Stephanie's Garden Blog
Welcome to Stephanie's Garden Blog, where we keep you up to date with our gardening exploits and anything we think might be of interest in the big wide world of gardening. With regular updates from Stephanie and Jo, from sowing to harvesting, we hope you enjoy following our gardening journey!
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This week we are going to be planting out broad beans for autumn harvesting. We have never grown them for autumn harvesting before and are very excited to see how they perform. We have a large space where our disastrous onions and garlic grew and that we had originally earmarked for our leeks. Given our white rot problems we couldn?t use it for leeks so decided to give autumn broad beans a try.
Like many gardeners around the country we now seem to find ourselves constantly watering, or worrying about watering, our crops. Rather than despair about the disasters being caused by the scorching weather, we have decided to revel in the positive effects the hot sunshine is having.
In Stephanie's Kitchen Garden, moving our pots into the shade of a north facing fence and standing them in trays to keep water at their feet has proved very effective. We have mulched raised beds with strulch and the plants certainly seem to be happier for it. This week we will be continuing to strulch around the tops of larger pots that cannot be moved, as well as other beds.
It has now been three weeks since we had any rainfall in Stephanies' Kitchen Garden and the forecast shows sunny and hot weather for at least the next three weeks to come. In our part of the world, near the most easterly coast of the UK, we are used to gardening in the driest part of the country, but usually enjoy the odd thunderstorm to keep the garden from drying out completely in the heatwave.
Our apple and pear trees are positively smothered in tiny fruits and, so far, there is no sign of the June drop, where nature thins out the excess fruits on the trees. In the next week or so we will emulate mother nature by picking off fruits to leave the largest two on any spur. As painful as this is, it is necessary if we are to get good sized fruits and to protect the branches from breaking under the weight.
Summer is almost upon us and the garden is reveling in the warm temperatures and long daylight hours. Unfortunately, the weeds seem to be reveling in it too and are popping up all over the garden literally growing overnight. It is important to keep on top of them while they are small and before they have the chance to set seed.
It's all over for another year, but the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show was another great success for Harrod Horticultural.
The recent warmer temperatures have really helped our sweet potatoes which are now ready to be planted out in our metal raised bed.
Another long Bank holiday weekend is upon us and the weather looks like it is going to be perfect for gardening!
Following the arrival of spring, the garden has put on a growth spurt and it would appear that Mother Nature is trying to make up for lost time. The peonies are quite literally growing as we watch and we just managed to pop the plant supports over them before their stems became too tall.
The recent welcome change in the weather has seen the garden hit the fast forward button and everything seems to be growing before our very eyes.
Over the years we have worked closely with private customers, landscape architects, garden designers and landscapers to deliver wonderful individual bespoke designs.
The weekly harvest is becoming more bountiful as temperatures increase and overwintering crops begin to grow. We are currently harvesting rhubarb, kale, spinach, rocket and the last of the leeks.
It's still feeling a little chilly in the kitchen garden, but the weather is definitely improving a bit now. The forecast for the coming weekend is warm and sunny and we will be making the most of the welcome fine conditions to get on with the many jobs that need doing at this time of the year.
We are excited to launch our 2018 Look Book - a glossy 68 page A4 perfect bound publication that gives a different visual context to the inspirational Harrod Horticultural garden structures range.
Easter is traditionally the time to plant potatoes and this weekend we will be making the most of the double bank holiday and the long light evenings to get ours into the ground. I had thought to delay it a little following the recent cold start to spring and the current chilly temperatures, however today I watched the local farmers putting their seed potatoes into the ground in the fields near our kitchen garden. If conditions are good enough for the farmers, they are definitely good enough for us.
At last we have passed the Spring Equinox and this weekend will put the clocks forward which will give us all a precious extra hour of light at the end of the day to spend in the garden. The ground has been dug over, all of our structures have been cleaned and the garden is ready for growing. A whole new season lies before us and we can't wait!
Having just spent an enjoyable morning in shirt sleeves digging over the potato bed, it is hard to believe the weather warnings for sub-zero temperatures and snow that are forecast for our part of the UK over the coming weekend. The sun is watery today but it's providing some warmth and combined with the birdsong is giving the day a distinctively spring-like feel.
At last the snow has gone and the garden has returned to normal. Following a week of suspended animation, both the plants and gardeners are making up for the growing time that we lost. Green shoots are appearing everywhere and it is almost as if the big freeze gave our plants a boost; certainly the spring sunshine and warmer temperatures of the past few days have helped spur on new growth.
