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Articles about General Garden Information

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Frann Leach

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Articles by Frann Leach

Barrier Hedging

If you are growing crops, you will probably need to take measures to exclude animals, even if only the two-legged variety. Fences and walls only work against the least determined of your uninvited guests. ... Read this article

Best Vegetable Crops for Containers

In general, the fastest growing vegetable crops are best for containers, avoiding those with very long roots. Both annual and perennial herbs also do well ... Read this article

Carbon:Nitrogen ratio of common compost materials

The centre of any good organic garden is its compost heap. To make good compost, it helps if you are aware of the carbon:nitrogen balance of the materials which you are putting in it. This is a list of the most common materials added to compost heaps. ... Read this article

Companions and Antagonists in the Organic Garden

In organic gardening, you can help your plants have better lives, attract beneficial insects and repel pests by planting good companions close by. Some plants get on better with each other than others, just like people, and some make such good friends tha ... Read this article

Compost mixtures you can make at home

Although there's a huge choice of commercial compost mixtures on the market, they don't come cheap, and you may have trouble finding peat-free versions suitable for organic gardening.. However, there are many traditional compost mixtures for various purpo ... Read this article

Cooking and using Garden Produce

Having grown your beautiful organic vegetables, fruit and herbs, what do you do with them? Many of us get carried away and start growing stuff we've hardly heard of, and once we've got it, we don't know what to do with it. Fear not, here for your delight, ... Read this article

Green manures and Cover crops in the Organic Garden

The easiest way to add organic material to soil is to grow a green manure and then dig it in - no need to cart stuff to and from the compost heap! Green manures are an inexpensive, convenient source of organic matter, increasing water retention so you don ... Read this article

Herb garden ideas

Before you can even start to design your herb garden, you have to make a few decisions. ... Read this article

How Do I Start Organic Gardening?

Where do I start? If you want to get a taste of how much fun an organic garden can be, the best thing to do is just pick one crop from the annual varieties (because that way you start getting results before you get bored, hopefully). It's a good idea to c ... Read this article

How to attract Bees

Bees are an important part of the Organic garden. In their search for food, they pollinate flowers and increase yields in many fruiting crops, particularly runner beans, apples and squashes. The most attractive plants, from the bee viewpoint, are listed h ... Read this article

How to build a compost heap

Stop paying out huge wads of cash for fertilisers and manure. No organic garden is complete without at least one compost heap, and preferably two or even three. Just follow these simple rules and you can build a well-balanced compost heap ... Read this article

How to create a meadow

Gardens are places where nature is usually kept sternly under control, to the exclusion of all the natural plants that would be there if we didn't spend hours preening, mowing and pulling up anything we haven't deliberately planted. ... Read this article

How to freeze garden produce

When you grow your own vegetables there will be times when you have too much to eat right away, so you basically have three choices: give it away, put it on the compost heap, or find a means of storing it in good condition. Freezing sounds like the perfec ... Read this article

How to grow sprouting seeds

Although strictly speaking, growing seeds for sprouts is not an organic method, many organic gardeners have a taste for sprouted seeds, so I have included this table of the various ways of sprouting seeds. Please ensure the seed you are using is suitable ... Read this article

How to make loam and leafmould

While loam may be available, to be certain that it is both organic and of good quality may be a problem. As for leafmould, you will be lucky to find a source of this, organic or otherwise. But both are very easy to make for yourself, needing only a quiet ... Read this article

How to make worm compost

You can make nutritious compost for your garden from kitchen waste - including things you can't put on your compost heap. Worm compost is easy to make at home, even if you don't have a worm compost maker. Make your own worm composter. ... Read this article

How to prepare a seed bed

If you want to use an area of stony soil for a seed bed, or for growing carrots and other root crops, you will need to make careful preparations before you can use it. Although this may seem to be a lot of work, bear in mind that it's a one-off. A seed be ... Read this article

How to recognise mineral deficiencies in your crops

As everyone knows, a balanced diet is important for all of us, and that includes food crops. But how do you know if a plant is suffering from a deficiency? You can usually tell just by looking if a plant is not at its best. Just check your symptoms agains ... Read this article

How to solve problems with compost making

Building a compost heap for the first time is a learning process. If you have any problems, this page will help you find, and fix, the cause. ... Read this article

How to store garden produce

You go to all the trouble of growing your tasty, nutritious, organic vegetables. You wait eagerly for picking time, and then they all come in at once. What do you do with what you can't eat straight away? You might become temporarily very popular, but it' ... Read this article

How to store seeds

Saving your own seed is easy to do, if you follow some simple guidelines. This is the way families develop their own varieties, suited to their own local conditions, and their own taste. You can choose the plant that produces the nicest tomatoes, say, and ... Read this article

