Category Archives: organic gardening

Wonderful Weeds: CHICKWEED – A Sign of a Rich and Fertile Garden Soil, This Prolific and Edible Wild Plant Can be Added to Your Salads All Year Round

Chickweed Stellaria media Other names: chickwittle, cluckenweed, mischievous Jack. Life cycle: Annual/ephemeral Dense green clumps of chickweed, up to 30cm (1ft) tall indicate rich, fertile soil, but it will grow virtually anywhere in the garden, including the cracks in paving. The … Continue reading

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Wonderful Weeds: BORAGE – A Prolific Self-seeding Plant Which Can Swamp its Neighbours, But is a Big Hit With Bees and Other Insects

Borage Borago officinalis Life cycle: annual/biennial Grown as a herb, this prolific self-seeder has escaped in many gardens and should be treated as a weed, except for any plants which you want to allow to develop and flower throughout the summer. … Continue reading

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Wonderful Weeds: DANDELION – Let Some Wet-a-Beds Bloom to Provide Vital Food for Bees and Insects in Early Spring

Dandelion Taraxacum officinale Other names: pee-a-bed, wet-a-bed, blow balls Life cycle: perennial Dandelion’s deep taproot must be dug or forked out and older plants, with very deep roots, may need several attempts. However, dandelion doesn’t spread sideways, so I let a few … Continue reading

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Gardening in England is Set to be Completely Peat-free by 2020 – Where is The Persuasive, Compelling & Inspiring Green-fingered Roadmap That’s Going to Get Us There?

Meeting the UK government target of turning gardening peat-free by 2020 will bring a dark, nature-damaging side of gardening to an end. But it will only be achieved with determined effort – including a campaign to educate all those non-gardening folk buying a ‘bag of dirt’.  … Continue reading

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Here’s Some Real Gardening News: Peat-free Composts – Fertile Fibre and SylvaGrow – Bag Two Out of Three Which? Gardening Best Buy 2017 Awards for Container Growing

The April 2017 issue of Which? Gardening magazine brings good news for gardeners, and for our natural world: two out of three of its Best Buy awards for container compost have gone to modern and reliable peat-free compost brands (the other went to … Continue reading

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Falling Assets: How to Turn Your Free and Renewable Autumn Leaves Into Rich, Life-giving Leaf Mould to Improve Soil and to Make Your Own Peat-free Potting Compost

Canny gardeners don’t leave any leaves lying – this beautiful and noisy autumn windfall matures into gardening gold that’s free for the raking, and is infinitely renewable year after year after year… By John Walker. Originally published on the Hartley Botanic website as … Continue reading

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How Free and Plentiful Woodchips can Help Your Organic, Earth-friendly – and Peat-free – Garden Grow

Mounds of woodchips are everywhere nowadays, they’re free for the taking – and they can help you go peat-free. Inspired by a pioneering vegan-organic vegetable grower, I’m now coveting every fresh mound of chips I find. By John Walker. Published in The … Continue reading

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How Gardeners and a Top Compost-maker are Teaming up to Bring Professional-quality SylvaGrow Peat-free Compost Into More Garden Centres, Plant Nurseries, Shops and Other Horticultural Suppliers

Why didn’t we think of it sooner? The makers of SylvaGrow professional-quality peat-free compost – which has bagged no less than three Which? Gardening Best Buy awards, and carries the endorsement of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) – have just … Continue reading

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Modern Peat-free Composts March on: RHS-Endorsed SylvaGrow Bags a Which? Gardening Best Buy Gong for Container Gardening – for the Second Year in a Row

Just when you thought modern and reliable peat-free composts couldn’t get any better – and there are a clutch of good ones out there – SylvaGrow, a professional grade (as used by professionals…) peat-free, environmentally sustainable, all-purpose compost, has has just been awarded another … Continue reading

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Inclusive, Persuasive and Gently Powerful – How the #Peatfree Hashtag is Changing Gardening and Horticulture for Good

One symbol, the hash sign (that’s one of these #) grafted onto the words ‘peat’ and ‘free’ (as in ‘#peatfree’) is giving all gardeners confidence in forgoing peat use – by slaying tired old myths about whether our garden plants … Continue reading

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