For the past week the garden has been suspended in frozen animation by the Beast from the East Siberian weather system. Somewhere under the inches of snow and ice are the green shoots of spring that had just begun to peep through the soil, and hopefully they will have survived the extreme subzero temperatures. It's a timely reminder to us all that the true Head Gardener on all our plots is Mother Nature.
This week we are bracing ourselves for the Beast from the East weather system that is expected to hit us in the next few days. As we are situated just a few miles from the East coast, the biting winds will hit us hard and peg back the temperatures.
At last we have had a taste of spring in the Kitchen Garden, with a few days of warm sunny weather arriving in East Anglia. It has been warm enough to leave the greenhouse door open allowing vital ventilation around the plants. The autovents on the greenhouse windows have even nudged the windows open in the warmth of the winter sunshine.
All around the garden new growth is slow to emerge this year. Snowdrops are a good month later than we would normally expect to see them in flower and the daffodils are only just beginning to peek through the soil. In the Kitchen Garden overwintering crops are surviving under their cloches and fleece covers, but showing no sign of new growth.
February always signals the start of the new growing year for us in the Kitchen Garden, despite the fact that we already have some seedlings growing in the heated propagator and overwintering crops both inside and outside the greenhouse. This week we will be sowing rocket, spinach and chard in seed trays in the greenhouse. We will also be sowing peas in rootrainers which can be grown on for planting outside or eaten as delicious pea shoots in salads.
We have had our first taste of spring weather over the weekend; a welcome sign that the winter will not last forever! It was but a brief reprieve and the grey skies and cold winds have returned. As February approaches, it is time to start off some early crops in the greenhouse. Impatient as ever, we sowed ours last week and now have tiny shoots of green appearing in the seeds trays in our heated propagator.
Weather permitting, it is time to start digging in the Kitchen Garden this week. As a rule of thumb, we usually pay attention to the activities of the local farmers as an indication of when it is time to begin turning over the soil and in our area, the tractors have begun to appear in the fields surrounding the garden.
January is mulching month in the Kitchen Garden and this week it will be the turn of the blueberries to get a fresh, nutritious top dressing. Most of our blueberry plants are grown in pots standing in our fruit cage. Despite the fact that we have acid soil which blueberries like, the bushes prefer to grow in pots, and this is evident every year here as the pot grown plants always fruit better than those grown in the soil.
With the remainder of the brussels sprouts now harvested, there has been lots of tidying and composting going on to get ready for another gardening year!
It's time to harvest the Christmas dinner table vegetables, from brussels sprouts to parsnips, celeriac to carrots, can't wait to tuck into all the homegrown veg!
All is quiet in the kitchen garden at the moment and we are making the most of the good weather days to mulch the bare soil with well-rotted manure or home-made compost. Over the coming months this will be broken down by the worms and the cold weather ready for digging over in the Spring.
Despite the imminent onset of winter, we are still growing vegetables in the Kitchen Garden. Our overwintering broad bean plants have just been planted out alongside the onions, garlic, spring cabbage, broccoli, and turnips and we will be sowing carrots and peas in the greenhouse this week.
Our fruit trees and bushes have all but shed their leaves and are entering the dormant stage of the growing year. Now is the time for us to give them some care and attention to prepare them for a productive season next year. This week we will be removing the old glue bands and replacing them with new ones and apply a winter tree wash.
It's time to plant out our broad bean plants in the Kitchen Garden this week. We sowed the beans a few weeks ago in rootrainers in the greenhouse, as sowing direct into the soil tends to result in well fed mice and very few plants! Once the beans plants were a good size, they were moved to the cold frame to harden off and are now ready for life outside.
From new innovations to tried and tested favourites, enjoy this quick trip through our festive range and get some inspiration for the gardener in your life!
This concise guide to the Planting Season is full of useful information on when to plant and why, some great ideas on planting throughout the year.
The clocks have been turned back leaving us with less working daylight hours and the first air frost has chilled the garden. Our newly planted winter crops are snuggled under fleece and cloches and our tender plants have already been moved into the greenhouse where the heater is keeping them safe from the cold nights.
It's time to plant out our onions and garlic in the Kitchen Garden. Back at the end of September we sowed the sets into trays and set them onto the greenhouse shelves to start them off. We prefer to sow them to modules initially as the local bird population like to pull them out of the ground when sowed direct into the soil.
