Grow With Dobies – Competition Entries & Winners

2020 has seen many of us finding new activities to fill our time and occupy our minds during the lockdown. We have seen how well our gardening community has adapted and grown over the last few months and really wanted to celebrate how you have been spending time in your garden.

Our #growwithDobies competition saw some fantastic entries and we are delighted to share them with you now including the winners of the 4 categories.

Growing With Family

We have loved seeing how you have all been bonding in the garden and spending more time with each other whilst growing some of your favourite flowers and vegetables.

The Winner Is…

John Cameron

My granddaughter Autumn is helping me with planting out some little gem lettuce in my home made planter for small veg and herbs.

Small Spaces Growing

Often a large area to grow isn’t always available but we know how innovative you all are. With all of the entries making full use of their smaller spaces, creating amazing flower displays or filling it with vegetables.

The Winner Is…

Valerie Michael

I have no garden so in March when there was such uncertainty about food supplies I looked to the only space it might be possible to grow some veg, the garage roof. I needed soil.

The local organic farmer asked me to make a pouch for his sheep shears ( I am a leatherworker) so in return he let me have as much organic compost I needed. I found all sorts of old containers, drilled holes in the bottom and placed them close to the wall on the garage roof using a ladder. Some seeds I planted directly in the containers but I also brought some on in a seed tray Farmer Fred gave me. 

I have had a good crop of peas and french beans, the tomatoes are ripening nicely and the runners are almost ready. Carrots and butternut squash complete the rooftop allotment. Early on I had conversations with a Blackbird who seemed very put out that I had invaded his territory.I have ordered some plants from you for the winter and have plans to develop the space in 2021. The whole experience has helped me feel more positive and empowered through this uncertain time.

Rustic & Repurposed Gardens

We have seen so many wonderful and creative ideas to reuse and repurpose items you would usually dispose of and it has been great! Everybody that has entered has really really done well to innovate in the garden.

The Winner Is…

Nina Baker

This is our front garden in Glasgow. When we moved here in 2013, this was your absolutely conventional boring suburban front garden: a square of grass with a shrub in the middle. Because this is southwest facing, I took it for my fruit and veg, adding more and more raised beds (from recycled wood) each year.  

We are on clay here so I did not want to spend years fighting the clay, hence the raised beds. This year is looking really good, despite drought in March/April. I aim to be eating just our own tatties, onions and soft fruit until at least Christmas, maybe longer. I’ve grown the beans for drying and love the idea of growing our own protein too.

Growing For The First Time

We have loved seeing people just starting out in gardening showing what they have grown this year. We’ve enjoyed reading your stories too and are glad that you have all found a new hobby in growing your own vegetables and flowers.

The Winner Is…

Beverley Hiden

My daughter, age 15 has been using some lockdown time to try growing vegetables for the first time.

I bought her a raised bed and she is growing garlic, carrots, celery, lettuce and beetroot. Plus a random Cosmos flower (stowaway).

Thank you to everyone who entered the #GrowwithDobies competition and congratulations to all of the winners! It was tough choosing them as all of the images and stories we received were truly inspiring and creative.

If you see your photo above don’t forget to share our blog and showcase your amazing images more.

September Newsletter

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.  For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.


~ Edwin Way Teale

Traditionally September was when we started “putting our gardens to bed” but hold fast. There’s sure to be some lovely warm sun to enjoy and the wildlife will enjoy a less than tidy garden. Just start to think about moving the more tender plants and buy in some fleece. Make the most of sunny days and warm evenings as summer comes to a close.

You’ll be mostly be harvesting away this month so that you have plenty of fruit and veg to keep you going over the less productive months. Saying that, there’s still plenty to start growing, whether it be autumn cropping veg plants or quick and easy salad and leafy green seeds – you’ll have hearty meals and side dishes galore in no time!

While spring seems a long way off, it is also time to start planting your bulbs to ensure gorgeous swathes of colour when those fresh spring days come around. If you haven’t made your selection yet or not sure where to start, try one of our bumper bulb collections or go for a more relaxed English wildflower meadow feel with our naturalising bulb collection.

As the summer colour starts to fade you’ll need to fill those empty beds, baskets and borders with colourful winter-flowering primroses, pansies, violas, forget me nots and more… You can get started with some smaller value plugs or pre-order potted plants that are ready to burst full of colour.

