of the garden, again
September will bring lots more harvesting, the pumpkins and winter squash will be ready towards the end of the month and the tomatoes will be coming in plentiful supply! I’ve still to lift my onions and main crop potatoes plus there will be lots of beans, beetroot and carrots.
This month I will also be choosing my garlic varieties and will plant them at the end of the month, very exciting!
Blooming Brilliant- July with Steph
We are over halfway through the year now!
July is the month that I really start to see the rewards off the back of a lot of hard work over the colder months. Keep your eyes peeled to see how I use RocketGro’s organic peat-free gardening products to get the most out of my garden.
It’s been a big month for harvesting! I’ve had the bulk of the harvest start around the middle of the month with my beetroot, peas, mangetout, and chard.
The first pickings of my cayenne chillies also came through and lots of honeycomb and shimmer tomatoes were harvested towards the end of the month.
There has also been lots of soft fruits; raspberries in early July were followed by blackcurrants, strawberries, gooseberries, and blueberries. I’ve been making lots of jams, cakes, and crumbles.
Top tip: freeze what you don’t use, and it will be just as fresh when it is defrosted.
Everything is growing lots now, my self-sown calendula, borage, nasturtiums, and nigella are bringing lots of colour and pollinators to the plot.
The pumpkins and squash are coming on fantastically and there are lots of fruits developing. I’m keeping the pumpkins, squash, and greenhouse crops fed with RocketGro’s Natural Organic Liquid Plant Fuel.
My first early potatoes have been lifted (Ulster Prince), the second lot of earlies have been cut back but I have left them in the ground (Charlotte, Red Duke of York). The main crop I have left this month to continue growing.
I’ve planted some more:
- Kohl Rabi
- Salad leaves
For best results, I have mixed some coir with RocketGro’s Seed & Cutting Compost, which has given great results so far with germination.
Keeping on top of the garden is also key during July. There has been lots of deadheading to doo and I’ve also added some annuals and perennials to the borders for a pop of colour.
Mulch, mulch, mulch! This is key throughout July and I’m keeping on top of it with RocketGro’s Peat-Free Natural Magic Mulch.
During July I’ve added some structures to the garden that I was gifted from Harrod Horticulture. There are some rust effect obelisks and plant supports. They look fab.
I’ve also had a woodchip delivery to top up the allotment paths.
Looking to August
Only 18 days until Dean is home! (Sorry but I am very excited, it’s been over 15 weeks now that he’s been away!)
Check back next month to see what I’ve been up to in the garden over August. Discover the rest of RocketGro’s peat-free organic gardening products on their website.
Grow Organic with Steph during June
We are halfway through the year already!
Keep up to date with what is happening in my garden and how I’m using RocketGro’s organic peat-free products to maximise my harvests.
The first half of the month had very slow growth; not enough sunshine and not enough rain. It was just very grey and windy with light showers. The last couple of weeks were much better with more sunshine and some rain at the end of the month. I had a lot of hand watering before that.
The dahlias are starting to open and the roses are looking amazing. My garden is bursting with colour and gorgeous scents.
The first fruits of strawberries, pineberries and raspberries came through and they were really delicious.
New potatoes also had their first pickings. I lifted a shaw of Ulster Prince potatoes and boiled then lightly fried with butter, chives and garlic- lovely!
The chillies and peppers are looking great and producing lots of fruit so far. I’m growing them in RocketGro’s Peat Free Fruit & Veg Compost, which is amazing for moisture retention. They are planted into terracotta pots that are porous so this should keep the balance just right.
Oca planted out right at the beginning of June. This is my first time growing these tubers so I’m really looking forward to seeing how they turn out.
I also planted out my dwarf french beans and climbing beans- I have yellow, black, and green varieties.
Keeping on top of tomatoes in June is one of my main tasks- nipping off the side shoots and bottom leaves. I have an irrigation system set up this year which has been helping massively!
I’ve also moved more plants from the nursery to fill out the borders and added some more terracotta plants with lavender and alpines too.
My compost was also turned to help aerate the heap and speed up the composting process.
I have harvested my garlic, the Garcua variety was harvested first as the plants had collapsed showing they were ready. There was a lot of rust across all garlic, but it hasn’t affected the bulbs. Carcassonne Wight bulbs were small, but the Topadrome bulbs were a really good size.
I will definitely be growing again!
