It's that time of year again, spring is upon us and the avid gardener's thoughts may turn to growing their own produce.
Here at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, the productive team have been hard at work in the newly expanded Kitchen Garden which has almost doubled in size. Nearly all of the new beds have been laid out and the turf is being laid as we speak. An exciting new addition is the rhubarb bed, providing a real mixture of varieties, including Paragon, Stockbridge Arrow and Cawood Advance.
Soon we will be planting the fruit beds with mainly soft fruits, including blackcurrants, redcurrants and whitecurrants (a particular favourite as birds don't eat them!). The beds will then be edged with stepover apples and pears.
The vegetable beds are just waiting for the soil to warm up for the planting to commence, but shallots and garlic are already visible, due to the autumn planting. Three plots have also already been set out for next year's trainee gardeners, which, at the moment, are playing host to 32 different broad bean varieties.
In the future the Kitchen Garden will house a Mini Forest Garden, with an emphasis on fruits for foraging, including elder and blueberries, surrounded by a hedgerow border. And it will welcome two new additions - a pair of chickens! Watch this space for more information...
To celebrate the start of the growing season Harlow Carr has planned a weekend event not to be missed by those interested in growing and cooking their own food! On the 26th and 27th March, you can come along and take part in walks, talks and demonstrations, taking away all the information you need to get growing if you're a beginner, or pick up inspirational tips if you're already a seasoned pro!
Some of the highlights include:
Learn to Grow with Joe Maiden - Container Planting: Ideal for beginners; with tips and tricks on how to select the best varieties, which containers to use and how to look after your crops.
Getting Started Planting Demonstrations: Variety of demonstrations on soil preparation, sowing seeds, companion planting, and pests and diseases.
Planting for Cut Flowers: An informal talk showing you how to prepare, plant and maintain your cut flower patch.
Pea Planting and Potato Chitting: Kiddies can bring an unusual container which Rod the Pod will help them to plant.
ASK ME! Kitchen Garden Advisory: Visit the RHS Gardeners in the Kitchen Garden and have a look at what's growing. Pick up tips on soil preparation, building beds and paths, planting and choosing what to grow.
Small Holdings Advisory: For those interested in keeping their own free range hens, goats, alpacas or even micro pigs, a variety of small holders will provide all the information needed to get started.
Home Composting Class: All the advice you need to make good compost that doesn't cost a penny!
Growing for Schools Advice: A drop-in advice stand featuring everything to do with gardening in schools and linking in to the national curriculum.
Make Your Own - Bread Making Workshops: Make and bake your own herb bread with the last of the harvest crop.
RHS Advisory Service - Ask the Experts: The Advisory team at RHS Garden Wisley will be dispensing their horticultural knowledge and answering questions.
For more information on the Grow Your Own Weekend, please call 01423 565418, or email email@example.com