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20% Off Gardening Voucher Code – Homebase

Posted By On April 23, 2011

Looking to buy for the garden at Homebase then don’t forget to use our special 20% off voucher code. This voucher code entitles you to 20% off all gardening purchases at Homebase. Voucher expires on 23/04/2011.

5% Off Voucher Code – Gardens And Homes Direct 2011

Posted By On April 23, 2011

If you’re Looking to buy at GardensAndHomesDirect.co.uk then don’t forget to use our 5% off voucher code. Remember this code provides 5% off all purchases at GardensAndHomesDirect.co.uk. Voucher code is valid till 31/12/11.

10% Off Everything Voucher Code – Rowlan Direct

Posted By On April 23, 2011

With spring upon us early it’s a great time to get into the garden and if you’re looking to buy at Rowlan Direct then don’t forget to use our special coupon code. This voucher code entitles you to 10% off all orders at Rolawn Direct. Voucher expires on 26/04/2011.

5% Off Voucher Code – GardensAndHomesDirect.co.uk

Posted By On November 4, 2010

Looking to buy at GardensAndHomesDirect.co.uk then take advantage of our special 5% off voucher code. Remember this code provides 5% off all purchases at Gardens and Homes Direct. Voucher code is valid till 31/12/10.

5% Off Voucher Code – GardenCentre.co.uk

Posted By On November 4, 2010

Looking to save at the GardenCenter.co.uk then don’t forget to use our special coupon code. Save 5% on any and all purchases at the Garden Center. Voucher expires on 31/12/2010.

10% Off Voucher Code – Rowlan Direct

Posted By On September 13, 2010

Looking to buy at Rowlan Direct then don’t forget to use our special coupon code. Save on turf, topsoil, bark and lawn care products with 10% off all orders at Rolawn Direct. Voucher expires on 20/09/2010.

Vegetable Container Gardening

Posted By On December 1, 2008

Growing your own fresh, organic vegetables is so easy to do and freshly harvested vegetables taste fabulous. Anyone can grow them and there is no need to have a large garden. Even if you only have a window box you can grow cut and come again salad leaves, radishes, salad onions and if you have room for a hanging basket then tumbling tomatoes to go with your salad!

If you are growing vegetables on your patio then any container or pot will do as long as it is at least 25cms or 10 inches in diameter and approximately 12 inches deep. Plastic pots are better than terracotta as the compost doesn’t dry out as fast but all pots and containers must have drainage holes.

There is no need to buy new pots – recycle where you can – potatoes can be grown in buckets, simply plant one seed potato per bucket. You will tip out a great harvest of lovely, clean potatoes!

Fill your containers with a good sterile compost which can be mixed with top soil to aid water retention but not garden soil as this can contain diseases. Putting a good layer of well rotted manure in the bottom of the containers not only acts as an organic fertilizer but also helps with water retention. If you have really deep containers you can place a thick layer of polystyrene in the bottom first. This will mean that you don’t use as much compost filling the containers up. Put copper tape around the top of the pots to stop slugs and snails which gives them an electric shock or use bird friendly slug pellets.

Remember that container grown vegetables will need watering properly and once every two weeks feed with a good organic general purpose fertilizer. Try to give them a sunny spot with a south or south west facing position.

The list of vegetables that you can successfully grow in containers is endless. I said earlier tomatoes can be grown in hanging baskets, one plant per basket, try Tumbling Tom or Balconi Yellow. Grow standard tomato plants in pots or grow bags – Bloody Butcher is an excellent tasting, heirloom tomato. One plant per pot or two plants in a grow bag with a cane stick for support.

Dwarf runner beans Hestia, dwarf french beans Purple Teepee and Kenyan Safari are great in pots and need no support. You could grow a climbing french bean, Blue Lake is good and use either cane sticks or an obelisk to support the plants. The more you pick the beans, the more they grow!

Courgettes and squashes can be grown and left to scramble across the patio or try Tromboncino courgettes and Festival squash which will both climb. These would look stunning growing up an obelisk. Defender is a good courgette variety that never fails to deliver tasty courgettes.

There are carrot varieties especially bred for growing in containers. Parmex is a round carrot and Little Finger is a small baby carrot. Give Pak Choi and beetroot a try. These are both easy to grow and the beetroot leaves can be cooked like spinach. One thing that you mustn’t forget is cut and come again salad leaves and salad onions. Buy a mixed selection of salad leaf seeds so you are guaranteed a colourful and tasty side salad.

