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WWW.KITCHENGARDEN.CO.UK | AUGUST 2022 THE UK'S BEST-SELLING GROWING YOUR OWN MAGAZINE VIBRANT VEG! HOW TO IT'S A SNIP! Help your garden Summer fruit cope with a changing climate pruning in easy steps Go guilt-free with our handy watering tips Make this stylish insect home & bench with TV’s Adam Frost « OUR PICK OF THE NEW VEG VARIETIES « GROW BETTER LEEKS « TOP TASKS FOR AUGUST

EDITOR’S LETTER The season is in glorious full swing, and in this issue we have a varied selection of features for you. On page 51 you’ll find a great weekend project from TV gardening presenter Adam Frost who shows you how to make a very stylish insect home which also doubles as a garden seat, while fruit expert David Patch takes the mystery out of summer fruit pruning with his simple guide starting on page 79. You’ll find growing guides for radicchio, lemon basil, watercress and chard, all of which can be sown now for mature plants or throughout the year as nutritious salad leaves or microgreens. And on his jobs for the month pages, gardening expert Ben Vanheems is sowing carrots in containers and harvesting onions for winter storage. On a more relaxed note, if you are planning to take a summer holiday but are worried about how your veggies may fare, I have some advice that should allow you to put your feet up, safe in the knowledge that your crops will stay well-watered until you return. Steve Ott, editor Contact me at: [email protected] | 01507 529396 Find us at Contact subscriptions: 01507 529529 To pre-order your next issue of Kitchen Garden, head to Alternatively, scan the QR code on this page and order your next copy today. We will send it directly to you! Save time by not having to nip out to the shops! | 3

EXPERT ADVICE TO HELP YOU GROW GREAT FRUIT AND VEGETABLES ✪ ON THE COVER 6 32 YOU YOUR PLOT GREAT FOR BEGINNERS 22 @GrowWithKG 6 JOBS FOR THE MONTH 28 KitchenGardenUK Catch up with gardening expert Ben Vanheems as he takes you through the top KitchenGardenMag tasks for August on the plot and under cover @GrowWithKG 12 CONNECT WITH YOUR KG SUBSCRIBERS’ CLUB Subscribers can save up to 20% on a range of great products plus win a set stylish of storage tins from Gardening-Naturally worth £34.99! /kitchengardenmagazine 14 WHAT’S NEW? FOR OUR CONTACT The latest news, comment, and advice from DETAILS TURN TO PAGE 17 the world of kitchen gardening 16 YOUR LETTERS AND TIPS KG readers share their experiences and offer their top tips for better crops NEVER MISS £17.99 18 QUESTION TIME AN ISSUE... This month the KG team answers your questions on sweetcorn, cucumbers, seed sowing and ponds 22 PLOTTER OF THE MONTH In the spotlight this month is the pristine plot of KG reader Robert Pitt from Stafford ON PAGE 20 102 LAST WORD HAVING TROUBLE FINDING We chat to writer, broadcaster, RHS show A COPY OF THIS MAGAZINE? judge and KG regular, Martin Fish Just ask your local newsagent to reserve you a copy each month 106 NEXT MONTH A taste of the great features and gifts you will find in your September issue 4 |

AUGUST 2022 Scan this, and we’ll tell you! 83 GET GROWING 10 ON THE PLOT WITH THE 40 KG chef Anna Cairns- THREE MUDKETEERS Pettigrew brings you Find out what KG’s editorial team are doing delicious ideas for on their plots in August tomatoes, beans, blueberries, and chillies 28 COLIN’S PICK OF THE BEST Pg 98 Seed expert Colin Randel reveals his pick of the best new seed varieties for this year and 87 beyond 64 TAKE THE CLIMATE CHANGE WHAT TO BUY 32 A NORTHERN OASIS CHALLENGE✪ 87 PRODUCT REVIEW – Visit the walled kitchen garden of Kiplin Hall, SPRAY GUNS an oasis of calm and tranquillity in the heart Botanist And ecologist Becky Searle reveals of North Yorkshire how gardeners can help to reduce the effects Our roundup of the best of these essential of climate change watering tools 38 BOOK REVIEWS 68 MEET THE BLOGGERS 90 MONEY-SAVING OFFERS✪ Discover our pick of the best new books to arrive in the KG office Meet John and Chris, hosts of The Bearded Save up to £28.85 on strawberry and brassica Growers Radio, a fun feast of gardening and plants, including a 40-plant cabbage collection 40 TAKE COVER✪ great music (four varieties) worth £18.80 (*T&Cs apply) There is excitement on Stephanie Hafferty’s 74 YOUR FREE SEEDS 92 GIVEAWAYS WORTH OVER new no-dig plot in Wales as the new polytunnel arrives How to get the best from your free packets of £785 ✪ watercress, radicchio and basil 44 SUMMER ON THE ALLOTMENT This month win super prizes from top suppliers (NEW SERIES) 79 TIME TO TRIM AND TRAIN ✪ ARS and Nilfisk News, views and top tips for allotment KG fruit expert David Patch brings you a 93 GIVEAWAYS ENTRY FORM holders from the national Allotment Society summer fruit pruning masterclass 94 GARDEN STORE PLUS 47 WHAT A CHARMER!✪ 83 HOLIDAY WATERING MADE SUBSCRIBER SAVERS✪ KG’s Tony Flanagan brings you his growing EASY✪ guide to colourful and tasty chard A chance for KG subscribers to save up to 20% Our guilt and worry-free guide to keeping on big-name products! 51 MAKE A STYLISH your crops watered while you are away this summer INSECT SEAT✪ | 5 Star of BBC’s Gardeners’ World shows you how to make a doubly useful insect home 56 WHEN A MINER PROBLEM IS NOT A MINOR PROBLEM✪ Dr Anton Rosenfeld on beating the scourge of allium leaf miner on leeks 60 PLAYING IT COOL! August on the allotment with gardening expert and seed guardian Rob Smith

ESSENTIAL TASKS FOR YOUR VEG PATCH CHECK AND PROTECTED CROPS BY BEN VANHEEMS SWEETCORN PHOTO: Antonia Salter Check sweetcorn cobs for ripeness. The silks at the end of the cob should be brown. Peel back the husk and sink a fingernail into a kernel – if it exudes a milky liquid, it’s good to go. HUNT FOR WEEDS Check for weeds hiding among larger vegetables such as squash and pull out any you find. Never let weeds go to seed or you’ll be storing up trouble for future years. EARTH UP CELERY Gradually mound up soil around developing celery stems to blanch them. Start when they reach 30cm (12in) tall. Celery loves moist soil so water regularly. FEED SQUASHES Looking for champion- sized squash or outsized pumpkins? Then feed plants weekly with a liquid tomato feed to help support fruit development. August is the most abundant month of the year, with delicious produce coming thick and fast from just about every corner of the plot! Enjoy this time of plenty, your reward for all that hard work earlier in the season. Onions are ready once the foliage starts to turn yellow and flop over. Now is also the moment for second early potatoes, with varieties from floury baking potatoes to firm and waxy salad spuds such as ‘Nicola’ and ‘Charlotte’. Maincrop varieties follow next month, but if it is very wet and slugs are a problem start lifting them early to avoid too much damage. Remember to keep picking those beans! Even if you have had enough of them, picking now will ensure they carry on producing well into autumn, when the pods will perhaps be more welcome.

JOBS FOR THE MONXXTHX HARVEST AND STORE ONIONS STEP 1: You can harvest onions once STEP 2: Leave the onions on the soil STEP 3: Store your onions out of direct they reach a usable size but if you want surface for a few days to begin drying, then sunlight in a cool but frost-free place to store them, wait till the leaves begin move them under cover to continue. Spread such as a shed or garage. Raise them off to flop over and turn yellow. Reduce them out on to racks or greenhouse staging the ground in breathable sacks, suspend watering in the run up to harvest, to keep them well aired. The onions are them from the ceiling in clusters, or stopping entirely the week before. ‘cured’ once the skins are papery and the try stringing them. Bring them into the Carefully ease the onions up with a fork. leaves have completely shrivelled. kitchen as they are needed. SOW A GREEN MANURE SOW NOW Give recently vacated ground a boost by sowing a green Cabbage (spring), carrots, manure. Green manures cover the soil, protecting it from chicory, endive, kohl rabi, the eroding effects of rain, then contribute welcome lettuce, onion, oriental leaves, organic matter when dug back in. Use deep-rooted green rocket, salad leaves, spinach, manures like grazing rye to improve soil structure, while spring onion, Swiss chard, legumes such as winter field beans and clovers will fix nitrogen for future crops. Choose a quick grower like turnips, winter radish mustard to dig in later in the autumn or opt for something hardy like winter tares to turn in next spring. Cut the green PLANT NOW manure down and allow the foliage to wilt before digging it in. Leave the soil for at least a fortnight before sowing. Chicory, cauliflower, endive, kale, rocket, oriental ■ VINE WEEVILS: Look out for holes notched into the leaves by the adult leaves, sprouting broccoli, beetles. The C-shaped grubs feast on strawberries, Swiss chard roots and are often seen on container plants where they can severely stunt HARVEST growth. Water on parasitic nematodes from August to October. Aubergine, beetroot, ■ TOMATO BLIGHT: Brought on by beans (all types), broccoli, warm, wet weather, blight can decimate cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, tomatoes within days. Pick off isolated celery, chicory, chillies and infections to slow its progress then peppers, courgettes and harvest any usable fruits should the summer squash, cucumber, disease spread. Always water at the base Florence fennel, garlic, globe of plants to keep foliage dry. artichoke, kohl rabi, lettuce, ■ GLASSHOUSE WHITEFLY: These sap suckers can weaken plants and secrete onions, peas, potatoes, a sticky ‘honeydew’ that can lead to radish, salad leaves, shallots, sooty moulds. Check regularly and treat early attacks with an organic spray. Or spinach, spring onion, introduce parasitic wasps, available from strawberries, sweetcorn, online suppliers. Swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips | 7

