“Oh, the good life, full of fun seems to be the ideal”

It’s coming, Spring is almost here! Most of the country has had a fairly easy winter but even so what joy spring brings! The birds are singing, the blossom is blossoming, our gardens are awakening. I could go on, with a host of golden clichés but I won’t, I’ll stop.

There’s too much work to be done. March is peak sowing season so hopefully your propagators, trays and pots have been cleaned and are ready to go. Seeds are the least expensive way of growing flowers and vegetables and probably the most rewarding. All they need is quality compost (not that opened bag leftover from last year), heat and water. Follow the instructions on the packet, sow as thinly as you can, and you won’t go wrong. If you do then contact us, and we’ll do what we can to help.

  • Check that you have enough seed trays for what you want to sow and using the information on the packets, make a plan as to what to sow when.
  • Plant your chitted early potatoes plus onions and shallots. If you’ve ordered heat-treated onions from us then they will be despatched in April, the right time for planting.
  • Prune winter flowering shrubs
  • Keep on top of the weeding now and you’ll be rewarded by weed free beds come summer
  • Plant summer flowering bulbs in hot sunny spot
  • When your seeds start to germinate move them to a well-lit spot and don’t allow the soil to dry out

Well Done Us!

Following their research into the best plug-plant suppliers, the Which? Magazine have announced that “Dobies is one of the 2 top plug-plant suppliers”. Have a browse through our range and place your order safe in the knowledge that you won’t be disappointed.


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It may be a superfood, rich in vitamins A and C plus calcium, manganese and iron but… I suspect I’m not the only one getting a little tired of kale! This is a barren time of year for veg with few home-grown crops available. Yet kale keeps on giving. So, here’s some suggestions to liven it up a bit.


Add braised kale to cooked Puy lentils with chopped sundried tomatoes and a spoonful or two of coriander pesto.

Make Bubble and Squeak using kale instead of sprouts

Roast a sweet potato, scoop out the flesh and mix with cooked, chopped kale plus some grated cheddar. The pile the mix back into the potato shell, scatter some more grated cheese on top and pop it under the grill until it sizzles

Add braised kale to potato hash along with garlic and chorizo

Fry kale with crushed garlic and pine nuts and then blitz it with cream to make pasta sauce

Dig out a pesto recipe and replace the basil with kale

The Good Life

To some this phrase recalls Tony Bennett’s 1963 song, to others an image of Tom and Barbara Good slipping and sliding in their Surbiton garden. The all the phrase is indicative of a simple, self-sufficient lifestyle. Growing crops and keeping livestock in the garden is many people’s idea of the “good life” and we know that many of our Dobies customers are already living that dream.

As you know, Dobies already supplies the seeds, plants, fruit, etc. needed to grow your own but now we’re taking the next step. Coming soon our range will also provide everything needed for your backyard chickens and honey bees plus the equipment needed to preserve and store your crops and harvests.

The first part of the range to be launched will be Keeping Chickens. We appreciate that both chickens and their owners have had a tough time in recent months due to the avian flu lockdown. Now that March has arrived the restrictions are relaxed for all bar those in designated high risk areas. For more details please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu

Our April catalogue will give a taster with some exciting and useful key products but the entire range will be available on the website from the end of March.


Enter our photo competition for March for a chance to win a £50 Dobies gift voucher. Show us how your garden is looking as we enter spring and you could win our top prize. 2 runners-up will each win a £10 gift voucher. Find out more and enter the competition here.

Blog Bonanza

If you haven’t already seen last month’s blog then now’s the time, simply click on any or all of the following titles:

In Praise of Cherry Tomatoes

When is a Nut not a Nut? When it’s a Tiger Nut! (Perfect for anyone with a nut allergy)

Rob Smith’s Heritage Veg Range


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