Remember to water and feed the vegetables, enjoy growing them but most of all enjoy eating your own grown, organic vegetables!!

Unusual Tomatoes

Posted By On December 1, 2008

There are so many tomato varieties available for the home gardener to grow but many of the more unusual varieties are becoming harder to find. The more unusual varieties are often different to the average tomatoes available in supermarkets and for sale by many of the major seed companies. You can grow yellow, purple, green, white and even black tomatoes with no extra effort.

These unusual varieties are often called “Ugly Tomatoes” but they really are not, they are how tomatoes used to be before people began breeding tomatoes to create the “perfect” tomato that everyone grows and loves.

The look and flavour of many of these tomatoes is fantastic. One excellent variety is a black tomato called Black Cherry which is very unusual and another fabulous tasting variety with a great name is called Bloody Butcher which produces an excellent crop of good sized tomatoes.

Many of the more unusual tomato varieties taste so much better than the average varieties that people like to grow. I am sure that once you have grown these unusual tomato varieties that you will never go back to the regular commercial varieties again.

Unusual varieties generally are heirloom varieties meaning that they are old open pollinating varieties. Many of these heirloom varieties are becoming very rare, in-fact some of the best varieties are no longer available as the seeds are so scarce.

Unusual tomato varieties are always fascinating to grow and you really should try to grow a few of these varieties every year.

Top 10 Tomato Varieties

Posted By On December 1, 2008

If you don’t know your tomatoes then its time to learn. Check out some of our favourites from the list below.

  • First In The Field is a heirloom variety from the early 20th century. It is a determinate (bush) tomato variety and is extremely good for growing outdoors, with a vigorous habit, producing a good harvest of very well flavoured red fruits.
  • Bloody Butcher is another heirloom variety and although best grown under glass will grow outdoors in warm areas. Bloody Butcher is a very early and very productive indeterminate (cordon) variety producing excellent flavoured fruits.
  • Pink Brandywine dates from the 1880’s. It is a indeterminate (cordon), potato leaf variety which can be grown outdoors. It produces late season pink beefsteak type tomatoes with slightly green shoulders. These can easily grow to over one pound in weight, meaty, with a superb rich flavour and are excellent thickly sliced and fried.
  • Inca F1 is a determinate (bush) plum variety. It grows outdoors and produces a heavy crop of firm, meaty, plum tomatoes with an excellent flavour. A good variety for roasting and making sauces with.
  • Ferline F1 This is an indeterminate (cordon) variety that is a recent introduction. It is tomato blight resistant and also resistant to both fusarium wilt and verticillium wilt. Ferline can be grown outdoors and produces heavy crops of fabulous, tasty tomatoes right up to the first frosts.
  • Costoluto Fiorentino An open pollinated Italian tomato variety producing a large crop of huge, ribbed, delicious tasting tomatoes that can be used in cooking and sliced fresh. Awarded the RHS Award Of Garden Merit (AGM).
  • Black Cherry is the only truly black tomato available. The flavour of these tomatoes is quite complex, sweet yet rich and they certainly add a bit of colour to your meals.
  • Tiny Tim is a small bush variety that is ideal for planning in containers, window boxes or in hanging baskets. The small cherry tomatoes are bright red, almost seedless and taste great!
  • Golden Sunrise is a golden yellow variety which is well known for it distinct taste. It is the greatest yellow tomato ever!!
  • Green Zebra is yet another fantastic tomato to grow, they are sweet yet with a sweet sing taste. These plants can become quite large but they will be filled with golf ball sized tomatoes perfect for summer salads.

Tomato Soup Recipe

Posted By On December 1, 2008

This recipe makes a tasty tomato soup that the whole family will love and enjoy. Even non vegetable eaters love it, try it out because you might be surprised at just how good this one tastes.

Ingredients

  • 700 g (one and a half pound) fresh, ripe tomatoes
  • 275 ml (10 fl oz) stock
  • One and a half tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium potato diced small
  • 1 medium onion diced small
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and black pepper

How To Make It

  • Saute the potato and onion gently in the olive oil for about 12 minutes until softened but not brown.
  • Quarter the tomatoes leaving the skins on and add them to the pan along with the garlic and the basil.
  • Add the stock and season with salt and black pepper.
  • Cover the pan and simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Next pass the soup through a sieve to remove the skins and seeds. This can take a while but is worth it.
  • Check the seasoning, reheat and serve with crusty bread.