This is the time of year when I add manure or compost and seaweed to my garden to feed the soil and protect it over the Winter. Over the years I have built up a very fertile soil in this way and rarely, if ever, add any extra feed. I don’t use any chemical fertilizers because I don’t need to but also because they are damaging to the good soil I have built up and are a short term solution to my garden’s nutrient needs. Continue reading
I thought I’d quickly try to explain the difference between open pollinated and F1 seeds this week as I was asked about it twice over the last few days. There seems to be some confusion between F1 and genetically modified seeds as well the difference between open pollinated and heirloom varieties. Anyway, I don’t purport to be an expert in these matters but hopefully this piece will shed some light on the subject, I hope you find it helpful. Continue reading
Towards the end of summer and into autumn activity in the vegetable garden slows down as crops are fully grown and their fruit begins to ripen. Winter brassicas are bedded in till spring and the work demands ease off. Apart from tidying the greenhouse and beds, sowing garlic and planting early broad beans there is very little to keep the enthusiastic gardener occupied until the seed catalogues arrive in January.
Many gardeners now move indoors and extend the salad growing season by cultivating microgreens. Microgreens are tender, young green vegetables harvested at the first or second leaf stage and used as a culinary ingredient. They are extremely easy to grow and are becoming increasingly popular. Continue reading
If you have your own apple trees of any reasonable size you will know that despite your best intentions the only journey many of the apples make is when they fall to the ground. And stay there. You may also have noticed there are plenty of unattended trees around the place where all the apples go to waste. So, what to do about this? Make your own juice!
If you are feeling a bit daring you might want to try making your own cider but be warned:
“Most of the people I know who press apples use them to make cider. It seldom works. Cider making is a fine art, which may involve a dead rat (the nitrogen it contains assists fermentation), plenty of swearing, a fair bit of magic and even more luck. Mostly it involves turning several hundred gallons of delicious juice into homemade Toilet Duck. My advice is to stick to the juice”. George Monboit, The Guardian. Continue reading
This week I’m giving you a look at what goes on behind the scenes at the ground breaking Quickcrop Design Bureau. For the last number of weeks we have been working on models of some of our new timber raised pond designs. Yes, I know all this stuff can be worked out on the computer but we like the process of making a cardboard model to get a proper three dimensional feel for what we’re working on. Continue reading
If you are considering building a garden pond you may want to calculate the volume of water for water treatment or if you intend to introduce fish. Water treatments to clear algae and other issues are added as a percentage to the pond water so knowing the volume is vital to work out the correct dose. A garden pond will also only support a certain amount of fish so knowing how many gallons of water it contains is important. We include a basic pond volume calculator to easily view the volume our best selling ponds and to estimate how many fish they will hold. Continue reading
OK, so while we are going to show you how to build a pond it might not be something quite as elaborate as the one above. Our expertise is providing manageable pond sizes which can be put together quickly and are easy to maintain. We specialise in timber raised ponds made using very strong interlocking timber boards; our wooden ponds are easy to build without using fixings making a finished pond an afternoon project from start to finish. We supply pond liners and pond pumps as well as water features and garden design ideas to help you build a beautiful and practical addition to your garden.
Well, it’s August again in the Quickcrop garden (and elsewhere I suspect) so I thought we’d take our customary stroll around to see what’s growing and hopefully offer some advice on some of my fruit and vegetable crops. It is a wonderful time of year with so much ready to harvest and either eat fresh or process for storage. My latest passion is pickling beetroot with the addition of cloves and bay leaves for extra flavour, I’ll cover this briefly below as well as looking at pruning raspberries, harvesting onions and a few other bits and pieces. Continue reading
I spent a good bit of time in the vegetable garden this weekend as the skies were blue for a change which made working outdoors a pleasure. I was also able to have a good snoop about without getting drenched so I took the camera with me so I could show you one or two of the crops I’m growing, I hope you find the information helpful.
My gooseberries were getting nice and ripe so I decided to pick the lot before the birds got them. I was denied nearly all my crop of redcurrants this year due to an avian blitz which took me completely by surprise. I don’t usually mind loosing a few currants to the birds but this year the word obviously got out, I am now seriously considering a walk in netted garden. Continue reading
What is a compost heap?
A compost heap is a mound of decaying organic matter used by gardeners to re-cycle garden waste into a free organic soil improver and plant feed. A compost heap may be a simple pile in the open but may also be enclosed in a brick or wooden structure to keep the heap tidy and to help conserve heat which helps in the composting process.
Smaller plastic static or rotating compost bins can be used urban gardens where insufficient waste is produced to fill a large compost bin.