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Archive for the ‘organic gardening’ Category

A new course and discussion group on growing your own
fruit and veg has started at

Ventnor Community Cafe, 3 Albert St, Ventnor, PO38 1DS
Thursdays from 7pm to 8.30 pm.

This is a great opportunity to share and discover new ideas and tips for the coming season.


Healthy CropsIn the current economic climate many more people are thinking about growing their own fruit and veg as it is so much cheaper and healthier but could do with a bit of help and advice.

How do you get from a load of weeds or bare soil or an empty pot to delicious, healthy crops.

Where do you start?

What to do in the garden now?
Where to seeds and when to sow them?
How do you make good compost?
What sort of fertilizer to use and when?
How to deal with garden pests?
What can you grow in pots?
How do you prune things?

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The next Isle of Wight Permaculture Monthly Meeting meeting is due to be held this Sunday 7th June at 10:30am, slight snag – we don’t have a host for it as yet.

If you would like to host it please let us know ASAP, you don’t have to have held one before, nothing grand is expected. All you need is a garden or a bit of land and preferably a kettle. We can help out around your garden or we can just talk, have a question and answer session or swap seeds and plants etc

We have a host for July but we welcome the chance to pencil in people for future months.

Please get in contact if you would like to host this or a future month or would like to come to our meetings.
Phone: 01983 854968

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Typical allotmentsWith the present economic climate and a huge amount of interest in growing your own vegetables (sales of vegetable seeds were up by 60% last year) and fruit, where to grow them has become an increasing problem for many people who have small or non-existent gardens.  There are a few options available to get yourself some growing space including allotments, Adopt-A-Garden and Landshare.

Photo: Angus Mackie

To find out more – (more…)

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SeedsThis is the time of year most people get their seed catalogues and decide what they are going to order for next year. Rather than ordering a paper catalogue I urge you to save paper and check out the online seed merchants. Not only can you source hard to find seeds and those that are particularly good for organic growing but the online sites often have more detailed growing information than the paper catalogues.

It might be worthwhile getting together with a few friends and ordering together to save on postage. The smaller companies postage rates are often much better than the larger companies.

Listed below are a selection of large and small seed merchants. If you want to buy organic seeds and avoid postage costs completely, Godshill Organics stock Suffolk Herbs Organic seeds which start from about £1.15 per packet. They often sell organic herb plants and sell excellent organic compost in the spring.

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My latest compostWe all know that compost is the key to a productive garden, it is far cheaper to make your own and you know what has gone into it. If you have a big garden the best way always seems to be to have several of those big wooden crate type things, I once had a garden that was big enough for a couple of them and I made my most successful compost in them. In my current garden I have three of those big plastic composters and am still in the process of tying to get it right.

I have been doing a bit of research and found that some people have been saying that their compost works much better when they started adding the contents of their Bokashi bins to their heaps.

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Assorted BeesGive Bees a Chance was launched this year in partnership with the Isle of Wight Festival & Gift to Nature who are running a project to support Bumblebees, Solitary Bees and Honey Bees. We need bees they pollinate around three quarters of agricultural crops. Bees all over the world are dying in record numbers due to the Varroa virus, Colony Collapse Disorder and various environmental factors such as loss of habitat. There is an excellent article in The Ecologist which outlines all the problems affecting bees.

I have noticed in my garden this year that there have been far less bees than ever before,  although I have got lots of bumblebee visitors.

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Spring CabbageIf you have not yet sown your spring cabbages for next year, now is the time to do it. A good variety ‘Precoce de Louviers’ spring cabbage can be sown in late August or September, the seeds are available from the excellent Real Seed Catalogue . Full size cabbages are only really suitable if you have beds and plenty of space to grow them as they need to be planted a couple of feet apart, which would mean only one plant per pot or container. If you are growing in containers you are far better off with cut and come again leaves like spinach and Nero Di Toscana kale.
Photo: Tina Mammoser

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