September is also a very exciting time for us here at Dobies as we reveal our brand new seed range for 2021! After months of research, trials and selection we’ve found 50 new varieties of flower and vegetable seed that we think you are going to love, including a selection from our very own horti expert Rob Smith. Read on to find out more and take a sneak peek into the new range…

The daily struggle to water, feed and deadhead comes to an end this month but there are plenty of jobs to take their place.

  • 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 bulbs, there’s always room for a few more! Consider planting in an area where the bulbs can be left to naturalise. Remember that the planting hole needs to be roughly three times the height of the bulb.
  • 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!
  • Feed and improve your soil by sowing green manure on any bare patches of garden!
  • Now is the time to repair your lawn – read our top tips below!

NEW Seed Range

Seeds to sow June 2019 Dobies Newsletter

So far this year, there has been a huge shift in interest towards the horticultural world, with a particularly popular demand for seed. With so many of us having taken refuge in our outside space through lockdown, new gardens and their keepers have sprung up everywhere, with some rekindling their passion whilst existing gardeners have simply grown more.

Therefore, Dobies have introduced new seed for 2021 that reflects both current trends and customers’ expectations. Dobies’ new seed varieties deliver just what’s required to continue to inspire the nation’s gardeners, with new additions throughout flower and vegetable seed ranges.

Dobies has considered everything when making their selection, to bring varieties that stand out from the rest and offer that little bit more.

NEW Vegetable Seeds

For over 125 years, Dobies have used their vast knowledge and experience to bring a range of outstanding new varieties to gardeners. Our new 2021 vegetable range is no exception. This year 32 new cultivars having been added to the collection to keep your allotments, veg patches and containers well stocked.

We are proud to introduce our fantastic selection of new vegetable seeds that have been carefully selected to offer you the same level of quality that you expect whilst giving you the opportunity to grow some new vegetable varieties.

Try our top of the range F1 hybrids that are specially bred for stronger plants and bumper crops like Broccoli Purple Rain or Tomato Crimson Plum. Or brighten up your veg patch with plants that are as colourful as they are tasty like the Peppermint Swiss Chard. If you’re a fan of Rob Smith’s heritage varieties, you’ll love the likes of Tomato Big Brandy and Lettuce Bronze Beauty that has been saved from extinction… all tried and tested by Rob himself, each variety has been grown in his garden or allotment!

NEW Flower Seeds

Dobies of Devon have supplied flower seeds direct to gardeners since 1894. In keeping with their long-established reputation for only selecting the best, the 2021 catalogue contains a wonderful range of new and exciting varieties of cottage garden favourites, ‘must have’ annuals and the pick of perennials from seed.

Decorate your flower beds and flower borders with brand new, bright and colourful flower varieties. The new flower seed range has a great mix of new and interesting breeds to much more traditional flowers with a twist.

Growing your flowers from seed is not only great value for money but seeing your plants grow and go through many stages of maturation is much more satisfying than buying the finished product. You will be able to choose where and how you grow your flowers to create fantastic displays in your garden. We have selected some of our absolute favourite varieties that we want to share with you. We’re sure you will all love them just as much as we do!

A classic flower that’s elegant and pretty, try our new and exclusive Sweet Pea Fire & Ice. If you want something a little warm and fiery, you’ll love French Marigold Tiger Eyes that will turn up the heat in your garden. You can always guarantee Rob Smith’s cut flower range to have something new and exciting and this year he does not disappoint with the new Cosmos Pink Popsocks and Nasturtium Baby Orange to name a few.

#GrowWithDobies Winners

Back in July we asked you to show us how you have used your garden or small space as best as possible, celebrating innovation in the garden. With four categories to enter we were truly amazed at the entries we received…

So without further ado here are our winners who will be receiving a £50 Dobies Gift Voucher to spend online!

Growing With Family

John Cameron

My granddaughter Autumn is helping me with planting out some little gem lettuce in my home made planter for small veg and herbs.

Small Spaces Growing

Valerie Michael

I have no garden so in March when there was such uncertainty about food supplies I looked to the only space it might be possible to grow some veg, the garage roof. I needed soil.

The local organic farmer asked me to make a pouch for his sheep shears ( I am a leatherworker) so in return he let me have as much organic compost I needed. I found all sorts of old containers, drilled holes in the bottom and placed them close to the wall on the garage roof using a ladder. Some seeds I planted directly in the containers but I also brought some on in a seed tray Farmer Fred gave me.