Around mid-June I sowed more:
- Swiss chard
- Winter cabbage
I also directly sowed peas and mangetout which were popping through although some have unfortunately been nibbled by mice since.These have all been mulched with RocketGro’s Peat-Free Magic Mulch, which has become one of my staples in my garden.
My plans for July are:
- Lots of plant care; deadheading, feeding, and watering
- Sowing perennials towards the end of the month
- Sowing more winter crops
- Sowing more salad leaves
- Planting up the pineberry runners to increase the number of plants next year
- Fingers crossed I will have a lot of harvesting to do in July as well!
Make sure you come back to the RocketGro ambassador blogs next month to check in on our progress.
Explore the rest of RocketGro’s products on their website here.
Welcome to my RocketGro blog for May, where I share my personal gardening tips and how I use RocketGro’s range of peat-free organic products to get the most out of my garden.
Find me on Instagram here and discover more of RocketGro’s Organic Peat-free gardening products here.
Without further ado, let’s dig into what’s been going on in my allotment during May.
It has been finally warm enough to remove the bubble wrap from the greenhouse and lots of fruit is starting to form. My garden is bursting with cherries and gooseberries galore!
My potatoes are also popping through both in the bags and in the ground. I have mulched these potatoes with a combination of RocketGro’s Magic Mulch and grass clippings.
I have planted tomatoes into my allotment greenhouse (I prefer to plant into beds rather than pots). Aubergines, tomatoes, and basil have also been planted into the home greenhouse.
This month I have potted up my basil cuttings and have taken more cuttings of my rosemary and apple mint plants.
I have potted up my peppers and chillies but have decided to keep these in the greenhouse for now. Sweetcorn to grow before planting out
My tomatoes have been planted out into hanging baskets and I have also planted out brassicas. This year I am trying sheep’s wool around each plant as a slug deterrent so make sure to check in later in the year for my verdict.
- Onions; 136 plants, 12 multi-sown clumps
Fingers crossed that they are growing vertically.
During May I sowed beans and more peas.
I also bought some new shrubs for the front garden (Escallonia and Weigela) planted into terracotta pots using RocketGro’s Multi Purpose Compost.
Make sure to return for my June and July blogs and check out the rest of RocketGro’s organic peat-free products here.
Welcome to my RocketGro blog for April, follow along for my personal gardening tips, which will be updated every month throughout 2022.
Find me on Instagram here and discover more of RocketGro’s Organic Peat-free gardening products here.
In April we had snow! So this month my priority was to keep my plants nice and cosy. I had moved them to the greenhouse, so I used lots of bubble wrap and fleece as well as a heated propagator.
All my overwintered veg was harvested during April:
- Brassica tops
- Purple sprouting broccoli
With this I treated myself to making an allotment veggie soup, which was delicious.
Here is when I planted everything throughout April:
Early in April:
- salad leaves
- more beetroot
Lots of vegetables needed to be re-potted this month. This allows them more space to grow during the growing season with the added benefit of more nutrients in the larger pots.
- spring sown onions
Preparations for later in the year
I mulched my autumn planted garlic using RocketGro’s Magic Mulch.
Prepped my greenhouse beds
Applied RocketGro’s Natural Lawn Feed as it feeds my lawn for over 3 months. Each 50 litre bag covers 10m2.
I also created a salad bar, which is the perfect creation for people who enjoy fresh salad leaves multiple times a week. Once the leaves grow to between 3 and 6 inches, they need to be harvested. Water the plants you have picked from, and they will regrow in a few days’ time, ready to be eaten again.
Organic Growing insights from Steph in March
The beginning of March saw the first few tomatoes appearing and the peppers, chillis and aubergine having their first potting on, or transplanting to bigger pots.
There were lots of fresh pickings from the plot;
- Purple Sprouting Broccoli (PSB)
- Along with bolted brassicas and bolted kale later in the month
Rosemary cuttings taken at the beginning of the month to increase my plants yield.
Plot planning, weeding and tidying (see image below).
Autumn sown garlic is currently looking great.
Tender plants were moved to the greenhouse during warm days but back indoors overnight to protect them.
Time to sow;
- Salad leaves and herbs (see below image)
- Spring onions
- Cucumbers were sown end of month
Autumn sown peas planted out into bigger pots mid-month.
Mulching of the fruit bed with RocketGro Peat-Free Ericaceous Compost to support the following;
Lettuce pricked out and potted on.