Penny’s gardening blog: signs of Spring & our boxes to grow

Snow drops are flowering; daffs are starting to push up through the sodden earth. Signs of spring are here and it’s really not long before we can start to get busy in our gardens. If only it would stop raining! Just as we think the ground is finally starting to dry out we get another shower or downpour.

Growing your own is not just about producing food/flowers etc. It gets you outside. You are learning new skills. Breathing in fresh air and getting some exercise. You can educate your children about growing and also about the insects, birds and small mammals that live in our gardens and are very much part of the whole picture. Growing your own is a brilliant way to connect with the earth that we live on. Communing with nature! That may sound a bit hippy but it really is true!

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Riverford’s Boxes to grow are now available to order and come in all shapes and sizes. You don’t even need a garden to grow them in. The small veg box to grow and the herb boxes to grow are ideal for people with a patio or balcony and it is amazing what you can produce in pots, tubs, old buckets, boxes. Even old veg boxes make a great container! We have put together large and small veg kits, two sizes of herb kits and an amazing flower box to grow too – the idea is that when your box arrives, you follow the preparation guidelines on the website and dig/weed your plot, spread well rotted manure etc and await the arrival of your kit with excitement!
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What’s in the boxes?
The veg and flower kits consist of plants, seedlings, seeds and full instructions and guidance on what to do and how to do it. The contents of the veg and herb boxes to grow are carefully selected by our knowledgeable team here at Riverford, putting into a box our years of experience of growing fantastic tasting vegetables. We pick varieties that are full of flavour and disease resistant that more often than not, we ourselves use here on the farm.

The plants and seeds for the flower box to grow are all selected by me. I have been growing cut flowers for a long time and have plenty of experience in this area. The varieties I have selected are easy to grow and a good range of colours and will provide you with traditional country flowers to cut for your house and enough to give to friends too, for several months.

The herb boxes to grow consist of a selection of useful culinary herbs which will grow on and give you herbs for your kitchen for years, with the exception of one or two that are bi-annual or annual. These will happily grow in pots/tubs etc and are ideal for planting in our cupboards for veg boxes. We use a nursery that has been raising seedlings for us for many years, they are experts in their field and always send us top quality organic seedlings and plants.

Our boxes really are a great way to get started and are designed for beginners and the more savvy gardener alike. When your kit arrives you simply go out and get busy planting and sowing. In one fail swoop you’ll have a fully packed kitchen garden!

Challenges – the main problems that you could be faced with are the weather and predators such as slugs, snails, pigeons etc, and weeds. It can be a challenge but is usually hugely rewarding. There is nothing quite like going out to your garden to pick your supper, a few herbs and a bunch of flowers for the table. Think back to The Good Life!

I am here to support and give advice to anyone who needs it. I will be writing regular blogs on all areas of gardening over the year so please make use of me and send me questions or comments.

Penny

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3 responses to “Penny’s gardening blog: signs of Spring & our boxes to grow

  1. Hi Penny

    I am really keen to start growing the flowers for cutting. We have no flowers in the garden because the deer munch their way through them. Could you recommend any flowers which the deer may avoid?

    Thanks.

    Sue.

  2. Dear Penny,Thank you for a lovely day at the farm.I was overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of the engineering side of modern organic farming!Little people like me,who would battle with the vagaries of English weather,to grow some vegetable and few cut flowers,just to have some satisfaction and pride in growing something(it is never economically sustainable)would be ,astounded of the scale of modern agriculture.One message I am taking home is to use fleece more liberally.
    When you let me taste miner’s lettuce,I said it had demulscent property.It should as the plant belonged to Portulaca (Purslane family)I have eaten Purslane as a child(it is supposed to act as a brain tonic,according to my Mother(obviously she was wrong as I am a living example of that misguided theory)
    Once again,we had a wonderful day.My granddaughter,my daughter Tanaya and my daughter’s school friend Rachel wanted to join me in thanking you,Sarah and all the unsung heroes in the kitchen.
    Kind regards
    Rama(Sarkhel)

  3. I’m building a 4ft x 4ft raised bed. Can the entire contents of a small veg kit fit into this, following the plan?

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