Rustic & Repurposed Gardens

Nina Baker

This is our front garden in Glasgow. When we moved here in 2013, this was your absolutely conventional boring suburban front garden: a square of grass with a shrub in the middle. Because this is southwest facing, I took it for my fruit and veg, adding more and more raised beds (from recycled wood) each year. 

We are on clay here so I did not want to spend years fighting the clay, hence the raised beds. This year is looking really good, despite drought in March/April. I aim to be eating just our own tatties, onions and soft fruit until at least Christmas, maybe longer. I’ve grown the beans for drying and love the idea of growing our own protein too.

Growing For The First Time

Beverley Hidden

My daughter, age 15 has been using some lockdown time to try growing vegetables for the first time.

I bought her a raised bed and she is growing garlic, carrots, celery, lettuce and beetroot. Plus a random Cosmos flower (stowaway).

Thank you to everyone who entered the #GrowwithDobies competition, we loved looking through all of your pictures and reading your stories.

To see all of the entries for this competition click the button below.

Tips for Planting Spring Bulbs

The appearance of early spring flowers is when many of us breathe a sigh of relief. The dark days of winter are nearly over. Be they dancing daffodils, pure snowdrops or vibrant tulips, spring bulbs bring a welcome promise of longer, warmer days.

Spring bulbs are nothing if not versatile. They will happily grow in containers, borders, through grass and under trees. And of course, some can be forced to flower indoors at Christmas.

Simple to grow and needing little aftercare your spring bulbs will do well if you follow these 10 simple tips found on our ‘How To Plant Spring Bulbs’ blog.

Now Is The Time To Repair Your Lawn

As we near the end of an exceptionally sunny summer, your lawn may have been transformed from a lush green colour to a dry, brown expanse resembling coconut matting. Recent rain will certainly have helped your lawn to recover but with a little extra TLC, you can easily restore to its former glory.

Here are 5 easy steps to follow to get that perfect lawn!

Step 1 – Remove moss and thatch using the Lawn Scarifier.

Step 2 – Aerate to reduce compaction and aid drainage using Lawn Spikes or the Lawn Aerator.

Step 3 – Feed to aid recovery using RHS Recovery 4Kg 80M² .

Step 4 – Overseed your lawn to bring it back to life using Dobies Premium Lawn Seed 625G Pack.

Step 5 – Fight lawn pests with biological pest control.

Offer Of The Month

Bare Root Plants

Buy Any 3 Or More For Just £6 Each

Bare root plants are a more economical way to buy your perennials. Generally planted during the autumn or winter so less care needed once planted.

Larger clumps of roots which will continue to grow during the winter meaning a stronger more established plant for good displays in the spring.

We’ve got 3 beautiful new varieties, including Iris Mission Ridge, Iris Summer Olympics and Papaver Manhattan. Get your hands on these before the sell out!

DOBIES’ NEW SEED VARIETIES – 2021

In an unprecedented year, the horticultural world has seen an explosion of interest in growing your own produce from seed. With so many of us having been impassioned to grow our own in the lockdown period it comes as no surprise there has been a huge increase with demand in allotments soaring and the desire for garden space jumping up on the wish lists for many house movers in recent months and this trend looks like it’s here to stay!

With so many of us having taken solace in our gardens and allotments Dobies have introduced exciting new seed for 2021 that reflects these current trends. Supporting all those new to growing your own with well thought out and easy to grow seed as well as presenting standout varieties sure to excite and satisfy the expectations of Dobies more experienced gardeners. Dobies’ new seed varieties deliver just what’s required to continue to inspire all the nation’s gardeners, with new additions throughout flower and vegetables seed ranges whilst continuing to build on their competitively priced, ‘no frills’ ethos.

Introducing a fabulous selection of greens and herbs to keep you growing and cooking all year with varieties that can be cropped small or left to grow to provide a multitude of culinary uses.

You will find all you need from those which are quick to crop to those producing a longer crop. There are new varieties which can only be described as ‘Well Behaved’ which feature attributes to make them easier to harvest or weather resistant making them perfect for UK growing – and you’ll also find the latest in commercial breeding here too.

There’s a fabulous new addition to our crimson family as Dobies introduces the first fully blight resistant plum tomato. It has many culinary uses but is the ultimate tomato for making perfect delicious sauces.

