Past meetings‎ > ‎2012‎ > ‎

2012/07 - Gardens and growing food

July Meeting – gardening and food growing

Davo, Sarah and Gina met with James Adams from Growing Streets to talk about growing food and gardening.

James suggested that the Garden Organic website –   on what to do now was a good place to look at what can be grown for each season of the year.

Some vegetables suitable to plant this late in the summer are:

Radishes, broccoli, runner beans, carrots and rocket.


We discussed how best deal with the different insects that affect food growing and how best to deal with them.

Carrots – put over 1 foot off the ground to avoid carrot fly – as they are low-flying insects.

Beans – black fly – either pinch the new growing tips back as this is what black fly is attracted to – or wash with dilute washing up liquid.

Slugs – Put copper tape around pots to stop slugs climbing.  Egg shells – but large not small fragments of egg shell  or coffee grounds make a good barrier to slugs.

What is worth growing if you take into account cost effectiveness and size of crop?

Mainly salad items – lettuce, rocket, tomatoes, radishes,

We talked about growing herbs – James will update on a Gardeners World suggestion for a 3 tier herb garden. Put dry, Mediterranean herbs (e.g. coriander) in the smallest pot at the top, put this on top of a larger pot, with another, larger pot at the bottom (update: more details below)

Coriander – keep inside until about May and should then thrive outside.

Courgettes – James suggested using F1 – a form of self-pollinating (I think thats right) courgette which is the best sort to use.

Plant feed – you can make your own by using comfrey and nettle and boiling together.  This produces a good balance food for all plants.

We discussed seed saving  - and James suggested tomato seeds as a viable option – just clean off the seeds and dry thoroughly.

Bees - try planting a few bee-friendly flowers such as lavender or a wild flower seed mix (there is a long list of suggestions on the British Beekeeper's Association website - click on the download link on the left)

Reuse - why not try using supermarket plastic fruit trays as seed trays? Or make your own bio-degradable plant pots from 2 sheets of newspaper - roll them around a toilet roll middle to form the shape, then fold the end in? Or cut a hole in the side of a plastic 2-litre drink bottle, put some compost in the bottom and use as a mini-greenhouse?

3 tier herb planter taken from July's Gardener's World magazine (there didn't seem to be an online version to link to):

  • top tier: thyme - compost with a little added grit (to improve drainage)
  • middle tier: chives - compost
  • bottom tier: parsley - compost with drainage material in the bottom
  • The completed pot should be placed somewhere where it will get sun for at least half the day
Combinations of herbs in pots (can be in the same pot)
  • Full sun - rosemary, thyme, oregano
  • semi-shade - parsley, chives, mint