TEND TO TOMATOES GROW A POT OF CARROTS Tomatoes are well and truly in their stride and a little TLC at this stage should see plants Reuse old compost to grow a pot continue to thrive and the fruits successfully of carrots to enjoy this winter. ripen. Compost left from growing an earlier harvest of container spuds Start by cutting off the lowest leaves. This would be ideal. Pick out any helps improve airflow around the plants, remnants of the previous crop then leaving fewer opportunities for disease. fork over the compost to loosen Continue to pinch off the sideshoots from it up. Fill a container with the vining tomatoes and, once five trusses have compost then top up with a little formed, pinch out the very top of the plants. fresh compost to sow into. Thinly Limiting growth like this forces plants to scatter seeds of a cold-tolerant concentrate all their energy on swelling and carrot such as ‘Eskimo’ over the ripening the fruits that have already set. surface then lightly cover with Allowing more trusses to form is a risk this late more compost before watering. in the summer and will only slow things down. Keep the compost moist and thin seedlings to 5cm (2in) apart. If Pay attention to watering. Don’t allow plants space is tight, keep the carrots to completely dry out or the fruits may swell outside but move them under suddenly on watering, causing them to split. cover when it turns cooler. Irregular watering can also trigger blossom end rot, when the end of the fruit turns black then rots. Help tomatoes develop their fullest flavour by feeding plants when you water. 8 |

JOBS FOR THE MONTH SOW WINTER SALADS STEP 1: Sow hardy winter salads and STEP 2: Thin the seedlings to leave the STEP 3: Spring sowings of brassicas and oriental leaves such as mizuna for cutting strongest in each cell then grow on till the some herbs often bolt, but sow leaves such from autumn onwards. The easiest way roots fill the cell. The young plants can then as rocket, mustards and coriander now and to start them off is to sow into modules. be planted outside to follow on from earlier you can expect a long harvest. Sow into Make shallow depressions in which to crops, ideally under some sort of cloche modules, or direct sow into vacant ground, sow, drop a few seeds in, then cover with protection once it turns cold. Or plant into either outside or under cover. Remove a scuff of extra compost. containers to grow in the greenhouse. yellowing leaves to avoid attracting slugs. PHOTO: Antonia Salter ■ DETER SPIDER MITES Don’t let up on red spider mite precautions. START CHARD FOR WINTER The tiny mites struggle in humid conditions, so continue damping down if it’s hot. Tuck into more freshly picked greens this a few weeks. Plant as close as 10cm (4in) Remember to inspect yellow sticky traps winter by growing some Swiss chard under for smaller leaves and up to 30cm (12in) from time to time to monitor for other cover, in the relative warmth and away apart for bigger leaves. Harvest regularly, pests such as whitefly. Hang them among from the prying beaks of hungry pigeons. taking the outside leaves every time you cut. your plants for best effect. Sow towards the end of the month, either Growth will slow from early winter then pick direct or into small pots or modules to up again from around late February as the ■ STOP AUBERGINES plant into the final growing position within days lengthen. Stop aubergines from producing more than six fruits by cutting off any additional flowers that develop. This will encourage all the remaining fruits to reach maturity. Harvest before the fruits begin to lose their shine, which is a sign that they have gone past their best. ■ PICK CUCUMBERS Water cucumber vines whenever the soil becomes dry and feed regularly. This, along with regular picking, will help plants to continue cropping for longer. Enjoy before they grow too big and certainly before they start to turn yellow or go soft. ■ HELP PEPPERS RIPEN Nourish sweet and chilli peppers with a weekly watering of liquid tomato feed. Larger plants may need tying to stakes – use enough canes to support each stem so they don’t snap off. For the best flavour, pick peppers once they have fully coloured up; but to extend your chilli harvest, pick them while they’re still green. | 9

“A garden is “Have you always a series of viewed us losses set against on YouTube a few triumphs, yet?” like life itself.” Illustrations: Let’s Face It (May Sarton, Belgian- American poet) The KG team offer chat, tips and gardening gossip 3 Mudketeers COMPOSTING, COURGETTES AND CUTTINGS! LIVINGSTONE, I PRESUME Determined to render his green waste bins redundant this year, Steve has I’m trying a new(ish) variety of rhubarb been turning his attention to revamping this season called ‘Livingstone’. This his garden composting area. This variety, which produces lovely strong includes a wormery which thanks to red stems, has been specially bred (by a lack of TLC had started to overflow conventional means) not to go dormant in the summer with wormpost and the sump designed as normal rhubarb will do. This one continues to grow to catch the liquid waste (worm wee to into the autumn, so allowing you to have a long season some), blocked and ineffective. Now of picking from March to October. cleaned up and the lovely wormpost converted into potting compost, it’s all Due to a lack of space, I’m growing mine in a large systems go again in the wormery. 30-litre tub and have been giving it lots of water and feed. As a result it has indeed kept growing and I have Emma has been weeding between the been able to enjoy my favourite pud, rhubarb crumble courgettes and just checking to see if and custard, all summer long. The only problem is – I there is any fruit forming. There wasn’t have added a few inches around the waist. The rhubarb initially and the plants seemed to just doesn’t need potting on yet, but I might! produce some male flowers but this is quite common early in the season. Now small fruits are just starting to form, and the next stage will probably be: “What do I do with all these courgettes?” Tony has been taking cuttings of rosemary and thyme using the method Lynda Warren outlined in last month’s (July) Last Word – basically leaving the cuttings in water for a couple of weeks or so. It’s such a simple method and an easy way to propagate more plants. The root growth for both herbs has been impressive. Tony is now just potting them on into multipurpose compost and hoping they take. 10 |

Hi! I’m Belle and I’m here every month to share lots of fun activities for you to do at home, on your own or with your family EASY TOMATO It’s summer, the sun is shining and there Something red – radishes WATERING are so many new plants and lots of wildlife to discover, so let’s head outside! I have spent many summers struggling to keep the We can explore every bit of our garden, tomatoes in the greenhouse watered. Invariably allotment or local area to see what we plants would wilt and fruits would get black bases can find! known as blossom end rot. Now we have set up a long piece of porous pipe all around the growing Take this page and a pencil out with bags. We have a spring which we use as a water you, so that you can tick off what you supply but alternatively a hose can be run from a tap find as you explore. (or water butt) and connected via a water timer. Can you find the plants, wildlife, colours, ■ A bee You could time the water to turn on maybe twice sounds and textures listed below? ■ Something warm to touch a day – once early in the morning and then again in ■ A butterfly ■ A shaded area on the ground the evening. It certainly saves time but also helps ■ Something yellow ■ Clouds with steady growth and healthy fruit production. I do ■ A woodlouse ■ Something red sometimes pile up extra compost to make sure there ■ Sandals ■ An ant is a good connection between the porous pipe to ■ Fruit tree ■ Something squidgy allow water transfer (see inset picture). You could also ■ Flower use drippers in each bag rather than a porous pipe. ■ Animal footprints Look high and low, look between Turn to page 83 for more tips on watering. ■ A tree covered in leaves plants, up in the sky and under rocks! ■ Something cold to touch What will you discover? TIME FOR ■ Vegetables growing TOMS ■ Compost bin ■ Something loud When it comes to tomatoes, I mostly grow cherry types and have many favourites. ‘Sungold’, of course, and then there’s ‘Honeycomb’, I’m particularly fond of ‘Rosella’ and last year I grew ‘Dora’, a delightful little heart- shaped cherry that tasted good too. There are so many varieties to choose from these days but this year I’m trying ‘Cherry Falls F1’, courtesy of Kings Seeds. This is a compact bush type – perfect for hanging baskets or patio containers – so I’m growing a few of them. No need to take out the sideshoots with this one and now it’s starting into flower I’ll be giving it a tomato feed once a week. It germinated well and has developed strong stems so I’m hoping for a good crop of deep red cherry toms. | 11

SUBSCRIBERS' WEBSITE If you are, that makes you a member of our Mudketeers’ Club, a dedicated website for subscribers ONLY. includes exciting offers, brand new seed variety trials, competitions and unique features just for you. WIN A SET OF KITCHEN TINS WORTH These stylish black storage tins from Gardening £34.99 Naturally are a great way to keep produce fresh. There Go to are three in the set and they are made of powder coated You need to register the first time steel. They have air holes in the base for ventilation. you go on the site. Simply key in The largest tin is labelled potatoes and measures 30cm your customer ID number (6 digits) (height) x 25.5cm (width) with a depth of 20.5cm. It found on the envelope in which your will hold up to 7kg. issue is supplied. Input a few details, create a password and you are ready The medium-sized tin labelled onions measures 23cm (height) x 18cm (width) with a depth of 15.5cm and to go. Alternatively call holds up to 12 standard-sized onions. 01507 529529 and speak to our The smallest tin is labelled garlic and measures 16cm customer services team. (height) x 14cm (width) with a depth of 14cm. It will hold up to 20 garlic bulbs. For more information: To enter go to Competitions on and fill in the form. There are no cash alternatives available. The winner will be the first name drawn at random. Terms and conditions apply. To view the privacy policy of MMG Ltd (publisher of Kitchen Garden magazine) please visit ★ 20% SAVING… ■ Help ripen tomatoes On Earthsong Seed Collections* ★ 15% off… All online orders VIDEO: from Agriframes* ■ How to water plants ★ 10% off… All orders from more effectively Backdoorshoes* ■ Sowing spinach ★ 10% off… Sitalia Olive Oil* * Time limit and conditions apply to offers. See website. Go via our website to obtain the discounts. See page 94 for more details on some of the products (above). 12 |