Plus, additions to the flower seed range see a wonderful selection of perennials and annuals to deliver colour, interest and scent for both garden and home whist keeping wildlife happy too! From traditional favourites to budget bedding with four new striking marigolds – it’s all here to keep flower beds and borders, pots and baskets spilling over with long-lasting blooms.

The Rob Smith Range introduces a wonderful selection of heritage varieties. Two heavy cropping and flavour packed tomatoes come highly rated, beautifully coloured lettuces that will uplift your summer salads and a smoking hot chilli for the brave! Plus tempting new flower seed for a garden look like no other and a nasturtium with all the answers!

Dobies’ new seed is a perfect antidote as we move forward into the new season and is sure to capture the imagination of all who love their garden.

The Dobies NEW Seed Catalogue will be available from the beginning of October and, in the meantime, you can find all the new seed listed below on our website.

The new seed range speaks for itself, so without further ado, Dobies is proud to present the New seed range for 2021!

New Seed Varieties for 2021 – Vegetables

For over 125 years, Dobies have used their vast knowledge and experience to bring a range of outstanding new varieties to gardeners. Our new 2021 vegetable range is no exception. This year 22 new cultivars having been added to the collection to keep your allotments, veg patches and containers well stocked.

Broccoli – Purple Rain F1

This compact, productive broccoli, flowers through summer into autumn before ‘purple sprouting’ and is ideal for exposed sites. Harvest the main head like broccoli or leave and let it split into spears – just like purple sprouting.

Cauliflower – Zaragoza

A summer/autumn cauliflower, produces top quality curds whose disease resistance kicks ‘club root’ into touch. It stands well for weeks without ‘blowing’ and deserves a space on your plot.

Tomato – Crimson Plum F1

The first fully blight resistant plum tomato produces masses of fruit with a deep rich flavour. The moist meaty flesh makes it perfect for cooking or pureed into delicious home-made sauce.

Pak Choi – Macau

This mini Pak Choi is superb for stir-frying whole.  Performing well from mid-summer and with good ‘bolting’ tolerance; successional sowing is the gateway to months of stir fries.

Basil – Everleaf Emerald

This upright, ornamental Basil, crops up to three months longer than regular ‘Genovese’. Dark in colour and full of flavour, it makes the perfect garnish for mozzarella and tomato salad.

Pea – Sabrina

With excellent resistance to downy and powdery mildew, this sweet tasting pea provides non-stop cropping through cool spring and mid-summer heat. Sow from March to June and enjoy its flavour all summer long.

Pea – Sugar Lace

This sweet, string less ‘Sugar Snap’ with thick, succulent pods is ideal for sowing in pots. Resistant to powdery mildew and almost self-supporting, it is the perfect pea eaten raw or cooked. Try popping some pods into a school day packed lunch.

Broccoli – Gemini F1

A super-speedy broccoli takes just 80 days from sowing to harvest. Cut the tender head, then the side-shoots and eat them steamed then served with butter or raw and crunchy, with dips.

Pepper Chilli – Chocolate Habanero

Brings you the authentic flavour of Jamaica in one rich, smoky chilli. Ripening from green to chocolate brown, it is the perfect addition to Jerk sauce and one of the hottest Habaneros around.

Brussels Sprout – Gladius F1

An upright, Brussels sprout reaching just 75cm tall. Easy to ‘de-leaf’, so a doddle to harvest, the mild flavoured buttons are delicious when cooked traditionally or roasted with olive oil.

Carrot – CascadeF1

An early cropping, uniform, stump rooted carrot, that’s slow to ‘bolt’ and holds well in the ground. This versatile veg can be sown densely for full flavoured mini carrots or thinned to be eaten full grown.

Shallot – Simiane

Harvest young, like spring onions or leave longer in the ground to mature. The clusters of pink fleshed, sweet, banana-shaped bulbs are easy to slice and are delicious in salads, sandwiches or soups.

Sweetcorn – IllusionF1

A vigorous sweet corn, that’s an excellent cropper in the UK climate. The tempting white cobs, up to 20cm long, are more tender than a ‘super sweet’ and have that same mouth-watering flavour.

Swiss Chard -Peppermint

With its pink to white two-tone stems adds an air of sophistication to vegetable plots, flower borders or upcycled designer containers. Steam the leaves like spinach or add the colourful mid ribs to salads.

