Love ’em and Leave ’em Leaf Sacks – New and in stock now!

Probably the fastest sourcing of a new product ever! Less than a week after seeing these at Cologne’s Garden Trade Show – Spoga Gafa – we put an order in and here they are in stock as of today. They come from a Hampshire-based British company and are manufactured from 100% biodegradable loose-weave Jute in India. I knew we had to list them as soon as I saw them.

You simply collect up the leaves, bag them in the sack, throw the sack into the corner of the garden and wait. The leaves and then the bag itself will turn into nutritious compost for your garden. So easy! The jute weave bag itself lets the elements get to the leaves but keeps them collected allowing them to compost more quickly.

Available as a pack of 1, 3 or 6 – now is the perfect time to buy with autumn just around the corner!

I will certainly be getting a sack or 3 going in my garden this year.

Have a look and order now!


A new dish – growing your very own potatoes!

Burgon & Ball Patio Potato Planter

Burgon & Ball Patio Potato Planter

It’s that season again.  The days are getting longer and warmer and the garden beckons.  One of my favourite tasks is to begin the sowing of seeds of things to later harvest and eat.  Of these, the ritual of growing potatoes on my patio is one of the most rewarding.

I have chosen the two varieties for this years’ crop, one early, Charlotte and one main crop, King Edwards. They are currently chitting under my bed in readiness for planting.

It is traditional to plant the chitted potatoes on Good Friday. I do not always adhere to this as some years this feels a little too early, but this year may prove a traditional one.

I use containers to grow my potatoes as I only have a small garden.  Patio Potato Planters are just so convenient!

The potatoes are planted in about 8 inches of compost and covered by a further couple of inches of soil, watered and left. I keep an eye on the moisture level as potatoes need moisture to thrive. Once leaves have started to break through the compost add a further couple of inches of compost into the top of the patio planter. This is what my father would call ‘earthing up’. It encourages more and more potatoes to form. Once the top of my potato planter has been reached by earthing up it is then a matter of watering and waiting.

(Tempting though it may be, do not ‘peep’ to see how they are getting on).

The best way to tell that the potatoes are ready is when some of the leaves have started to change from a dark green to yellow. If possible begin harvesting the lowest potatoes first, take what is needed and leave the others to continue growing. Pick and enjoy. If more are harvested than required store in a cool, dark container such as a Potato basket.

Finally two warnings;
1) I always forget just how prolific six seed potatoes of each of the two varieties can be but friends and family always appreciate the excess produce.
2) Potato growing has, for me, become addictive. The ease of successfully growing them, the knowledge of how they were grown and also the education of my children that potatoes do not all come in plastic bags from supermarkets has got to be good enough reason or should that be excuse?

Have a go and good luck!  Do let us know how you get on.


And the leaves that are green… turn to brown

(with apologies to Paul and Art)

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

Well as the rather disappointing wet and wintery Summer edges into Autumn, the season may just be catching up with the weather!

Here in rural Devon the harvest is almost in and the maize is as high (as it is allegedly in Oklahoma) as an Elephants eye.  But the harvest I am looking forward to is plentiful organic, soil enriching and although not edible it is free.

In fact as is sadly often the case with what is plentiful and free it is so often ignored, neglected, wasted and unwanted by so many.  My free harvest that is simply leaves, leaves from the millions of deciduous trees which enhance our lovely island.  For with but a modican of knowledge, minimum effort and some patience nature will turn your lawn rakings, boarder clean up and path sweepings into a rather magical and special compost known as leafmould.

Turning one mans problematic waste into a truly excellent natural and organic soil enricher and conditioner arguably better, and certainly more environmentally friendly, than peat is but a small chore  and if like me you love getting down to earth in the garden then it is rather fun!

Turning your pile of leaves into leafmould is simple.  Firstly decide upon your container.  This will depend upon the quantity you have at your disposal.  A couple of large black dustbin bags with a few holes punched in them will suffice for the odd wheelbarrow load.  For larger quantities a few wooden sticks with chicken wire attached can cope with just about all you’ve got.  Proprietary leafmould makers are, of course, available on line from quality websites……..OK enough said.

I’ve written a guide to getting the best leafmould possible and was going to post it here – but Liam thought it was good enough to go on the main website so I’ll post a link to it instead :-

How to make great leafmould at home


Clive Roberts