Farmer Brown’s Garden

So I’ve started a Youtube channel.  It’s called Farmer Brown’s Garden and will offer a weekly clip on what to do in the garden, various tips and other stuff.  My first rough and ready foray is available below.  Feel free to subscribe and pass on any comments ideas or tips you may have

Manure – make a turbo powered compost heap

We’ve got three horses living in the field – along with three goats and the 10 chickens. They get on famously but the amount of manure (in three flavours) is gargantuan. I’ll be entering the largest pumpkin, the tallest sunflower and the biggest marrow at the village fete next year.


Natural gardening or unkempt garden?

Natural gardening or unkempt garden?





lawn and wildflowersIt’s vogue (and rightly so) to provide for the wildlife that treats our gardens as home and haven.  This should include the plants and flowers that the wildlife depends on for survival.  Setting aside chunks of your garden to go wild is not so easy as invasive plants like blackberry and hawthorn can quickly overcome those wildflower patches.  The boundary between manicured garden and untended (apparently) garden is also a challenging one.  Blocks of wild look out of place.   They also look like you haven’t “got around” to that bit yet.  An observation I would make is that keeping your wild garden at the edges helps with the overall look.  It helps even more if your garden backdrop is open fields of hedgerows.  That way the wildness just seems to seep in and blend the boundary between the wild and the managed.  In my garden I have large banks of cow parsley at the moment that sit above the lawn.  There is a slight dip at the edge of the lawn (for drainage) that sets the boundary more sharply.  So the cow parsley (and other flowers) look like a natural border as opposed to a wild patch.  
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Why I’m growing loads of beetroot this year

We all love beetroot in our house.  Well at least the adults do.  We eat it in salads, roasted with the sunday lunch and grated into Coleslaw.  Most of all though we juice it.  I would certainly attest that it makes me feel so much better and I drink it before I work out and also in the mornings as part of my breakfast.  Such a simple food that we’ve eaten for years in this country.  This article from the BBC just goes to show that the next wonder food is not always the one found on the side of a himalayan mountain or in some jungle in South America.  Get those seeds in now.  Rich soil and plenty of manure will make leaves but it will also help make lovely big juicy roots.  PLenty of water as well – they dont like it dry in my experience. But don’t flood them

Spring is springing in Sussex

Well March has been fantastic with the prunus type trees bursting into bloom.  Already the mirabelle at the bottom of the garden is shedding petals around the chicken pen.  It seems to be a little bit ahead of the damson and the greengage so I have no idea how many of the tasty golden yellow fruit we will see this year.  I’ve been scrubbing down the glass of the greenhouse so that a bit more light can get through.  Time to start sowing the spinach and the beetroot using the guttering method.  My broad beans and sweet corn are going into special bean growing containers.  Seemed to work very well last year.

Schizandra germination

For those of you who come to the site to find out about schizandra germination here’s a couple more tips. With the arrival of the cold weather try and see if some prolonged time in frozen ground will assist germination. You’ll not get instant results as you will need to wait well into spring. I have heard of this method working. You could also just keep the seeds in the fridge for a few weeks before planting a pots warmed in a propogator. Please let me know what works for you. People are very keen to get those seeds to sprout.