January 4, 2017
January can often be the coldest month of the year but the days are getting longer and spring will soon be here. The weather is likely to make the garden out of bounds for much of the month so make the most of the rare downtime and start planning. Dust off those gardening books and reach for your Dobies Seed Catalogue. Keep an eye out for those Down to Earth Prices. Also, have a browse at www.dobies.co.uk. Our range is too big for one catalogue but you’ll find everything on our website.
October 3, 2016
I’m writing this with the lights on, even though its 10am. The autumn mists have certainly arrived! It’s the time for woodland walks, foraging and for the first log fires of the season. It’s also time for clearing the greenhouse of spent summer plants, of placing a net over ponds to keep out falling leaves and loads of other tasks. So, although autumn is here don’t go getting too mellow, there’s still work to be done!
• Sow broad bean Aquadulce Claudia or De Monica now for an early crop in May/June and you may also avoid blackfly
• Runner and French Beans will stop cropping this month but don’t pull up the plants. Instead cut them off at ground level, leaving the roots which will then release nitrogen back into the soil
• Plant onion sets and garlic for cropping next summer
• Now is a good time to give the greenhouse a good clean, removing any shading. Also check that your greenhouse heater is in good working order.
• Plant spring bulbs and winter flowering bedding such as bellis, primula and pansies.
• Sow green manure to give your soil a winter boost. Visit our blog for details
Plums will be a plenty this month. Yes, they make delicious brandy and jam but this versatile fruit is worthy of a variety of dishes. Here’s a few suggestions, remember to stone the plums first!
Savoury plum sauce – cook alongside a joint of pork and then whizz up with some soy sauce, chilli, ginger and a pinch of sugar.
Sweet plum sauce – heat plums in a pan with some lemon juice, honey and mixed spice. Mash and serve with vanilla ice cream.
Plum cake – make a classic sponge and before cooking add some halved plums on top. Sprinkle with demerara sugar and cook as normal
If none of the above appeal, then how making some plum ketchup?
You will need:
2kg plums – stoned and chopped
4 red chillies
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp whole allspice
1 tsp whole peppercorns
570 ml malt vinegar
2 tsp sea salt
Pop the first 6 listed ingredients in a pan with half of the vinegar. Simmer for half an hour, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and strain through a sieve. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for another half hour or until thickened. Funnel into sterilised bottles. Keep in the fridge once opened.
If you don’t have a plum tree, then now is the time to buy one!
If you haven’t already seen September’s blog then now’s the time, simply click on any or all of the following titles.
New Delivery Option – you can now choose when your plants are delivered
Selecting New Fruit trees – some helpful pointers
Autumn Garlic – planting time is now
Heritage Veg – Rob Smith, winner of the BBC Big Allotment Challenge, launches his new range
September Newsletter 2016
September 1, 2016
September is an exciting month for all of us here at Dobies. For it is now that we launch our 2017 Seed Catalogue!
Every year we think it can’t get better but for 2017 we believe we’ve truly excelled. I don’t want to give away too much but the catalogue includes more than 70 new seed varieties, plus Rob Smith’s new ranges of cut flowers, heritage veg and quality garden tools. Oh and although we call it a seed catalogue we’ve included plants, fruit bulbs and more. If you haven’t received your free copy by Thursday 22nd September, then let us know and we’ll rush one to you.
- Asparagus fronds will turn brown this month so cut them down and then apply a mulch
- Sow some salad leaves, it’s your last chance this season!
- Now is the time to start moving houseplants back indoors. They’ll have enjoyed being outdoors during the summer but as the temperature starts to drop they’ll want to be inside.
- Onion sets, Shallots and Garlic can all be planted from now until mid-November
- Order and plant spring flowering bulbs. We’ll be despatching from early September onwards.
- Keep your vegetable patch productive throughout the winter by planting kale, leeks, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and of course sprouts. You’ll be wanting the sprouts for Christmas!
- Continue to harvest tomatoes, chillies, peppers, aubergines and beans. Especially beans – keep picking and they’ll keep producing!
- To feed and improve your soil, sow green manure on any bare patches of garden, visit our blog for details.
Baked apples, stewed apples, apple sauce, apple snow, apple tart, etc., etc. There are just so many ways in which to enjoy your apple harvest, including of course eating them fresh from the tree!
Apple besties include:
August Newsletter 2016
August 1, 2016
August is payback time. All that hard work done earlier in the year has resulted in cut flowers adorning the house and fruit and veg being harvested for wonderful meals. What can be better than an alfresco meal of home-grown salad, veg and fruit eaten with friends and family in your own colourful garden?
Whilst podding your peas, making your jam or oven drying your tomatoes why not have a browse through our latest free catalogues? Available from early August are our Kitchen Garden and Bulb Catalogues. If you haven’t received yours by the 12th August, please get in touch and we’ll rush them to you. With every bulb order placed we’ll include 15 free daffodil bulbs!
- Keep pinching out the side shoots on cordon tomatoes and harvest the fruits when ripe. This will encourage other fruits to mature and ripen.
- Maintain your watering and feeding regime. If you’re going on holiday, ask a neighbour or friend to pop by and do it for you. In return they can help themselves!
- If the weather is very hot and dry, then the lawn is best left alone but if you really need to cut it then lift the mower’s blades to their highest setting. Leave the clippings on the ground to act as a mulch.
- Order onion sets, shallots and garlic for autumn planting
- Sow herb seeds in pots to harvest from the kitchen windowsill in autumn.
Cucumbers are so easy to grow with outdoor ones readily available plus small varieties suitable for hanging baskets. So no doubt many of us will be experiencing a cucumber glut this August. Later this month our blog will give some ideas of ways to deal with this glut but for starters here’s some quick suggestions. Cucumber works well with: Continue Reading
July Newsletter 2016
July 1, 2016
“A summer without tomatoes is like a string quartet without strings.”
July is the beginning of that wonderful period when we get to eat what we have sown and grown. It’s the month when the delivery of veg boxes can be suspended as we enjoy our home-grown crops of tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, strawberries and more.
Normally the hottest month of the year July is yet another busy month for the gardener as watering becomes a daily task, lawns need regular mowing and weeds still need weeding.
- Keep your sweet peas flowering by regular picking. Pick in the morning or evening when the temperatures are at their coolest, plunge the flowers up to their necks in cold water and then enjoy the colour and fragrance in your home.
- Remove side shoots from cordon tomatoes and water and feed regularly.