What to do in December

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As we enter the dark, cold days of winter, you can still keep up your supply of fresh, highly nutritious food by moving some of your growing inside. With just two or three large jam jars for sprouts and four or five seed trays for leaves you can even be self sufficient in salad. The salad [...]

Six ways to grow more tomatoes in containers

Piccolo Cherry Var

Tomatoes are the perfect crop for small spaces: rewarding, productive and delicious. Few people know more about growing tomatoes in containers than Nick Chenhall, tomato enthusiast and the man behind the excellent  Tomato Growing website. In the video below, Nick shares his six top tips to get a big crop of tasty tomatoes. Watch the video [...]

Eight of the best herbs for containers

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Herbs are wonderful for containers. Few crops give you so much from so little space. Often just a few leaves can transform a dish. Many also have flowers that attract beneficial insects - bees love chive flowers for example and hoverflies love coriander flowers.If you like herbs and have space for a pot to two, [...]

What you can grow in shady spaces

Chives, mint and parsley - growing quite happily on a north facing windowsill, further shaded by the side wall.

Lack of sun is one of the most common challenges you can face growing in a city. Surrounding buildings, walls, pylons and trees, can all conspire to cast shade on your growing space for much (or even all) of the day. The amount of sun you get is critical – it determines what crops you [...]

Four ways city growers can help save our rich seed diversity

A beautiful heritage variety of bean, 'black and white'. French beans, like tomatoes, are another easy crop to save seeds from in small spaces.

In the last 100 years, 80% of the crop varieties in Europe - 75% in the World - have been lost. This is huge: we need a rich diversity of crop varieties for our future. Not just for the wonderful stories and diversity of flavours that each variety brings, but also for the genetic variety. [...]

What to do in January

Salad harvested from my containers in January.

As the days start to lengthen, January is all about anticipation and planning for the new season. It's too early to sow seeds outside (even in the unseasonably warm weather this year here in the UK), but you can continue experimenting with sprouts and micro greens on your indoor window sills - see December. You [...]

Why its great when things don’t work out

With regular patrols it usually not difficult to keep on top of slugs in the container garden, but if you forget.....

Do you sometimes look at all those images of lush containers on Pinterest and Facebook and wonder why your own containers are, um, not quite so perfect? Of course, unlike on Pinterest, in the real world, lettuces DO (almost always) get eaten by slugs, seeds DO often fail to germinate, and tomatoes DO regularly get [...]