YOU YOUR PLOT ALL THE LATEST NEWS, PRODUCTS & FACTS FROM THE WORLD OF KITCHEN GARDENING ‘ECO SEED’ WINS TOP DESIGN AWARD Design Ventura, the Design Museum’s free annual school prize, has been won by a team of students from Cambourne Village College in Cambridge with their innovative product Eco Seed. Designed by a team of Year 10 students, Eco Seed is a doughnut-shaped grid which floats on water, enabling seeds to germinate and at the same time allowing the user to observe the plant’s growth. The judges praised its unique idea of letting you view the process of germination from tip to root with the naked eye and also educating people about the lifecycle of plants. The students will now work with a professional design agency to manufacture the product before it goes on sale at the Design Museum Shop, with all profits going to Rainforest Concern, a charity of the students’ choice. FLYING INSECTS IN DECLINE A recently published Bugs Matter survey has found that UK flying insects have declined by nearly 60% in less than 20 years. The findings show that the number of insects sampled on vehicle number plates by citizen scientists across the UK reduced by a staggering 59% between 2004 and 2021. These findings are consistent with research which has widely reported declining trends in insect populations globally. Matt Shardlow, chief executive officer at Buglife, said: “This vital study suggests that the number of flying insects is declining by an average of 34% per decade; this is terrifying. We cannot put off action any longer, for the health and well-being of future generations this demands a political and a societal response. It is essential that we halt biodiversity decline – now!” For more on this visit: OH NO, NOT MORE WEEDING? According to a survey conducted by home of furniture, garden and DIY company VonHaus, 25% of Brits say that they struggle to look after and maintain their garden, including such tasks as weeding and mowing the lawn. On top of that, 12% said that they didn’t have enough garden space. The survey of more than 1000 people also revealed that for 2022 barbecues were top of their wish list, followed by garden dining tables (24%) and garden sofas (19%). DO YOU HAVE SOME HOT STORIES FOR OUR NEWS PAGES? SEND THEM TO [email protected] 14 |

WHAT’S NEW? SUPER SPINACH A recent US study has found that those with higher levels of antioxidants (lutein and zeaxanthin) in their blood may be less likely to develop dementia in later years. These specific antioxidants are found in green, leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and broccoli. MOONDUST MUSTARD MIRACLE WORKERS A team of scientists from the University of Plant food and compost supplier Florida has succeeded in growing thale cress Miracle-Gro has launched an industry (a relative of the mustard family) in lunar soil first special edition charity pack in aid of from samples gathered during the Apollo Greenfingers, a national charity dedicated missions, 1969-1972. The team was amazed to supporting life-limited children and when the seeds germinated after only two their families who spend time in hospices days. However, after day six the plants grown around the UK. Greenfingers works in the extra-terrestrial soil failed to develop closely with children’s hospices to design healthily compared with the control group of and build gardens to suit the needs of the plants grown in terrestrial soil. children and their families. According to co-author of the report on the On top of its annual support and the experiment, Professor Robert Ferl: “Showing charity pack, Miracle-Gro is donating that plants will grow in lunar soil is a huge step £5000 to assist with one of the charity’s in being able to establish lunar colonies.” latest projects, a therapeutic garden within The Nook, a purpose-built children’s hospice in Norfolk. Greenfingers Special Edition Peat Free Premium All Purpose Compost 40L is available now in garden centres nationwide – RRP £7.99. BIRDS IN BLOOM RHS FLOWER SHOWS IN AUGUST The RSPB has heard from gardeners who found unexpected life sprouting in their ■ HYDE HALL: August 3-7, 2022 flowerpots – baby birds! Andrée and Jeff from Kent spotted a collared dove nesting ■ ROSEMOOR: August 19-21, 2022 in their geranium pots, and Matt’s hanging basket in Nottingham, filled with winter For more information and tickets visit: pansies, ornamental grass and cineraria silverdust, became a home to a nest of grey wagtail chicks. Collared dove chicks While it is not the norm for birds to nest in on how to give planting a go and help flowerpots, if they feel safe they may decide garden wildlife, please visit the RSPB’s that a garden, balcony, or even windowsill is Nature on Your Doorstep: the best place to raise their chicks. NatureOnYourDoorstep Filling outdoor space with wildlife-friendly plants is a great way to provide a natural source of food and shelter to birds and other garden wildlife. While not all plant pots will bloom with feathered friends, the right plant in the right place can provide food and shelter to everything from pollinators such as bumblebees to hedgehogs and birds. For more suggestions, tips and inspiration | 15

YOU YOUR PLOT ONWARDS AND UPWARDS I try to grow my own salads and vegetables in my garden. I had my very first dream allotment last year but due to an unexpected health emergency requiring a week’s hospital stay and awaiting further major surgery I had to give it up as it was no longer manageable. However, this didn’t stop me from continuing to grow in my small garden. Here is a pallet planter. I used mesh material to cover the bottom of each side and then painted it and planted three strawberry plants in each section. So don’t ever let your downfalls be permanent downfalls and always look onwards and upwards. Michelle Tate, Guisborough TONY SAYS: And very attractive it looks too, Michelle. We wish you well. CONTACT US WITH YOUR LETTERS AND TIPS: [email protected] HAPPY BLOSSOM TIME RECYCLED YOGURT POTS I just wanted to send you a picture of the With reference to the letter, Plastic Pots Work apple tree which appeared to be in trouble For Me, in the May edition, I would like to when I noticed that the bark was coming suggest using an even cheaper, and just as away. Steve (KG editor) advised me to effective, alternative. I have used ex-yogurt “try an emergency repair – paint the pots with a hole in the bottom for drainage exposed area with a wound sealant such as for several seasons now with great success. Arbrex Seal & Heal and wrap it tightly with All beans do very well in them and love the clingfilm or similar held in place with thick extra depth of compost, a fine way to start elastic bands”. early crops. I did the treatment he suggested and the Roger Fox, Conwy tree is blossoming and happy. It’s still early days, but this photo was taken on April 21. It’s even more in bloom now. Alison Brookes, West Sussex TONY: So the tree’s happy, you’re happy and Steve’s happy. And if Steve’s happy, I’m happy. Send us your tips and pictures and if your young plants and gardening sundries. You can Email your letters letter is published you will get a £10 Dobies get hold of a copy of the catalogue now by to tflanagan@mortons. voucher. If you are lucky enough to have yours phoning 0844 701 7625 or go online to or post to Letters, chosen as our Star Letter you will get a £25 Kitchen Garden, Mortons voucher. Your voucher will be sent out with a Media Group, Media Dobies catalogue and you can choose to spend You can reach us by letter, email or via Centre, Morton Way, your winnings on a fabulous range of seeds, our Facebook page: FACEBOOK.COM/ Horncastle, Lincs LN9 6JR KITCHENGARDENMAG 16 |