Tomato – Veranda Red F1

A British bred, blight resistant, early ripening, outdoor tomato that’s ideal for hanging baskets or containers. The cherry sized fruit, which proved popular in taste tests, are sweet and full of flavour. It crops until the first frosts and even longer under cover.

Squash – Mashed Potatoes

A bushy, white skinned, ‘acorn’ squash, with excellent keeping qualities. When cooked and fluffed, the white flesh looks like mashed potato but contains only 23 calories per serving. That’s around ¼ the carbs of potatoes!

Kale – Oldenboer F1

The successful result of recent breeding, this is a compact, cold tolerant kale and with a long harvesting period. The tightly curled leaves suit any culinary style and thin mid-ribs mean more food and less wastage.

New – Rob Smith Range

Tomato – Bloody Butcher

A succulent, old German Heritage tomato, the size of a golf ball. If you fancy a heavy cropping glasshouse variety with succulent fruits, dark ‘blood-red’ juice and full of flavour, this is a ‘must’ buy for you.

Tomato – Big Brandy

This heavy cropper is the offspring of ‘Big Dwarf’ and ‘Brandywine’ – two highly rated Heritage varieties. Richly complex in flavour, whether fresh from the plant or cooked, this beautiful, large, pink beefsteak, is much earlier to mature than its parents.

Pepper Chilli – Carolina Reaper

Rated the hottest in the world by the Guinness Book of Records, it measures a cool 2.2million Scoville Heat Units. First comes the fruity, chocolate/cinnamon flavour, then the mind-blowing heat kicks in! Handle with care – always wear gloves when handling fruit and wash your hands before rubbing your eyes. This devilishly hot chilli will blow your socks off!

Lettuce – Bronze Beauty

This beautiful heritage variety boasts blushed bronze leaves, is super sweet and is slow to ‘bolt’. Winner of an All American Selection in 1947, it was described as ‘the finest, most colourful and most delicious leaf lettuce for the garden’ – qualities that are still irresistible.

Lettuce – Speckled Trout

Attractive red ‘splashes’ on bright green leaves gave rise to the unusually named Austrian Heritage Cos. Cold tolerant and slow to ‘bolt’, it is ideal for early sowing and cooler climates and makes a sweet, colourful addition to a Caesar salad.

NEW SEED VARIETIES 2021 – FLOWERS

Dobies of Devon have supplied flower seeds direct to gardeners since 1894. In keeping with their long-established reputation for only selecting the best, the 2021 catalogue contains a wonderful range of new and exciting varieties of cottage garden favourites, ‘must have’ annuals and the pick of perennials from seed.

Calendula – Bulls Eye

This unique ‘pom-pom’ flowered pot marigold boasts sunshine yellow blooms up to 6cm across with a contrasting ‘Bulls Eye’ centre. This Fleuroselect Novelty winner, which was highly commended by international judges in 2020, is perfect for containers or borders and very easy to grow.

Primrose – Amore

hat’s not to love about a stunning, tropical peach melba, double flowered, lightly scented primrose, that brings a carnival of colours to late winter and early spring? Great for adding a touch of class to borders, baskets or containers, this perennial beauty has it all.

Zinnia – Dobies Florist Pastels

Add ‘zing’ to containers or the middle of a border and are valued by flora artists for their fabulous colours and their single, semi-double or double multi-featured blooms.

Sweet Pea – Fire & Ice

Produces magical displays of beautifully shaded flowers in white, pink and purple, with a sweet lingering fragrance and lovely long stems that make them perfect for cutting. If you keep cutting; the blooms keep coming.

Allium – Yellow Allium

This rare ‘Ornamental Onion’ forming clumps of globular, sunshine yellow blooms, is ideal for the front of a border or rock garden. Much loved by bees and butterflies and great as cut flowers, these tough plants from Tibet are temperature tolerant down to -20C.

Coreopsis – Amulet

Just 25cm tall, easy to grow and ideal for pots or edging a border. Hardy and heat tolerant, masses of dainty burnt red blooms, top fine feathery foliage – it just keeps on flowering, all summer long.

Cosmos – Fizzy Purple

This super selection brings you a rare colour in cosmos whose ‘fizzy’ flowers, create an effervescent look. Beautiful in a vase and adored by bees, they will keep you ‘buzzing’ all summer long.