How to use organic fertilisers and manures

There are lots of organic fertilisers on the market, but many of them come with no instructions for use. So how do you know what to do with them? This table puts the when, where and how much of various organic fertilisers at your fingertips. ... Read this article

Ideas for a beautiful herb garden

When designing your herb garden, you need also to bear in mind the herbs you wish to grow. Different herbs have different requirements ... Read this article

List of Crops by Family

This chart for organic gardeners shows Crops and Herbs grouped together by Family and Group. You will find crop rotation schemes easier to plan out with this information ready to hand. ... Read this article

List of vegetable crops by difficulty

This is the links page to all the different vegetable crops, sorted into Easy, Middling and Difficult. If you find a crop listed here, but you think it's under the wrong heading, please let us know, giving your reasons. ... Read this article

Mulching - Comparison of costs and results for organic and inorganic mulches

Organic gardeners tend to go on about mulch. But if you're just starting out, these charts will help you to choose between the different types available, show the effect of inorganic mulching, and comparative costs of organic mulches. ... Read this article

N:P:K Analysis of common composting materials

Organic gardeners make use of a number of different fertilisers. This table gives a typical analysis of their Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium content, together with their speed of action. ... Read this article

Organic fertilizer facts

if you're using organic methods, you obviously need to use organic fertilizers which may be unfamiliar and difficult to find in your local garden supply store ... Read this article

Organic Fruit Cultivation Table

There's quite a selection of fruit and nut crops you can grow organically. This table brings together all the basic information about an enormous variety of organic fruit and nuts, at your fingertips. Here you will find details on cultivars, height and sp ... Read this article

Organic Gardening with Deep Beds

Deep beds as a method of growing crops have become very popular with organic gardeners because once set up, the amount of digging and heavy work you have to do each year is much reduced. The soil structure improves because you don't compact the ground by ... Read this article

Organic Vegetable Cultivation Table

Chinese Artichoke (Japanese Artichoke, Chorogi, Crosnes), HP, Labiatae, Stachys affinis, S. tuberifera, S. sieboldii, 15in. Plant tubers February to March 6" deep, 12"x18". Harvest late Autumn onwards. Ensure entire crop is harvested. Toler ... Read this article

pH preferences of food crops

Different crops flourish at different levels of acidity, though few enjoy a very acid or very alkaline soil. This table sets out preferred pH for different crops. Although the best way to find out the pH level of your soil is with a soil test kit, you can ... Read this article

Planning your Container Crops

Planning your crops is easier for container growers, because you can always add another container or two. ... Read this article

Planning your crops for the year

Here's what to do when planning your crops for the year, laid out step by step: 1. Make a list of what you grew last year (If you didn't grow anything last year, skip to the next numbered point). ... Read this article

Plants to attract beneficial creatures

You can buy predators, but encouraging natural predators into your garden for free by providing them with sources of food and natural shelter is an important part of biological control. Attractant plants draw in predators such as ladybirds, which feast on ... Read this article

Review: Food4Wealth by Jonathan White

Food4Wealth is great for people just starting to grow veg, or indeed fruit, although Jonathan White, the author, also gives information on how to convert an existing vegetable patch to the Food4Wealth system. ... Read this article

Seed facts: all about Seeds and Germination

If you save your own seed, or just keep seed that is left over from previous years to use the following year, it is useful to have information on their shelf life. This table provides this information, along with details like time and temperature for germ ... Read this article

Traditional garden treatments

There are many well-known traditional garden treatments, and others not so well-known, and although it is illegal to use any home made mixture in the garden in the UK, I'm sure you will find this page interesting as an insight to what we used to do. Of co ... Read this article

Unusual Fruit You Can Grow

Organic gardeners are often more adventurous in their choice of crop varieties. Here is a list of more unusual fruits, many of which are well known as ornamentals, and others perhaps more difficult to find. Permaculture fans may find this list of interest ... Read this article

Useful Contacts for the UK Organic Gardener

This list of addresses, for most of which a link is provided, will give the organic gardener in the UK a number of useful resources at his fingertips, including Organic Growing Associations, Conservation Societies, Environmental Organisations, and Supplie ... Read this article

Using Garden Compost

There's never enough compost to go round, so you need to use it in the places where it will be most beneficial. Some crops won't thrive without lots of compost, others will manage quite happily without, , while others again will be positively harmed by it ... Read this article

Vegetable Crops in alphabetical order by name

This is the links page to all the different vegetable crops, sorted in alphabetical order by common name. If you find a crop listed which you know by another name, which is not listed here, please let us know ... Read this article

What Family is that crop?

You can use this chart to find out what Family any fruit, vegetable or herb is in, for curiosity's sake or to help you in planning crop rotation schemes. ... Read this article

What is seed stratification?

Stratification is a process which mimics the onset of Winter, followed by the Spring thaw. It is used to break the dormancy of some seeds which use the changing temperatures as a signal to wake up before they will germinate. ... Read this article

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