CONTACT US: STEVE OTT EMMA RAWLINGS TONY FLANAGAN [email protected] [email protected] tfl[email protected] YOUR VIEWS ALLIUM LEAF MINER ATTACK In 2021 we got hit by allium leaf leaf miners prefer leeks. This seems HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT miners, which destroyed our crop of to have worked well with only a YOUR KG SUBSCRIPTION? shallots and damaged our onions and handful of onions and shallots JUST CALL 01507 529529 garlic. By the time we discovered showing signs of attack now the what this pest was it was October spring infestation has ended. We EDITORIAL and our leeks were growing well but have cut off any onion and shallot Tel 07738 455014, Fax 01507 371075 were infected with allium flies and leaves showing signs of attack as leek moths. low as we can to prevent further EDITOR: Steve Ott, [email protected] development of the larvae. DEPUTY EDITOR: Emma Rawlings, Drastic action was needed to save the [email protected] leeks so we cut them all off at ground We are confident that STAFF WRITER: Tony Flanagan, level and destroyed the tops. You will managing the pest like this will tfl[email protected] see from the photo they grew back and give us enough onions and garlic we still managed to get a good crop to last until next year’s harvest. PRODUCTION EDITOR: Pauline Hawkins which was fly free despite the drastic chop. Steve Day, Cirencester PUBLISHER: Tim Hartley We have left one row of leeks until TONY SAYS: So what was a DESIGNER: Charlotte Turnbull the end of May as a sacrifice to attract major problem is not even a the flies away from the new season miner problem now, Steve. More ADVERTISING onions and garlic – it is thought allium on this topic on p56. Tel 01507 529529, Fax 01507 529499 GROUP ADVERTISING MANAGER: HELP RESEARCH INTO EARLY BLIGHT Sue Keily, [email protected] I am currently undertaking a concentric rings). This is frequently surrounded ADVERTISING TEAM LEADER: PhD with Bangor University by a ‘halo’ of chlorosis (a yellowing of the Tania Shaw, [email protected] in association with Burpee leaf tissue). Seeds and am looking at early ADVERTISING: blight in tomatoes which is caused If readers could send me some (reasonably Chris Bailey, [email protected] by pathogens of the genus Alternaria (not dry) tomato leaves in a ziplock bag, between to be confused with late blight, caused by a couple of sheets of kitchen roll/toilet paper, SALES AND DISTRIBUTION MANAGER: Carl Smith Phytophthora infestans). along with something telling me the first half MARKETING MANAGER: Charlotte Park Early blight is a disease which infects plants of their postcode, so I can have a vague idea of of the genus solanum, which includes tomatoes, location, it would be much appreciated! PUBLISHING DIRECTOR: Dan Savage potatoes and aubergines. It is identifiable in COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR: Nigel Hole leaves by the development of irregularly shaped Address: Henfaes Research Centre, ‘bullseye’-type lesions (brown lesions containing Abergwyngregyn, Gwynedd, LL33 0LB. Email: GENERAL QUERIES AND BACK ISSUES [email protected] Customer Service: Tel 01507 529529 Tim Beard, Gwynedd Telephone lines are open: Monday-Friday 8.30am-5pm 24hr answerphone STRAWBERRY AFTERCARE [email protected] ARCHIVIST: Jane Skayman, 01507 529423, [email protected] SUBSCRIPTION: Full subscription rates (but see page 20 for offer): (12 months 12 issues, inc post and packing) – UK £71.88. Export rates are also available – see page 20 for more details. UK subscriptions are zero-rated for the purposes of Value Added Tax. DISTRIBUTION Marketforce (UK) Ltd, 3rd Floor 161 Marsh Wall, London E14 9AP Tel 0330 390 6555 PRINTING Acorn Web Offset Ltd Normanton, West Yorkshire PUBLISHED Monthly by Mortons Media Group Ltd, Media Centre, Morton Way, Horncastle, Lincs LN9 6JR. Tel 01507 523456, Fax 01507 529301 THE TALKING KG Kitchen Garden is available on audio CD or USB at very reasonable rates to anyone unable to read normal type. Details from the Talking Newspaper Association of the UK on 01435 866102. ISSN 1369-1821 © Copyright Mortons Media Group Ltd. Reproduction in any manner, in whole or part, without prior approval in writing is prohibited. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for errors in articles or advertisements, or for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations. ADVERT DEADLINE: July 5, 2022 NEXT ISSUE: July 28, 2022 BREN: The strawberries seem to have finished fruiting. KG AND THE ENVIRONMENT I have potted up runners – the question now is: do I cut all the top leaves off and tidy the plants and bed or leave Once you have read and enjoyed your copy of Kitchen them alone? Garden magazine, why not recycle it? Remove the glossy GLALLOTMENTS: Usually once the strawberries have cover and shred the rest before adding to your compost fruited I cut off the old leaves, being careful not to cut off the shoots of new leaves growing in the centre. heap or bean trench. Subscriber copies now come in NATURES’ BABE: I usually just remove the dead leaves, recyclable paper, while the polythene sleeves in which then mulch with compost or really well-rotted manure KG is supplied in shops are recyclable. Look for the label around the plants in autumn – that builds the soil and plants up for the next year’s fruit. If there is room put your printed on yours and follow the instructions. runners in the ground and give them a good soak first. Strawberries usually run out of steam after three years, so it’s a good plan to put in some new and take out the spent ones each year. TO HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE FORUM VISIT: HTTP://FORUM.KITCHENGARDEN.CO.UK | 17

YOU YOUR PLOT Get in touch by post, email or via our Facebook page: GOT A FRUIT OR VEG PROBLEM? ASK KG FOR HELP SWEET NEWVOEV&GEVER&XA3FCR8LLIEOUTWSIIEVESRE NOTHINGS Star Question winners SPRING 2022 This year I have been trying receive a voucher worth to grow sweetcorn. However, £25, and £10 each for BIG once they are about 10cm the others. These can be tall the seedlings die. I am redeemed against any GREEN BOOK germinating them indoors products in the latest Mr Fothergill’s catalogue under grow lights, along with sent out with the vouchers. To receive a Flowers • Vegetables • Fruit • Equipment many other vegetable seedlings. free catalogue, call 0333 777 3936 or visit There is an infestation of fungus/fruit flies Email questions FREE P&P but they haven’t affected any other seedlings. to tfl[email protected] or post to on ALL orders over £50 Question Time, Kitchen Garden, Mortons & 2 FREE seed packets Lucian Backler, Uckfield Media Group, Media Centre, Morton Way, With every seed order worth £4.70 Horncastle, Lincs LN9 6JR. Please include EMMA SAYS: Sweetcorn should your full address on letters and emails. not be too difficult to germinate and establish. It is difficult to say what may be the cause of the problem here, but it seems most likely that they are becoming infected with damping off disease and this could be made worse by the sciarid flies if the larvae are damaging the stems and roots, so allowing the disease to enter. I’m not sure what compost you are using, but if it is one of several new peat-free types I am finding that it can be quite difficult to judge watering at first. Some can look dry on the surface yet be quite damp beneath, while some can be a little difficult to rewet thoroughly once they dry out, leading to problems until you become familiar with them. Sweetcorn like to be moist but not wet and the compost should be free draining. Perhaps ease off on the watering a little with this crop and when possible get them outside in a sheltered spot or a cold frame as soon as you can to grow on in light and airy conditions until ready for planting.

SEED BED OR SOW DIRECT? Can you please tell me the rationale to prepare the soil in the spring, to behind starting brassica seeds off in hold the plants until space becomes a seed bed and then transplanting available as another crop is removed, the young plants rather than or to sow a fast-growing catch crop sowing direct? while the brassicas develop. Jan Brown, Argyll The other important reason for doing this is that it makes it TONY SAYS: It is mainly much easier to protect the young to save space. Since for seedlings – early sowings can be most people the plants covered with cloches against the only occupy a part of cold and to warm the soil and a row until they are covering with pest control netting makes it easier to keep pests such as established sufficiently butterflies and also slugs away from to plant out at their full and the plants until they are planted out. final spacing, it allows more time FEEDING CUCUMBERS This year I have noticed I must admit that I’m not an increasing number of sure of the science behind the seed companies advising theory – as fast-growing leafy against using tomato feed on plants I imagine they require cucumbers. Why? I dress mine more nitrogen than anything with chicken manure pellets, else. The RHS recommends a then use tomato feed. ‘balanced’ fertiliser, so liquid Growmore comes to mind Ken Fullegar, Hampshire there and that may be worth trying too. STEVE SAYS: I have heard But, as I say, if your plants some experts respond well to tomato feed recommend that and you don’t want to buy instead of a or have to mix a special feed for your cues, then my advice high-potash would be to continue with your tomato feed, light dressing of chicken manure cucumbers grow and crop pellets early on, which provide better if given a high-nitrogen some nitrogen, plus a good feed and I intend to give this a tomato feed through the year. try in my greenhouse this year. POND LIFE quite normal and may be coming from the underlying mud or I have built two medium-sized debris in the base of the pond ponds on my allotments to try or from the oxygenating plants. to encourage wildlife. There There shouldn’t be anything have been numerous frogs and to worry about, especially as dragonflies attracted to them, the water itself appears to be especially last year. This year I very clear and healthy. Also you have something in one of the mention that you had thriving ponds that mystifies me. Are you wildlife in the ponds last year. able to identify it? If the water becomes very Ken East, Cardiff green in summer and the pond life appears to be suffering, STEVE SAYS: I’m getting some movement in the assuming you are water by, for example, installing referring to the a small solar aerator will help to layer of ‘froth’ or improve water quality. air bubbles over the surface. If so, this is | 19

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Robert uses home-made frames covered with fine mesh to protect his crops Last year we officially launched a competition to find 12 readers ROBERT PITT and their plots that would feature in Kitchen Garden magazine FROM STAFFORD this year. Here we feature another of our talented winners This month we meet Robert Pitt, who grows 22 | his veg in his garden in raised beds and under covers to protect them. Do you have an allotment or veg patch in your garden? I used to have an allotment which I tended for 10 years. I have since moved house and my garden is large enough to grow all that I need. How long have you been growing fruit and vegetables? I was first introduced to growing vegetables when I was training to be a teacher in my early 20s and I have been growing my own produce ever since, in total about 55 years.

KG PLOTTER OF THE MONTH Robert’s crops stay hole-free due to crop covers Robert’s home-made frames and inset, below, showing the frame catches he also made Why did you start growing your own? Did you learn anything new during last year’s growing season? I have always enjoyed being outside and my initial success led to a greater enthusiasm Last year my indoor cucumbers started to which has become a great hobby. look rather sad by the end of July so I gave them a regular feed of a high-nitrogen fertiliser I used to watch Gardeners’ World on the TV instead of the usual Tomorite. The results have and one presenter, Geoff Hamilton, inspired been spectacular, so that is something I shall me with his method of growing vegetables on do again. raised beds. He was a wonderful presenter and I enjoyed his down-to-earth approach. Have you a top tip you can pass on to other readers? I now grow all my vegetables on raised beds and cover most of them with fine mesh frames Don’t believe all you read on seed packets to keep pests at bay. re sowing and planting times. Local conditions vary from place to place. Do you share your plot with other I never sow or plant anything in my vegetable people? plot until I see the local hawthorn hedges coming to life. This tells me that the soil My wife, Wendy, is very keen and she enjoys is warm enough to encourage germination. ➤ cooking what I grow and she helps me on a regular basis. | 23