African Marigold – Cupid Orange

Each individual bloom looks like a mini-tangerine chrysanthemum on a luxurious cushion of green. Easy to grow and ideal as ‘budget bedding’, the densely packed foliage means few weeds, especially when planted en masse.

African Marigold – Cupid Lemon 

Boasting blooms of eye-catching bright lemon flowers made up of tightly quilled petals – just like chrysanthemums! Excellent for bedding, with blue ageratum, they add a welcome burst of colour, for gardeners ‘on a budget’.

French Marigold – Tiger Eyes

Flaunts sophisticated double flowers with an orange crest, graduating to maroon around the collar. Dwarf, bushy and easy to grow, they are ideal for anyone looking for a ‘steal’ with antique style.

French Marigold – Spanish Brocade

Free flowering and easy to grow, the flamboyant, double, red and gold bi-coloured blooms, look as if the edges have been dipped in gold. Inspired by flamenco, these glorious flowers, will have you clapping your hands and stamping your feet.

Silene – Carmine

With an unusual cascading habit, is ideal baskets and containers. Sow in autumn or spring for an early summer display of small, semi-double carmine coloured flowers, that flower for six months. No deadheading required!

Lavender – Lady

This first-year flowering perennial fills a garden with beautiful blooms and classic fragrance, year after year. Unlike many other varieties it doesn’t split or sprawl. Much loved by pollinators, the flowers can be added to sugar and biscuits or turned into traditional lavender bags.

New Seed Varieties – Rob Smith Range

Nasturtium – Baby Orange

A breakthrough in nasturtium breeding produces a neat ball-like habit, which is covered in flowers. Small, dark green leaves and contrasting tangerine flowers make them perfect for pots or the corners of vegetable beds. Its flowers and leaves make a colourful addition to salads.

Rudbeckia – Sahara

Huge flowers up to 13cm wide packed onto plants only 60cm tall hit you with exciting vintage shades of copper, amber, gold and burnt rose. It’s a garden ‘look’ like no other! Flowering from late summer until late autumn, they add ‘pizzazz’ when many start flagging and others are well past their best.

Allium cernuum

This beautiful, clump-forming perennial is widely admired for its elegant chandeliers of flowers in baby pink and white – and despite its glamour, it is easy to grow. The leaves and flowers taste like chives and are perfect in salads – but would you dare to eat such beautiful blooms?

Cosmos – Pink Popsocks

Baby pink blooms and ‘powder puff’ centres have borrowed their ‘look’ from anemone-flowered dahlias. Around 60cm tall, loved by bees and glorious as cut flowers, they are a ‘must have’ for the garden from June-September.

An additional 9 new varieties have been added in our organic veg seed range too.

Tomato Reisetomate

Tomato Koralik F1

Squash & Pumpkin Jack Be Little

Radish Mixed

Cabbage Caraflex F1

Cauliflower Skywalker F1

Carrot Resistafly F1

Cucumber Passandra F1

Calendula Pot Marigold

To view our whole range and to discover more amazing products, click the button below.

August Newsletter

Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.


~ Henry James

Let’s hope for a sunny August where we can throw open the doors and windows making the house and garden fully open to each other. Sure, there’s still some gardening jobs to be done but they involve no strenuous labour. The top priority is to water, water, water, whilst the sun is shining and the days are warm and dry.

August is a time of plenty and when it comes to tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and of course courgettes, it is often a time of glut. While vegetables are best eaten fresh, jams, pickles and chutneys will help with any glut of varieties that have enjoyed the growing conditions this year.

Our piccalilli recipe below will provide you with a healthy and delicious accompaniment for the longer winter months ahead – and you can throw in just about any vegetable in the mix! Most of all, don’t forget to sit back, relax and browse through our NEW 2020 Bulb Catalogue…

  • Water, feed, deadhead. Water, feed, deadhead. And keep repeating.
  • Parsley and other herbs sown now will mean that you have a fresh supply for the winter
  • Aubergines will be ready this month. Pick them when they are firm and nice and shiny
  • Continue picking sweet peas and removing any seed heads. Also mulch, feed and water. They’ll be finished all too soon.
  • Keep an eye on the level of water in your pond and top up from the hose when necessary. This will also help to oxygenate the water.
  • Pruning your wisteria this month will not only tidy it up but will also divert its energy from producing tendrils to producing flower buds for next year.
  • Some hardy annuals can be sown now, direct in their flowering positions meaning early flowers next spring/summer.
  • Salad leaves can be sown this month, in fact keep sowing and you’ll be eating salad all year round.
  • Continue to remove side-shoots from tomato plants and boost ripening by giving high potash feed.
  • Harvest beans, courgettes, potatoes, cucumbers, salad leaves, aubergines, etc, etc as soon as they are ready. Home-grown meals eaten outside with friends and family are one of the highlights of summer.

