Posted by in Features.

March is the month when things really start to get busy, so I’ll try to be brief this month. I’m told I tend to go on a bit!

New Book Launched

I’m happy to announce the launch of my new book, The Complete Vegetable Grower. It’s a bit of a departure for me, for a start it’s a hard cover and secondly it’s got lots of full colour photographs.

It covers the same ground as my other growing books but with photographs and a fabulous design job by the publishers. I was quite knocked out when I saw my copy! Only problem is that it’s a bit big to stick in your pocket when you head out to the plot and it costs a bit more than the others.

You can find out all about it here: The Complete Vegetable Grower

Whilst on the subject of books, I’m afraid the free seeds offer is coming to an end. I’m hoping to get some more but it looks like the offer will be gone by the end of the month. Not to mention the 12% rise in postage costs coming in April. Don’t they know times are hard? From free seeds to cheap seeds.

Cheap Seeds

I’m always a little wary of people offering cheap seeds. We’ve had a few cases on the forums where people have ordered bargain seeds and they’ve never turned up or if they have they’ve not been good quality.

One supplier I can recommend is Their prices are very keen but they’ve got a good reputation and having spoken to the owner (it’s a small family business) I feel I can recommend them as well. The range isn’t huge but they cover most of the varieties you’re likely to want.

Allotment Rents

In case you’ve not been reading my diary, there’s a really worrying trend developing. Some councils have been doubling or even trebling allotment rents, pricing them out of the pockets of ordinary people.

This is something we should all be concerned about and make it clear to our councillors that crazy rent increase can seriously damage their re-election prospects. Or we can do the British thing and just moan when it’s too late. As Joni Mitchell sang in Big Yellow Taxi, ” You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot”

Once they’ve turned our plots into parking lots or little boxes made of ticky tacky it will be too late. Read my article here.

Spring Has Sprung

Although spring seems to have sprung, the weatherman is predicting some cold weather this week, so do watch out. If you’ve already planted potatoes and they’re showing, some fleece will protect the haulm from frost. With potatoes, earthing up also helps protect from frost as well as encouraging production.

The traditional day for potato planting is Good Friday, 22 nd April this year, which is a bit late. That’s the trouble with moveable feasts. I’d try and get them in around the end of the month or early April. There’s more information on potatoes on the site here: Growing Potatoes

Well, that’s it for now. I hope I’ve not kept you off the plot for too long!

Good Growing,