GET GROWING If you could give one piece of advice Salad crops grown in to someone who has never grown veg old recycled boxes before, what would it be? Don’t attempt to do too much too soon. I have seen so many people give up their vegetable plots after the first year, whether they are growing in their garden or on an allotment. If you take on a standard-sized allotment plot that has become overgrown this will require a lot of effort to revive and get it productive again. Work with a small area at first and cover the rest of the plot with old carpets or similar covering to smother the weeds. A crop of potatoes produces something to eat and also will clear the ground too, a good first crop for a small area of an overgrown allotment. Name a crop you like and how you grow it. My favourite vegetables are carrots and parsnips. I grow both of these using an idea from gardeners who grow for showing. I use a metal bar to make holes in staggered rows about 15cm apart. I fill these holes with fine grade vermiculite mixed 50/50 with sieved compost. I then sow four or five seeds in each hole. When the seedlings are large enough to handle I then thin them out, leaving just one to grow on. Throughout the growing season I cover them with fine netting, which I remove at the end of October when all danger of carrot root fly infestation is over. Do you recycle materials on your plot? dandelions and other wild flowers for the and friends. Everyone comments on the taste pollinators. I have several flowering shrubs and freshness and appreciates the fact that no I compost everything I can and use it as a that attract bees and butterflies, including pesticides have been used on the produce. mulch in the autumn. I also grow salad crops daphne, mock orange and various hebes. A in old recycling plastic boxes that the local small wildlife pond and several bird feeders During the lockdown many of my friends council disposed of. I recycle plant pots and also help and I have bird boxes in the garden have started growing vegetables for the first reuse empty ice cream tubs with holes drilled which are used by birds. Various varieties of time, either in their garden or taken on an in the bottom as propagators for seeds. bees have colonised them too. allotment. I produce plants for them too as I grow most things from seed and when I pot I cut the bottom off large empty pop bottles Why do you like growing your own? them up I do more than I need so that I can to use as propagators for cuttings. supply my friends with plants. One of the joys of growing fruit and vegetables Do you include anything on your is the fact that I can give away so much of any It gives me great pleasure to help and advise plot to help local wildlife or attract produce that we don’t need to neighbours them as they start their big adventure in pollinators to your plot? growing their own produce. ➤ I have a small lawn which I leave to grow quite long to encourage clover, celandine, daisies, Summer cabbages doing well in a frame 24 |

A wildlife pond surrounded by sedum Each of our 12 winners will receive a bundle of prizes kindly given by our sponsors Hozelock, Nemasys, Harrod Horticultural and Mortons Media Group. HOZELOCK SELECT CONTROLLER Kitchen Garden DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION This Hozelock battery-powered water timer is All winners will receive a year’s free digital simple to use and helps you to automatically subscription to Kitchen Garden magazine. This water your garden – saving water, time and can run alongside an existing sub or it can be effort. The controller has 16 pre-set used when the current subscription runs out. programmes to supply water from A digital sub is a great way to access KG on once a week up to four times a your phone or tablet. Prize value £31.98. To day – simply select your desired take out a digital subscription or to receive programme. Plus, it can conveniently the paper magazine by post go to be used with a water butt. https:// controller/ HARROD HORTICULTURAL POPADOME The Popadome can protect your crops throughout the year and the prize is for the largest, 2m x 2m x 2m. The good height means plenty of room for your crops and for you to access the Popadome. The frame is made of fibreglass poles and these are covered in a fine black butterfly netting (10mm) with a zip in one side to gain access. A sewn-in copper strip along the base line deters slugs and snails. You can also buy a polythene or fleece cover for the Popadome (not part of prize). This 2m x 2m x 2m Popadome retails at £62.95. NEMASYS NEMASLUG CONTROL The winners will each receive a season-long programme of slug control called Nemaslug, a biological control using natural nematodes. The prize is for six Nemaslug Slug Killer 100sq m packs which will arrive at intervals from spring through to early autumn to give good control of slugs for the whole growing season. The product is pest specific and so won’t harm other wildlife and is safe to use if you have children or pets. The prize value is £167.94. The product can also be purchased from | 25

GET GROWING Alan and Margaret Curtis from Berkshire have a parterre veg plot Tim and Daniela Brooks from Burton on Trent won a place last year. Here Tim with a great crop of spuds Emily Jeavons from the West Midlands Laura Brudenell from North Yorkshire How would you like you and your plot next month’s issue, plus how to submit your Sunny Sunflower featured in Kitchen Garden magazine? And for pictures and will include a short questionnaire being our Plotter of the Month you will also to fill in. If you would like to enter we will need win some great prizes! about 10 images including one of yourself or someone who shares your plot, an overall view We are running our competition again of your patch plus some pictures highlighting looking for readers to feature every month sections of it. You could also take a picture of from January 2023, and from next month we individual crops, flowers, your shed or even a will be inviting you to send in pictures of you piece of recycling you are particularly proud and your plot. So now is the time to get some of. The pictures need to be high resolution good pictures of your plot in preparation images so make sure the photographs are for the launch of the competition in the next at least 1-2MB. More details in next month’s issue. Everyone we feature will win some issue in the shops from 28 July. ■ great prizes and these will be revealed in 26 |

Colin’s pick of the best Having spent his career with many of the UK’s biggest seed brands, Colin Randel knows a good seed variety when he sees one. Here he selects some of his favourites from those available now and for the seasons ahead I‘retired’ in March 2019 after a I was pleased to be invited to view UK AVAILABLE NOW 50-year career in the horticultural world, summer and autumn trials and the Dutch predominantly in the seed trade with trials in 2019 whereby I made notes of CAULIFLOWER ‘SKIPPER F1’ Suttons, Mr Fothergill’s and Thompson promising gardener varieties for future Dwarf and compact habit summer and early & Morgan. introduction. Disastrously, the pandemic autumn variety, producing a well-protected, halted any actions in 2020 and for much of heavy, pure white curd. Easy to grow under Throughout my career I compiled and 2021, although I was delighted to attend a cage protection against birds and pests. assessed thousands of vegetable and herb couple of autumn 2021 events. Matures 85 to 90 days from transplant. Sow trials for our seed catalogues and retail garden February to April, transplant April to June, 50 x centre market. I was also a regular visitor at Several of the varieties I felt were promising 50cm (20 x 20in) spacing. Available from Kings. commercial trials days and breeder events in the at the time have already been launched in UK and on the continent to assess and discuss several catalogues and websites, although suitable varieties. Many of these varieties have some awaited the 2022 season and I’ve given stood the test of time and remain gardener details of the best on the following pages. If favourites since their introduction. you haven’t tried them yet I’d urge you to give them a try either this year or next. I also had the privilege of viewing trials for AGM at RHS Wisley during the early I’ve also highlighted some exciting future 1990s with the late Suttons vegetable expert, varieties which have yet to be released by the Ron Butler, prior to being invited to join the breeders and to be considered for 2023 and Wisley trials sub-committee in 1995 until I 2024 if sufficient seeds are produced and stepped down in 2020. made available. 28 |

CUCUMBER ‘HONEY PLUS F1‘ NEW VARIETIES Compact growing habit, up to 90cm (3ft) tall and 50cm (20in) spread. Grow in the BASIL ‘DEVOTION’ greenhouse, outdoors in the garden or a A downy mildew resistant larger-leaved patio container. Plants will need cane support. Genovese type, a culmination of breeding at Each plant produces up to 25 fruits. Harvest Rutgers University in New York. Sweet and regularly at 7cm-9cm size (3-3½in). Delicious spicy aroma to the leaves and white flowers very pale green, smooth-skinned fruits, sweet which are perfect for salads, soups or pasta as honey and juicy but crunchy texture for dishes. Flowers can be removed to prolong snacking, salads and pickling. Sow April to leaf harvests. Height 45 to 50cm (18-20in). Can May for greenhouse, or May to early June for be sown and grown indoors virtually all year growing in the garden or a patio container. round, or March to June outdoors. Available Available from Marshalls, Plants of Distinction. from Suttons, T&M. MELON ‘MANGOMEL F1’ BASIL ‘DOLCE VITA’ – (MR FOTHERGILL’S A unique new variety developed in Yorkshire, VEG OF THE YEAR 2022) specifically for gardeners – perhaps the first A refined selection of the classic large-leaved melon ever to be bred for this market. Greyish basil. Plants will produce extra-fragrant, large skin changes to creamy yellow with rich orange, tender leaves ideal for making full-flavoured very juicy, sweet, aromatic flesh. Produces two pesto and salads. Height to 30cm (12in). Can to three fruits outside but five to six if grown in be sown and grown indoors virtually all year the greenhouse. Sow April to May. Transplant in round, or March to June outdoors. June. Harvest mid-July to October. Available from Mr. Fothergill’s. Available from Marshalls, T&M, Suttons, Pennard Plants. CHILLI PEPPER ‘SPARKY’ A versatile chilli which has performed well in UK trials. Tall plant to 120cm (4ft) with a spread of 80cm (32in), ideally grown in a 40cm (15in) diameter container, or in the soil. Provide cane support. The fruit is held in erect clusters of up to eight fruits. They turn from green to red and are 6-8cm (2½-3in) long. Hot, but not excessively so. Sow February to March. Transplant April-early May. Harvest July to October. Available from: Just Seed, Premier Seeds Direct, Otter Farm, Pennard Plants. ➤ CHILLI PEPPER ‘REGGAE’ PEA ‘RUSELARGO’ Compact and very well-branched habit, ideally A ‘Bingo’ type of shelling pea producing more grown in a 40cm (15in) container, or in the clusters of flowers at the top of the stems. soil with cane support. Masses of 8cm (3in) ‘Ruselargo’ has both powdery mildew and pendulous fruits to be harvested green or red. downy mildew resistance so vital for gardeners Strongly pungent with Scoville rating 100,000, to extend the sowing and harvesting period. for use in many south-east Asian recipes. Sow Sow March to July. February to March. Transplant April-early May. Available from Johnsons Seeds. Harvest July to October. Available from Plants of Distinction, Premier Seeds Direct. | 29

