Many of our most loved British wild flowers are under threat due to modern farming practises (pesticides, fertiliser, hedgerow removal), housing development, poor management of our countryside and the explosion in decking, driveways and brick paving. So, should we care less?
You have no-doubt heard of the benefits of using earth worms to help break down green waste and convert it to superb compost. Worms are great allies for the gardener - in fact, if all worms on the planet died (as with bees), life as we know it would cease.
For those of us unlucky enough to suffer from broken sleep, we will think nothing of popping down to the local chemist for a chemical remedy. Well, there is a great natural remedy that any of us can try and produce for free.
You can never have too much compost. Organic materials mixed into your soil will improve structure, balance drainage and increase nutrients. Bacteria and other friendly soil dwelling creatures such as earth worms will also benefit from compost as a mulch (left on the surface), or partially dug-in.
Since ancient times, they have been used for medicinal application. They are antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-asthmatic, can lower blood pressure/cholesterol and are rich in vitamin C and A.
There are many plants that are very good at coping with extremes in weather, Sempervivums, also known as Houseleeks or Liveforever are such plants
In order to win the battle of the pest, we need to become a regular 'Bill Oddie'. Build a bug a home.
We all love to hate the myriad of wild weeds that grow on our allotment plots and in our gardens, stealing valuable nutrients and crowding and smothering our prize vegetables. But did you know that many of these little invaders can in fact be used to line our precious stomachs?
Many years ago, when I was considering getting my first allotment, my employer at the time said to me "There is no point in getting an allotment. You have to put so many hours in; if you were to work overtime and earn the money, you would have all of the food you'd ever need and live like a king!"
Just because I messed up this season, doesn't mean you have to make a mess of harvesting potatoes later this year!
Growing large, sweet melons in the UK without the use of a greenhouse. A quick and cheap way of growing Honeydew melons in your own garden this summer.
The following allotment and gardening tips are in no particular order. They cover little things that I have discovered along the way that help save time, money, effort and heart-break on my allotment.