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Her Outdoors: Wasabi and chips, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Wasabi and chips

Even though they take up a lot of space on the allotment, I wouldn’t stop growing potatoes each year for two reasons – first, because the taste is so much better than shop-bought, and second, because they are prolific. Potatoes do need a lot of compost for earthing up, but this just takes some planning [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 24 March 2015 at 8:45 pm

Her Outdoors: Sowing outdoors, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Sowing outdoors

Yes, spring is stalling and all that warmth we had earlier this month has been replaced by chilly air. But nevertheless, when I put my soil thermometer into my beds this week it read 9.5 C – warm enough to start sowing seeds direct. Woohoo!
I spent four hours at Plot 35a on Monday, and it [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 17 March 2015 at 10:35 pm

Her Outdoors: Planting onions and sowing tender veg, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Planting onions and sowing tender veg

Temperatures were as high as 17C last Saturday, and – even though I was at work writing about the election TV debates – I thought of how the spring sunshine would be warming the soil on Plot 35a. When I got down there yesterday, there were signs that the warmth has, like a thermostat, clicked [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 10 March 2015 at 11:13 pm

Her Outdoors: Winter into spring, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Winter into spring

My daughter reckons March is called as such because “you spend the whole month marching” and when it comes to the allotment I think she’s right: after the steady pace of winter, suddenly spring is upon us and it gets really busy. Once soil temperatures rise to the magic 7 degrees C you can sow [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Wednesday, 4 March 2015 at 7:28 pm

Her Outdoors: Do you have Britain’s best allotment?, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Do you have Britain’s best allotment?

Why do people have allotments? Is it the joy of growing food? The escape from the daily grind? The urge to create something beautiful out of nature? Or – and in my experience this is usually in most cases – all three? And what about the competitive streak of many plot-holders? My competitive urges come [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 28 February 2015 at 8:50 pm

Her Outdoors: Herb Outdoors special: Making a mint, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Herb Outdoors special: Making a mint

When I bought my first flat in London in 2004, I fell in love with the garden more than the actual property. It was a one-bed flat in Stockwell and was pretty small – smaller, in fact, than the garden. There was gravel and raised beds shaped into a maze created by the previous owners, [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 10 February 2015 at 9:32 am

Her Outdoors: Are brassicas just a waste of space?, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Are brassicas just a waste of space?

My Dad, a veteran of 30 years allotmenteering and who tends three plots in Liverpool, came to 35a the other day for a critical midwinter assessment. We stared at the patch where purple sprouting broccoli is supposed to be cropping in the next few weeks, and where there are a couple of very small cauliflower [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Wednesday, 4 February 2015 at 9:10 pm

Her Outdoors: You say potato, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: You say potato

As we’re having a proper winter this year (it actually snowed a little in London this morning – though it didn’t stick), the indoor gardening campaign continues – and the list of things to do in January is long. And as it’s February tomorrow, on my allotment there will soon be crocuses and, hopefully, some [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 31 January 2015 at 7:54 pm

Her Outdoors: Winter health check, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Winter health check

It’s been snowing in many parts of the UK this weekend… just not in London. Nearly two years without a single snowflake in the capital. My daughter, now four and a half, cannot remember what snow looks like. While I really want her to build a snowman, the upside of the snow-no-show is that I [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 17 January 2015 at 8:37 pm

Her Outdoors: Time to sow sweet peas, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Time to sow sweet peas

For the first time in several years, I didn’t sow my sweet peas in November. Normally I would sow them indoors or outside in a cold frame to give them the winter to bulk up. In autumn 2012, in fact, I sowed them in pots outside in late October and they grew enough to be [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Thursday, 15 January 2015 at 10:23 pm

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