GET GROWING TOMATO ‘BURLESQUE F1’ A blight tolerant beefsteak for greenhouse TOMATO ‘MERRYGOLD F1’ or outdoors. Each plant can produce 40 to The world’s first blight resistant orange-fruited 50 fruits of 400g weight. Thick, meaty, sweet variety, grow as a cordon outdoors or in the flesh with some tanginess with skins that do greenhouse. Masses of bright, rich orange, not crack or burst. Ideal sliced for sandwiches, larger 25g to 30g cherry fruits. Sweet tasting salads and home-baked pizza. Sow February with tangy ‘bite’. Sow February to April for to April for growing in the greenhouse, April growing in the greenhouse, April to May for to May for outdoors. Harvest July to October. outdoors. Harvest July to October. Available from T&M, Suttons, Chiltern Seeds, Available from Mr Fothergill’s. Plants of Distinction. KALE ‘OLDENBOR F1’ RUNNER BEAN ‘BLACK KNIGHT’ – An alternative to the popular variety ‘Reflex’, SUTTONS VEG OF THE YEAR 2022 giving bigger yields, improved uniformity, The story goes (possibly apocryphal) that this reliability and performance. Excellent winter bean was grown by the Bishop of Shrewsbury, hardiness allows prolonged harvesting over a Edmund Knight, and seeds were passed to very long period. The ideal time to sow is May, local congregants in the late 1800s. The pods transplanting in June. Harvest from September may look gnarly but remain tender and juicy to April. even as the pods age and seeds start to bulge. Available from Dobies. For best taste, steam lightly to maintain their colour. Pods 20-30cm (8-12in). Sow April to June. Harvest July to October. Available greens’. ‘Verve F1’ has excellent winter from Suttons. hardiness, but can be sown and transplanted for virtually year-round harvesting. Use it The following are not yet available but have in mixed salads or steam, stir-fry or juice. performed very well and may well appear in Sow March to May for summer and autumn the catalogues for 2023. harvests, June to early July for winter BRUSSELS SPROUT ‘SPEEDIA F1’ and overwintering. Bred for an early harvest in September into October. Produces large, mid green, round, solid buttons for late summer-early autumn, sliced for stir-fries, steamed as a cooked vegetable, or for ‘bubble and squeak’. Sow late February or March, transplant during May. CABBAGE ‘VERVE F1’ Producing very large, smooth, green leaves. Will eventually produce a loose heart but primarily used for shredding as ‘spring Red-leaved ‘Sunbor F1’ with Some more introductions to look Tomato trials including some green ‘Oldenbor F1’ on its left. forward to from 2023 to 2025 for future blight resistance KALE ‘SUNBOR F1’ ■ More blight resistant tomatoes An improvement on the popular gardener ■ Red bulb onions with downy variety ‘Redbor F1’. ‘Sunbor F1’ is very hardy mildew resistance and slower to produce its deep red colour, ■ Sweetcorn for growing in needing colder conditions to do so. The ideal containers sowing time is May, transplanting in June. ■ Coloured Romanesco Harvest from September to April. cauliflowers Available from Moles Seeds. ■ Further developments in runner beans 30 | ■ A true red F1 Brussels sprout ■ Kales, as still huge interest in this subject ■ Mangetout and snap pea developments ■

GET GROWING OASIS Martin Fish is at Kiplin Hall in North Yorkshire, finding out about its rich history and exploring its restored walled garden Described as ‘an oasis of calm and run by a small, dedicated team and is open to tranquillity in the heart of North the public six days a week from February until Yorkshire’, Kiplin Hall is a hidden November. Visitors to Kiplin Hall can take in gem, tucked away just a few miles the historic house and museum and 90 acres east of the A1 at the top of the county close of woodland trails, the lake walk, ornamental to Catterick. gardens and the restored walled kitchen garden and orchard, plus of course the award- The 400-year-old Jacobean property was built winning tearoom. in the early 1620s by George Calvert, a courtier to King James I and founder of Maryland WALLED GARDEN in the US. At the time the estate would have been around 900 acres including farmland, Like most other country houses, the walled woodland, the River Swale and gardens kitchen garden at Kiplin Hall would have surrounding the hall. In the early 1900s the been a hive of activity producing fresh fruit, estate began to fall into decline and in the vegetables and flowers all year round for the 1930s was taken on by Miss Bridget Talbot, house. The walled garden sits to the side of granddaughter of the 18th Earl of Shrewsbury. the hall and back in its heyday there would Miss Talbot tried many ways to save Kiplin have been upwards of 10 gardeners tending including approaching the National Trust. That the plots, greenhouses, orchard and vine wasn’t successful and in 1968 the Kiplin Hall house, plus of course the gardeners looking Trust was formed, and Miss Talbot continued after the ornamental gardens around the to live in the hall until she died in 1971. hall. Nowadays the gardens are looked after by part-time head gardener Chris Baker, ➤ Kiplin Hall is now an independent charity A view of the hall from the walled garden Head gardener Chris Baker in the orchard 32 |

OUT AND ABOUT The garden in late spring with the The main gate from the hall into the walled garden last of the leeks ready to harvest Volunteer gardeners busy helping out | 33

GET GROWING The herb garden offers a quiet place to sit one other part-time gardener and a team of The restored dipping Trained cane fruits such as dedicated volunteers who take great pride in pond is now an blackberries and loganberries working in the walled and ornamental gardens around the hall. ornamental feature When Chris first started working in the New espalier apple trees line the walled garden it was in a state of disrepair main pathway into the garden and his first job was to start clearing decades of weeds, brambles and seedling trees. The weed problem continues to this day and much of the work of the volunteers involves hand weeding and hoeing between crops to try and prevent the weeds from producing even more seed. The aim of the restoration was to keep as much of the history of the garden as possible so that visitors will get a sense of how it would have been 150 years ago, while at the same time embracing new gardening techniques. THE LAYOUT After clearing the site the first major job was to re-lay paths based on the 19th century layout. Two widths of paths were laid, wider paths for cart access and narrower paths for pedestrian use. The newly laid paths are made from crushed stone or grass to give a natural feel and for authenticity many of the beds are edged with parsley or chives. At the top of the garden close to the greenhouse is the original dipping pond. The circular, stone edged pond, almost like a well, fills naturally and would have been used by the gardeners to fill watering cans and water carriers to water around the garden. This has been cleaned out, restored and is now a feature of that part of the garden. ➤ 34 | | 35

GET GROWING One of the original trained apple By late summer the espaliers are trees dating back to the 1800s full of fruit ready to be picked On what would have been the original At the start of the year, the tearoom staff NO-DIG METHOD walkway into the walled garden from the discuss with Chris their salad and vegetable hall, a few of the original trained apple trees requirements for the season. Chris and the Chris has adopted a no-dig system for the survived and Chris has managed to preserve team then try to grow as much as they can, main growing areas, the theory being, if the these trees as a living monument to the garden. meaning much of what is used in the tearoom soil isn’t cultivated, it won’t bring weed seeds To keep with the original design, new espalier has zero food miles. Any surplus produce is that have lain dormant in the ground for more trees were planted either side of the wide sold to the public. than 40 years to the surface. Instead, each lawned path to create a sense of arrival in the year a mulch of compost is spread over the garden. Back in the 1800s these tall espalier Although the garden isn’t classified as beds and vegetable seeds and young plants are trees would have given privacy to the gentry organic, no chemicals are used on the growing planted directly into this. from the gardeners as they walked through plots. However, to help control weed growth the garden. on paths, some weedkiller is used. Much of the compost needed is made on site in large compost bins and horse manure The walls around the garden would also have been covered with a range of trained fruit Flower borders in the walled trees including pears, plums, figs and cherries garden provide colour and and the gardeners have planted new trees that attract pollinators are being trained as fans and espaliers. EARNING ITS KEEP When it came to replanting, as well as creating the original layout and feel of a Victorian walled garden, the garden also has to earn its keep. With this in mind a large area of soft fruit was planted. Raspberries, loganberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, strawberries and Japanese wineberries were planted. The fruit from these crops is used to make jams and preserves and for Japanese wineberries grow use in the tearoom. very well in the garden and produce a heavy crop Lavender at its best The annual wildflower border provides plenty of nectar for bees 36 |

OUT AND ABOUT Getting ready for autumn with pumpkins Brassicas are picked over regularly to remove caterpillars from local stables is also used after it has been sown directly into the soil and in late summer Parsley is used to edge the composted. Because of the size of the plots, it provides a great display. paths and fleece on crops some compost has to be brought in from protects them from pests the local authority. To keep on top of weed THE ORCHARD growth in the garden, the volunteers hoe Although only five years old, the orchard the beds every 12 days to catch the weeds at The original orchard at Kiplin Hall that was produces a good crop of apples the seedling stage. This process takes several shown on ordnance survey maps of 1857 and people around eight hours. 1893 was unfortunately grubbed out in the 1960s so that the local scouts could use the Pest control is done mainly by observing the field. In 2017 the Wands family from Illinois, plants and checking for problems. For example, US, who are direct descendants of the original the volunteers regularly walk through the owner, George Calvert, decided to fund the brassica beds in summer to scrape off butterfly restoration of the orchard. eggs and hand pick caterpillars. Soft soap solutions are used to help control insect pests The orchard was replanted with a selection where they are a serious problem. Insect-proof of apples that would have been grown mesh and fleece are also used for crop protection. originally including ‘Ribston Pippin’, ‘Yorkshire Greening’ and ‘Margil’, plus several In the true sense of a productive garden, as cider apples. There is a history of cider making well as fruit and veg, many flowers are grown. at Kiplin and some of the cider was given to These are partly for decoration but also to the gardeners as part of their wages. Head help increase biodiversity. The aim is to have gardener Chris, who researched the apples something in flower all through the growing for the orchard, is hoping that in the not too season so that bees and other pollinators distant future cider will be produced again! are attracted to the garden to ensure good pollination of the fruit crops. The history of Kiplin Hall is very interesting and well worth a visit. If ever you are driving Chris starts many of the flowering on the A1 through North Yorkshire and and vegetable seedlings off in the lean-to looking for a place to stop, stretch your legs greenhouse, which is also used to propagate and get a bite to eat, it’s well worth getting off fruit bushes and other plants for the the motorway to pay it a visit. ■ ornamental borders around the hall. The annual wildflower border in the garden is ■ For more details visit Newly trained fruit trees The new orchard planted in 2017 are used on all the walls | 37

