No Comments on EASY ORGANIC SHALLOTS

Hello, am interested in the easiest possible planting for this time of year. My neighbour advises shallots, and my wife is excited as she likes to cook with them. Is it too late, and do you have any advice? Gareth, Plymouth, UK I should say not, Gareth, in fact you might even be a bit early. But maybe this weekend… Read more »


      No Comments on CLEMATIS FOR THE SPRING

Is it too late for Clematis? Well, dear readers, I believe we are at what some would call the “do or die” stage. Planting in Zones 6 and 7 (dare I add 8?)  can, and should, commence without haste! If you have clematis waiting around, they may not fare well in pots over the winter. Remember to dig both deep,… Read more »

Get-Well Zinnias

      No Comments on Get-Well Zinnias

My poor little daughter has been home sick from school, recovering from a nasty case of the flu. Don’t you love it when people you know, when hearing of a person suffering from such an illness, instantly say, “yes, there is something going around, isn’t there?” Well if that was ever true, it certainly wasn’t on this occasion. My unfortunate… Read more »

Gardeners Calendar – October 2011

      No Comments on Gardeners Calendar – October 2011

October 12, South Carolina, USA Lecture: Grandmother’s Garden The program, “Grandmother’s Garden,” will be conducted by Mack Fleming, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Christ St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 4981 Chapel Road, Hollywood, SC http://tinyurl.com/679nppo October 12, Georgia, USA Planting Fruit Trees 101 Join Robbie Astrove (of the Concrete Jungle) and learn about the basics of fruit trees in the Southern US…. Read more »

More letters to the Organic Postbag

      No Comments on More letters to the Organic Postbag

Of Cabbages and Corn Husks – We Dip Into the Mail Bag Question for your blog: It looks as if I have been infested with cabbage rootfly maggots. The only good thing is that this is contained to three large planters. Can I use that soil again for next year, or should I bin it? Timothy, Devon, UK Yes and… Read more »

Green Manure

      No Comments on Green Manure

September is the month to sow green manures. Novice gardeners might think they need to head down to a local farm and kindly ask the farmer if he has fed the cows lately, but this is not exactly what green manures are. Green manures are cover crops that become part of the soil– plants grown off-season and tilled in to… Read more »

Potato – The Problem Child

      No Comments on Potato – The Problem Child

We take for granted the simple potato, and if you have been buying them from the local market or grocery store for your entire life, you might think they arrive in bushels from a magic place (Denmark? Ireland?) and never start off as chunks of seed potatoes with potential to rot. In fact, rot and bugs and under the ground… Read more »

Harvesting Your Potatoes

      No Comments on Harvesting Your Potatoes

It is time to retrieve those potatoes you planted so long ago! For those of you that didn’t take some “new potatoes” from the ground months ago, it is the peak time, or depending where you live, the last weeks, to dig up your potato bounty. The calendar might say one thing, but check the vines – their yellowing demise… Read more »

Latest News! Early Bird Discount Available – Harrogate Flower Show

16-18 September, Harrogate, UK Harrogate Flower Show Giant vegetables and Master Gardeners will be competing, and the North of England Horticultural Society  will be celebrating their 100th anniversary at this year’s show. Discounts available for tickets bought before the weekend. www.flowershow.org.uk/   Tickets on the day: Adults £14 Friday and Saturday £13 on Sunday Children under 16 go free On… Read more »



As some of you know, my family and I recently moved into a new home, and one of the selling points of the new house is the abundance of fireplaces. There is a lovely large fireplace in our main living space, and a charmingly squat wood-burning stove in the back addition, where my husband and I share a desk, and… Read more »