Seeds to Sow in August

Sowing vegetables in August is all about those fast-growing varieties. Think speedy salads and winter wellness, as there are many veg that come into their own at this time of year when the weather can be a little cooler.

If you plan carefully, the veg you sow in August will grow into those autumn dinners for the family, so it’s time to start sowing cabbages, chard, salad mixes, radishes and turnips. Cover cabbages and chard with a cloche to protect them, and you’ll be rewarded with homegrown veg in time for winter.

View Our Veg Seeds To Sow In August

NEW 2020 Bulb Catalogue

Our 2020 Bulb Catalogue is out soon! Featuring autumn and spring flowering bulbs, winter bedding, perennials, winter cropping veg and more.

Here are a few highlights from the catalogue…

On The Cover – Back to Nature

To help you get back to nature, you can now create a mini haven in your own space at home with our brilliant bulb collection! These popular flowers will give a natural and informal look to your garden, with floral displays that you can enjoy for years to come. From pretty English Bluebells to delicate snowdrops, by planting natural plant varieties you will be helping wildlife and attracting vital pollinators in your garden.

Spring Bulbs

A wonderful array of varieties and colours that will look stunning in pots, containers and borders. You’ll find bulbs by variety such as Tulips, Daffodils and Hyacinths… Plus exclusive bulb mixes, colour themed bulbs, our Pick & Mix for £5 a pack offer and lots more!

This year why not try our Bulb Starter Kit – everything you need to get your bulbs off to a great start for only £39.95 (saving £24!).

All Year Round Colour

Who says your garden can’t look spectacular all year round? Don’t let the dreary UK winters get the better of you and your garden, make sure your flower beds look breath-taking all year. Our winter bedding must-haves will flower from autumn until late spring, providing you with gorgeous colours in the cooler, darker months. 

Keep Cropping Through Autumn & Beyond!

Come late August you’ll have started to harvest some of your summer veg and you’ll have empty spaces to fill. Why not fill them with some our later planting crops which we’ve grown on for you in larger pots, ready to plant straight into your garden.

#GrowWithDobies Update

With only 10 days left of our Grow With Dobies Competition we would love for more of you to get involved and show us how you have used your garden or small space as best as possible to grow amazing crops, whether that is flowers or fruit and veg. We know that with growing your own fruit and veg comes much pride and satisfaction and what better way to showcase the fruits of your labour than recognising your hard work and the wonderful produce you have grown through lockdown.

We have 4 categories for you to enter your amazing photos: Growing with Family, Small Spaces Growing, Rustic & Repurposed Gardens, Growing for the first time. We’ll choose one winning image from each category and its owner will receive a £50 Dobies Gift Voucher to spend online.. Hurry the competition closes on the 10th August!

Submit your image here or via social media. Click here for more info and T&Cs.

Here are a few current entries to give you some inspiration.

National Allotment Week

This year’s National Allotment Week is ‘Growing Food for Health and Well-being’, a reflection of the many benefits of growing, cooking and eating your own fruit and vegetables.

The week runs from 10th – 16th August and this year they would like plot-holders to enter their NAW Competition which asks to produce videos and storyboards about your allotment story.

The 3 categories for the competition are:

  • “What my allotment means to me” for individuals (16 years upwards) –  £100 prize – NAS members, non-members free NAS membership plus £50
  • “The history of our site” or “Our site’s projects and plans for the future” for associations – £200 prize – NAS members, non-members free association membership up to the value of £200
  • “What I grow at the allotment” for children (up to 16 years)- £50 prize

National Allotments Week started in 2002 as a way of raising awareness of allotments and the role they play in helping people to live healthier lifestyles, grow their own food, develop friendships and bolster communities.

To celebrate the 18th year of National Allotment Week we’ve got a fantastic offer on our Autumn / Winter cropping veg plants with 36 plants for only £36! – perfect for sharing with friends and family on the allotment or in your garden.

