Maximising yields

  • How to re-use old compost – ten useful ingredients 17 comments

    Traditional gardening books often tell you to replace the compost or soil in your pots each year. But if you have more than just a few pots, emptying and refilling all your pots will be a time consuming, messy, difficult job. It will also be expensive. And it just seems a waste to throw it away. So a question [...]

  • How much food can you grow in pots? 8 comments

    To show that it's possible to grow lots of food - even if you don't have a garden - I've been measuring the weight and value of the food grown in containers in our small concrete back yard in Newcastle, UK, from 1 May to 31 October this year. This continues the experiments I did [...]

  • How to create a living soil – and dramatically increase the productivity of your growing 20 comments

        If you want to grow food successfully in containers, nurturing soil life can make a huge difference. Worm compost, for example, is full of microbes and life. Add it to your containers and you will get more vigorous growth, and far fewer pest and disease problems. Discovering this, was the biggest turning point in [...]

  • Maximising Space 3: Fast Growing Crops 14 comments

    Fast growing crops are invaluable in lots of ways. If you're growing for the first time a quick success is rewarding and boosts confidence. If you only have a short time window to grow in -  you might be a student in temporary accommodation, growing in a school, or going away on holiday - you [...]

  • Graph of month by month harvests 0 comments

    If you're growing food in a small space, you may be wondering how much you can harvest at different times of year. Below I've drawn a graph showing the weight of the harvest for each month, from my London balcony and window sills. It starts in May 2010 (when I started weighing)  and ends in November [...]

  • The plan of what I grew on my London balcony 1 comment

    A few readers have requested a plan of my balcony and window sills - so here it is! Click on the link below and it should open a word document with a plan drawing of the balcony and what is growing. Balcony Plan 2011