1 BOOK REVIEWS OUR SELECTION OF THE BEST NEW GARDENING TITLES ATTRACTING GARDEN POLLINATORS As all fruit and vegetable growers know, pollinators are essential for good crops and this great new book from garden writer and keen beekeeper Jean Vernon explains how to coax them into your garden in the largest numbers possible. Jean highlights some of the many common (and not so common) pollinators you may find in your garden including bees, butterflies, moths, flies and others and explains how to attract them to ensure they are always around to boost your yields. You’ll find lots of simple but effective ways to do this, from planting a range of pollen and nectar-rich flowering plants to installing a range of habitats from a pond to mixed hedges. Jean also suggests rewilding a small part of your garden to allow native plants to thrive and to act as a food source for these essential insects. She explains that the key is having a range of flowers of different shapes opening for as long as possible to attract pollinators of all kinds. The more diverse your plantings, the bigger the variety of pollinators you will support. And since insects are in real trouble thanks to environmental pressures and climate change, you’ll be supporting nature, too. So whether you are looking for ways to attract more pollinators, boost the insect population or just learn more about some of our most fascinating garden insects, Attracting Garden Pollinators is for you. SAVE 25% ON THIS NEW BOOK! The normal price of this book is £25, but KG readers can claim a 25% discount. To claim your reduction simply visit and input code: POLLINATORS25 when prompted at the checkout. THE WILDERNESS CURE With all the pressures the world faces we need to look for ways to reduce the amount of food we consume. This, plus soaring rates of obesity which are set to put the UK second only to the US, makes it obvious that getting back to a healthier, simpler and less wasteful diet is essential. But would you be prepared or able to live on almost nothing but the food you could forage from the land… for a year? Very few of us could, yet that’s what Mo Wilde set out to do starting, not by coincidence, on Black Friday (November 27) 2020. On the day when we are all encouraged to spend, spend, spend, she started a year-long experiment to see if she could survive on a foraged diet. The only exceptions were olive oil with which to cook and preserve certain foods, eggs from her free range hens (only consumed when wild eggs would have been available to our ancient ancestors) and some home-grown organic food from local sources bartered for milk from her goats. It should be noted that Mo already has many of the skills required to survive off the land – she is a lecturer in foraging, expert in fungi and practitioner in herbal medicine, so eminently qualified to try this. So, could she do it? Could she return to a diet that humans, certainly in the UK, haven’t survived on for millennia? Buy the book and find out! The Wilderness Cure is written by Mo Wilde and published by Simon & Schuster. Price £16.99. 38 |

cover Stephanie Hafferty has been loving developing a new plot with no-dig beds but she was really excited when her new polytunnel arrived Stephanie’s new tunnel sits nicely in the orchard

FOR BEGI NO-DIG GARDENING GREAT NNERS The frame is erected INSET: The ground PREPARATION AND Stephanie loves growing crops in polytunnels anchors are put in place PLANNING from tall crops on surrounding plants and it Since I moved to my new half-acre A polytunnel is a long-term decision and helps to avoid too much heat in the summer. homestead in Wales I have looked investment and it is worthwhile considering On a slope, placing the polytunnel up and forward to August with great all of your requirements carefully. Always down with the incline works much better than enthusiasm because it means the buy the largest you can afford (and putting it across the slope. It’s easier to erect arrival of my polytunnel. legally fit in your garden). The first thing and get level, mulch and water. In wet areas to do is find out your local planning rules. beds created across the slope can wash away In my previous garden I had a 12 x 40ft These vary from county to county. There during heavy rains. polytunnel for 10 years or so and absolutely are regulations about distances from roads, loved how it meant I could grow so much neighbouring boundaries and the height of Usually though you have to put it where more, especially warmth-loving summer the structure. there’s the space, and make the most of crops. It has been strange only growing things. In my previous garden the tunnel outdoor varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers You may need planning permission. Usually had to go in an east-west-ish location (the and aubergines this year, but I am looking any polytunnel over 14ft wide is considered a ground was level) and it was fine. During very forwards and planning what I will grow once commercial structure and requires planning sunny days it did become unbearably hot in this new polytunnel is up. permission, whereas one 14ft or less is a the middle, but the aubergines and tomatoes domestic tunnel and does not. A phone call to didn’t mind. The biggest issue was that this When I was looking for a new home, your local planning office is usually helpful in meant more summer watering. Fortunately, space for a polytunnel at least the size of my this respect. the only space available in my new garden previous one was crucial. I’d pace the gardens, is with the slope, and more or less north- imagining where a tunnel would go – I If you can, a north-south orientation is south. It is rather uneven, which will be a new wonder what the estate agents thought of me! best because it means that there’s equal shade experience for me. ➤ Here at Ael Y Bryn, the orchard had enough space, next to Dai’s sheep field. Timber rails on one side will give a place to attach guttering to collect water The polythene is put on. A warm, sunny | 41 and still day is best for this job

GET GROWING guttering and a from sneaking in (there is a lot of creeping buttercup in this area) and will hopefully keep water harvesting small rodents out. Even no-dig gardeners have Keep all offcuts from the system can be fixed to dig sometimes! polytunnel polythene, they outside. This will have so many uses from To prevent the grass from growing inside the be done next year – tunnel I covered it with pre-used polythene. covering seedlings in the I want to see what Strimming inside a polytunnel is not ideal as spring to making cloches. a winter is like here the line can cut the plastic cover. first, to make sure USEFUL PROTECTION that this is practical Polytunnels are versatile spaces, with many uses other than growing plants. The first for this location. There’s thing I did was string up washing lines for my laundry. With so much to make for the new also 4.5m (15ft) of staging for garden here, I decided that an under cover space for working would be invaluable, and inside, for growing on plants. so mulched the first 3m (10ft) with card and wood chip. A key project is making some I like to have base rails and anchor metal mesh covered frames to fit inside the open doors for the summer, to prevent jays, plates, which enable a really tight magpies and squirrels from entering. polythene fit. With care, the polythene This lovely sheltered spot is fabulous for alfresco meals on drizzly days (and we have can last 15 years or more. I keep several plenty of those in Wales!) or sitting with a cup of tea and relaxing. If I eventually decide to sizes of repair tape in the potting shed make this a growing area, it will be simple to rake up any uncomposted wood chip and for any emergency repairs. If the plastic add compost. tears, repair it right away. It’s surprising GETTING THE BEDS READY how quickly a tiny rip can spread if it To make the most of the height, I’ve decided to have one large bed in the middle of the is windy. tunnel, with a 30cm (1ft) path on each side and narrower beds on either side. It is fine to Tunnel up and waiting for the beds to be made Ventilation is important: good walk on no-dig beds. airflow reduces problems with moulds I’d got plenty of cardboard, wood chip and EXTRA STRONG FOR and mildews, as well as preventing compost ready for mulching, but a bad fall at the end of July meant that my plans for WINDY SITES overheating. I have mesh on the top third of enthusiastic mulching and polythene digging each door to allow for a free flow of air year Here on a Welsh hillside, things can get very round. The only time I have covered the mesh windy, so I chose a strong frame, with storm in the winter was during a period of extreme braces too. This is a good investment, making (for the UK) cold. A temporary ‘curtain’ damage during severe weather much less of spare polythene or fleece increases likely. Crop bars allow for easy support of tall warmth then. growing plants (tomatoes, melons, cucumbers I arranged for the polytunnel company etc.) and both storm braces and crop bars are to install this one (a group of friends and excellent for hanging baskets and shelves from, I had erected my previous tunnel) which increasing the growing space. It’s always good took around two days. They left a ‘skirt’ of to make the most of any under cover space in polythene around the edge for me to dig our climate. in. Although the anchor plates and base I asked to have a length of timber fitted rail means that the structure is weather-safe, to one side of the polytunnel inside, so that digging in the plastic helps to prevent weeds Cardboard is put down as the base Home-made compost and lots of it is needed to 42 | cover the cardboard. In the foreground is the bark mulch section – a useful working area

were somewhat curtailed because I could only Planting up can begin! do things in short bursts. I have osteoarthritis which means that any injuries take quite a while to heal. So I had to mulch in here slowly. After removing the temporary plastic mulch and laying card on the weedy grass, making sure it overlapped, I gave the card a good soaking with the hose. I then added 5-6cm (2-2½in) of compost on the beds, a little less on the paths which I had chosen to make with compost too. When I plant the beds, the plants close to the paths will root underneath. An alternative to compost would be wood chip, which will slowly decompose, feeding the soil life underneath. The beds were ready to plant as soon as they were mulched. I’ll be sowing plants for late autumn, winter and spring harvests in here during September and October too. I had already ordered the polytunnel before I moved and so had budgeted too for the compost to mulch it, but when I erected the previous tunnel I didn’t have much compost at all, certainly not enough to mulch on top of grass. Then, I skimmed the turf off and stacked it in a corner of the garden (a year later it was lovely crumbly compost) and then added a little compost to the beds. Not 100% no-dig, but it worked just fine. Once the installation team had gone I could bury the polythene in trenches. Eventually I will grow flowers along the outside to look lovely and increase biodiversity. ■ If room, how about a polytunnel party? Some sections are taking shape while others are waiting for preparation. Follow Stephanie’s progress in her no-dig half-acre homestead on It takes time to create such a large growing area Instagram (StephanieHafferty) and YouTube Website and blog: | 43