Make Your Own Piccalilli At Home

Perfect Piccalilli Recipe

This sweet vegetable pickle is perfect for an August harvest, when garden produce is at its peak and there is plenty to spare. This delicious preserve can be made using almost any vegetable but is best with varieties that are crisp and green.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time1 d
Total Time1 d 1 hr

Ingredients

  • 30 g Cornflower
  • 10 g Tumeric
  • 10 g English Mustard Powder
  • 15 g Yellow Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Crushed Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Crushed Coriander Seeds
  • 50 g Honey
  • 600 ml Cider Vinegar
  • 1 kg Fresh veg

Instructions

  • Wash, peel and chop up 1kg of fresh vegetables such as cauliflower, green beans, cucumbers, courgettes, tomatoes, carrots, shallots or peppers. The secret to a successful piccalilli is to take the time to cut your veg into small, similar sized pieces.
  • Place in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and leave in a cool place for 24 hours. After this you’ll need to rinse the veg with cold water and drain.
  • Blend 30g of cornflower, 10g turmeric, 10g English mustard powder, 15g yellow mustard seeds and 1 teaspoon each of crushed cumin and coriander seeds. Add a dash of cider vinegar to create a smooth paste.
  • Put 600ml of cider vinegar, 150g of granulated sugar and 50g of honey into a pan and bring to a boil. Pour a little of this mix onto your paste, stir well and add the paste to the full pan of your vinegar, sugar and honey mix.
  • Boil for 3-4 minutes to release the spices and thicken the sauce.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and fold you mix into your vegetables, then immediately pack the pickle into sterilised jars.
  • Leave for 4-6 weeks and use with a year

Notes

The recipe makes 3 x 340g jars.

Offer Of The Month

Cottage Garden Lucky Dip

18 x 9cm Potted Plants For Only £30 – Save £42!

  • The perfect selection of perennial plants for your summer displays.
  • 9cm potted plants ready to be planted straight into pots & border for instant colour.
  • At a fraction of the cost this perennial plant selection is a great lucky dip of plants!
  • Plants are chosen by our expert team on our Devon nursery.
  • Immediate Despatch For Instant Displays!

The Back To Nature Collection

There are many emotional and physical benefits to gardening and spending time out of doors. You can now reap the benefits with our Back to Nature Collection.

At RHS Chelsea, the Duchess of Cambridge’s ‘Back to Nature’ garden was designed as a tranquil place to retreat from the world. It was a place to play, learn, explore and create special memories. Against a naturalist backdrop of wild trees, shrubs and plants in a cool calm colour palette. 

You can now create a mini haven in your own space at home with our brilliant bulb selection! 

These popular perennials will give a natural and informal look to your garden. With floral displays that you can enjoy for years to come. From pretty primulas to lovely Lily of the Valley (and everything in between). By planting natural plant varieties you will help wildlife and attract pollinators to your garden.

Our favourite Back to Nature varieties

Leucojum aestivum Bulbs – Summer Snowflake

Reminiscent of the well-loved snowdrop. Leucojum has up to 8 delicate white flowers per stem. White bell-shaped flowers with green tips. Known as the summer snowflake flowers are lightly scented.

Crocus Botanical Mix

Crocus Botanical Mix

Our natural crocus mixture contains many fragile but robust-growing varieties. Height 10cm. Bulb size 5cm+. (Bulb sizes quoted in centimetres refer to the circumference of bulbs. All bulbs are sourced from cultivated stocks.)

These delightful botanical crocuses will withstand the coldest weather conditions. Ideal for naturalising, and will flower year after year. Crocuses are among the first heralds of spring. Their cups of vivid colours make such a welcome splash of colour!

Happy Bee and Butterfly Flower Bulb Mixture

Happy Bee and Butterfly Flower Bulb Mixture

Perfect mixtures to attract beautiful bees or butterflies to your garden.

Happy Butterfly Varieties: A mix of butterfly-attracting bulbs. Developed with the Butterfly Foundation to help nature in your garden. The collection comes in a paper bag.

Happy Bee Varieties: A mix of bee-attracting bulbs. Developed with the Beekeepers Association to help nature in your garden. The collection comes in a paper bag.

The ‘Back to Nature’ range is filled with many more spectacular flowers to create a wild and natural aesthetic garden for all to enjoy!