Autumn Bliss and Malling Promise Raspberries

I’ve never grown raspberries and after a visit to Poland in August of last year, and seeing all of the lovely fruits that had grown, I made a mental note to grow some in the year ahead.

As you’ll see, allotments are a serious business in Poland and it’s one of my favourite places to get inspiration from.

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Growing mint indoors infographic

A few days ago I published an infographic from Sainsbury’s Money Matters about how to grow strawberries at home. This infographic is all about to grow in your own home. Mint has to be one of my favourite herbs of all time. When grown indoors, mint will last all year round and can be used for so many things. This video for example, shows you how to make your own mint tea.

Mint can be used to spruce up potatoes, peas and I’ve even seen it being used in jelly! Sainsbury’s Money Matters has this helpful info-graphic with advice on how to grow mint in a flat or apartment – they’ve also sent me a kit to use in my flat to help me get going!

I hope you find this as useful as I have!

Sowing Brussels Sprouts Brenden F1

Love them or hate them, Brussels sprouts are certainly an acquired taste, but like most fruit and vegetables nothing beats a crop that’s been grown by your own fair hand.

I’ve decided to give brussels sprouts a go this year and I’ve chosen a fairly new variety to the market – Brussels sprouts Brenden F1 Brenden F1 .

Brussels sprouts Brenden F1 Brenden F1, is a sprout aimed specifically at the Christmas market for growers who supply the supermarkets.

Brussels sprouts Brenden F1 Brenden F1 are said to grow well in a variety of soil types and produce an excellent number of sprouts later on in the season. Brenden sprouts, when cooked well, are meant to have a very delicate and distinct taste.

They’re also disease resistance, making them ideal for the allotment. Harvesting takes place from November to January, so we can enjoy that pleasant brussels sprout aroma well into the new year.


Sowing brussels sprouts seeds is dead easy and you’ll start to recognise the process from the other seeds that I’ve sown earlier.

But, for the avoidance of doubt, be sure to sow the seeds in multi-purpose compost covering the seeds with around 6mm of compost. Placed in a cold frame or a window sill, germination is expected in around 7 days.

When they get around 3 inches tall, I’ll want to move the seedlings into pots to encourage root growth.

Top 10 items for allotment recycling

Allotment recycling is easy, quick and a great thing to do if you have an allotment. Many household items are thrown out needlessly, when they can be reused over and over again.

1. OXO boxes

You’ve come back from the allotment, you’re chopping up a pepper, tomato or a pumpkin and you’d like to store the seeds somewhere. OXO or stock cube boxes are great for this – just be sure to label them so you know what they are!

Top 10 items for allotment recycling

2. Washing tablet box

These types of boxes are made to last and are watertight, useful for storing anything you want keep dry.

Top 10 items for allotment recycling

3. Ice cream container

Tea bags, sugar , powdered milk… Or maybe even a few sandwiches? Enough said.

Top 10 items for allotment recycling

3. Plastic milk bottles

Most milk bottles have measurement on the side, a good gauge if you’re particular about diluting quantities of tomato feed or other fertilisers.

Top 10 items for allotment recycling

4. Old CD’s

for keeping the birds away – old CD’s tied to a piece of string are a good deterrent for birds looking to have a nibble at some of your produce.


5. Cardboard toilet rolls

You can start your leeks indoors in a greenhouse if you so wish and these come to a great use, as once planted in the ground, these will degrade into the soil.

Top 10 items for allotment recycling

6. Glass jars

Thinking of making some preserves or pickles? You’ll need these.

Top 10 items for allotment recycling

7. Fruit punnets

All being well, you’ll be picking lots of fruit and vegetables this summer, these are great for carrying things and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll fill these up.  Fruit punnets can also be used for growing seedlings if you find that you’re short of pots or trays.

Top 10 items for allotment recycling

8. Vegetable peelings

Makes great compost and reduces landfill.

Top 10 items for allotment recycling

9. Spice jars

Be sure not to poke your eye out on any bamboo canes that you’re using at the allotment. Simply pop these on top.

Top 10 items for allotment recycling

10. Plastic bottles are THE item for allotment recycling

Always useful, you can use them as individual propagators or you can cut them in half and fill them beer to catch slugs.