YOU YOUR PLOT NEWS, ADVICE AND INSPIRATION FOR ALLOTMENT HOLDERS FROM THE NATIONAL ALLOTMENT SOCIETY GET INVOLVED! Could you make a home for insects on your patch? This year’s National Allotment Week runs crops in order to achieve a balanced eco- from August 8-14 so there is still time to get system on their plots. involved on your plot, in your garden or with your local allotment association. Why not consider how you can support the creepy crawlies that call your green space Our National Allotments Week theme home and attract some more into the bargain. for 2022 is Bugs, Bees and Broccoli and acknowledges the importance of gardening with nature in mind. An allotment plot is a complex web of plants, micro-organisms, fungi, insects and animals that not only produces food but also supports eco-system services such as pollination and offers a refuge for wildlife in urban areas. Although allotment plots like award- winning pollinator ecologist Nadine Mitschunas’ beautiful wildlife allotment garden are few and far between there are thousands of plot-holders endeavouring to reduce pesticide and herbicide use, encourage beneficial insects, small mammals and amphibians and tolerate losing a few Marigolds act as a TRY COMPANION PLANTING pest repellent There are lots of benefits to planting flowers ■ ASTER Comfrey has many alongside your veg on an allotment. They add Beautiful to look at, aster or ‘Michaelmas uses on the plot a pop of colour among the abundant green daisies’ attract many beneficial insects to 44 | often found on a plot and smell fantastic but your garden, including bees and butterflies. there is plenty more that flowers can do if you ■ COMFREY choose the right ones: These unassuming little blue flowers are a favourite for pollinating insects and the Asters offer great roots of the plant stretch down into the late colour soil, releasing nutrients. They are also very robust and require little care – a gardener’s best friend! Certain flowers can also be used to repel unwanted pests, acting as a natural alternative to pesticides. These include: ■ CALENDULA OR ‘POT MARIGOLD’ A good one for repelling whitefly. ■ OTHER MARIGOLDS (French, African or Mexican) have such a strong aroma that put aphids and other pests off even the juiciest leaf! At the end of the season rake into the soil and continue to see the benefit of their repellent properties.

CREATE BUG ALLOTMENT TIPS HABITATS JOBS TO DO NOW ■ CREATE A DIY BUG HOTEL Use a drill to make holes of ■ Plant out remainder of spring brassicas varying sizes in a chunk of log and draw up a little soil around the stem or piece of untreated wood. of sprouts and kale to prevent damage Hang it from a tree limb or from winter winds. prop it in a sheltered corner of ■ Clear any spent crops as soon as the your garden to draw in all kinds last harvest is made; compost all clean of creepy-crawlies! and disease-free material. ■ MAKE A MATERNITY WARD ■ Lightly cultivate the vacant soil and FOR MASON BEES mulch with garden compost, leafmould Mason and leafcutter bees lay or well-rotted manure to prevent their eggs in hollow twigs rather weed growth. than in a hive. Fill an old can ■ Begin to lift onions for winter storage. (wear gloves for this bit) with Keep harvesting all crops as they mature. segments of bamboo cane to Beetroot, kohl rabi and turnips can get create a honeycomb effect. Pop woody and tasteless if allowed to get it somewhere out of the way. too large. Harvest beetroot as they mature FIGHT PESTS WITH POLLINATOR-FRIENDLY CROPS ■ HERBS The scent of garlic among other crops Basil, bay leaf and chives are can confuse and deter some pests delicious and keep unwanted visitors away. Basil repels houseflies and mosquitoes. Bay leaves also repel flies and have been used to deter ants where you don’t want them. Chives are said to be great for stopping carrot flies, aphids and mites from making a nuisance on your plot. ■ GARLIC This pungent plant is a bug repellent for carrot flies, cabbage white butterflies, slugs and aphids. The National Allotment Society (NAS) is the leading national organisation upholding the interests and rights of the allotment community across the UK. To find out more or to join visit: | 45

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CHARMER! It looks good, it tastes good, it’s versatile and you get good value for your money. Yes, it’s a charmed life with chard, says Tony Flanagan Swiss chard, along with perpetual SOWING Chard seedlings started spinach, belongs to the beet family off in a seed tray (Beta vulgaris) and has been grown If sowing direct, space 10cm (4in) apart, since ancient times. Not only are 2.5cm (1in) deep and in rows 45cm (18in) Chard seeds are in multigerm they nutritious, containing a good range of apart. July sowings can be harvested in the form – a number of seeds stuck micronutrients, including vitamin C, they are following spring. Water plants in with a gentle together – so seedlings will need to one of the more colourful vegetables you can spray so as not to displace the seeds. Once the be thinned out grow on your plot. The stalks – which come in seedlings come up you then need to thin them a variety of colours – are particularly striking. out to 30cm (12in) between each one. The | 47 discarded seedlings are not wasted, however, as SITE AND SOIL they can be added to salads. Swiss chard will do well on a sunny or Alternatively, start seeds off in cell trays or lightly shaded site provided the soil is fertile, seed trays filled with multi-purpose well-draining and moisture retentive. So, in compost and plant out when autumn or winter, make sure that plenty of they are large enough to handle, well-rotted organic matter has been added to 30cm (12in) apart. This can the soil. This will provide the nutrition and be a better alternative as you moisture needed to facilitate healthy growth can provide protection from in your plants. Also, apply a general fertiliser strong winds, heavy rain to the soil a couple of weeks before sowing. and slugs while the seedlings establish themselves. ➤

Swiss chard grows well in a raised bed too but make sure plenty of organic matter has been applied Young Swiss chard plants GROWING Mature plants Harvested Swiss chard leaves Keep plots weed-free and well-watered – too dry and the plants may bolt. Applying a mulch of home-made garden compost between the plants (make sure you water the ground thoroughly first) will help to retain moisture. You will need to cover with cloches in autumn and winter to offer some protection from cold weather. HARVESTING It takes about 12 weeks for plants to mature but before that you can help yourself to some young leaves, always taking from the outside of the plant, leaving younger leaves in the middle to continue growing. Cut at the base of the stem with a sharp knife. In this way, you will have a crop that keeps on cropping. Young leaves can be added to stir-fries whereas larger leaves can be steamed. The plants will stop growing over winter but will revive in the spring with a flush of new growth. As chard is such a colourful plant, you can grow it in borders 1‘6SSnwO-wwa1ittnii7Gisshvsetssaeph’SssceawtpuchcodegaaiitajnrrgtezddlhteiecusetsrBheriltvyaaaMdioesnuSeindhnndwdioienipiiststtr, Of course, you don’t even need a garden along with flowers and shrubs – it won’t look out of place classification. to grow Swiss chard as they can be grown in containers too. Choose a pot or trough 48 | that is at least 20cm (8in) deep as the plants have long tap roots. Add some well-rotted compost to the bottom of the pot if you can and then fill the rest of the container with multi-purpose compost. As the compost will gradually start to lose its nutritional value after about six weeks, you will need to add a liquid general fertiliser every couple of weeks or so, or alternatively, mix in some slow-release general fertiliser granules at the start. WATCH OUT FOR Swiss chard tends to be problem-free, though you should watch out for slugs and snails. Use your preferred slug deterrent control to keep them at bay. Cover your crop with insect netting to protect it against beet leaf miner, which can also be very damaging.

PERPETUAL SPINACH GROWING CHARD Closely related to Swiss Perpetual spinach seedlings There’s plenty to harvest chard is perpetual spinach, the crop that gives and gives and keeps on giving. Although it is called spinach and tastes something like it, this crop is actually a beet. You can grow it in the same way as Swiss chard but leave and you can harvest it by picking the outer leaves, as and when, keeping the plant intact. It is winter hardy and not prone to bolting in dry weather like spinach can do. It really is a good nutritious crop, especially if you are on a tight budget because it is so prolific if picked the right way – in other words, picking the outer leaves each time as a cut-and- come-again veg. ‘Fordhook Giant’ ‘White Silver 2’ ‘Bright Yellow’ ‘FORDHOOK GIANT’: Chunky ivory stems ‘WHITE SILVER 2’: Pure white stalks, thicker ‘BRIGHT YELLOW’: A good one for winter and dark leaves are the key characteristics of than some of the other varieties, and glossy hardiness, cropping from midsummer to late this larger-than-life variety which will grow up green leaves make this variety distinctive as autumn, to revive the following spring to to 60cm (2ft) tall. A heavy cropper. (T&M) well as productive. (Mr Fothergill’s) produce a fresh crop. (T&M) ‘Peppermint’ ‘Rhubarb’ ‘PEPPERMINT’: With its two-tone stems ‘RHUBARB’: The deep red running through ‘Rainbow’ this has a less vibrant feel compared with the veins of the leaves and the gorgeous red some of the other varieties of chard but is stalk makes this an impressive plant, whether ‘RAINBOW’: Bring colour to your vegetable nonetheless quite striking. (Dobies) on the veg plot or in the flower border. (Kings) garden with rainbow chard! Expect delicious, tender stems in shades of red, yellow, pink, white and orange. (Kings) ■ | 49

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