It's a busy time of year in the Kitchen Garden. Mother nature is winning the battle of the leaves and as fast as we clear the autumn debris, she litters the paths and beds again. Recent windy days have exacerbated the situation. But the sun is shining and still has some warmth to it, the leaves are dry making them easy to rake, and the end result of a tidy garden is worth the effort, however short-lived it is.
The main summer harvest is almost over and the larder and freezer are bursting with the fruits of our labour. This week we are continuing the big autumn clear up as crops begin to fade and litter the ground. Spending a little time each day clearing away plant debris keeps the garden as neat as possible and avoids a huge clear up later on.
Despite the return of warm weather over the weekend, the cold nights we have had over the past week or so have had a definite autumnal effect on our summer crops. The tomato plants grown outside have finished their productive lives. They, along with their counterparts in the greenhouse which have also ceased fruiting, will be consigned to the compost bins this week.
It is time to dig up our main crop potatoes in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden, during August, the entire crop was hit by blight; a common problem for growers this year. We cut the haulms right down to the ground and burned them.
During the past week, summer has begun to make way for autumn in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden. The night-time temperatures have dipped and the weather has become squally with the strong wind and rain setting in.
The long August Bank Holiday weekend is upon us and the forecast in our area is for hot and sunny weather. Crops are ripening ready for picking in vast quantities and we are in the throes of our annual bean glut.
We have chosen our Top 10 Plant Supports - all designed and made in the UK by us using high quality materials - stylish and practical plant supports for flowers, plants and shrubs.
One of our team has really taken their work home with them this year. Some great pictures of their latest harvest and lots of other plants doing really well
Like many gardeners at this time of year, I am taking a much-needed holiday which will mean a week away from the garden. August is the perfect time for a holiday but the worst time to leave the garden as it is such a busy part of the growing year; the greenhouse needs watering daily, plants in pots need watering at least every other day in sunny weather and crops need harvesting to keep them productive.
We are at that stage in the Kitchen Gardening year where there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. The watering and feeding regime is still at its peak despite summer showers helping us out. The weeds have slowed down their growth a little, but still require regular attention. And the harvest is now occupying much of our time; picking beans and berries, tomatoes, aubergines, and many other delicious crops.
The summer harvest continues in earnest this week in Stephanie?s Kitchen Garden and spaces are beginning to appear in our vegetable beds. We have already dug the garlic and shallots up and they are currently drying in the sunshine.
Guest Blog by Elementa Design - A Concise Guide to Garden Design - some great advice on creating your own garden scheme using the same tools that a professional garden designer uses.
Garden pests that we are on the look-out for this week are butterflies and white fly. The broccoli and sprout plants are now a really good size and we are being vigilant to make sure the netting on the vegetable cage doesn't touch any leaves, allowing butterflies to lay their eggs through it.
It's time for a spot of tidying up in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden. The hot summer weather, combined with irrigation and recent heavy rain have sent plants into a growth spurt, in particular our espalier fruit trees. We would normally be pruning these during August, but they have put on so much growth that we are going to tackle the job now.
This week we will be sowing more vegetable seeds to grow plants to fill the holes that the harvest creates. We will soon be harvesting our early potatoes and our remaining broad beans which will open up more much needed growing space. We will be sowing winter cabbages, pak choi, chard, kohl rabi, spinach and broccoli.
This week it's fruit picking week in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden. All of our soft fruit bushes have really been enjoying the hot sunny weather and are covered in plump juicy fruits almost ready for harvesting. We have been watering all of our fruits plants and bushes twice a week and they have been thriving in the sunshine.
We are experiencing one of the driest growing seasons in recent history in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden, along with soaring temperatures and hours and hours of glorious sunshine. We have spent many hours carrying watering cans keeping our crops happy and with their feet in damp soil and their heads in the sun, they are, on the whole, flourishing.
All around the garden this week, there are many plants that will need tying into their supports. Our blackberry is grown over an archway that suits its rampant growth. The plants seem to be growing as we watch at the moment and the new stems will need tying in to keep them supported. Currently they are just bursting into lovely pale pink blossoms and the bees are really enjoying them.
This week we will be earthing up our potatoes for the final time. They are a really good size now and looking very lush and healthy. Hopefully the tubers are growing just as fast. We will be incorporating some potato fertiliser as we earth them up to give them a good feed at the same time.
What a change in the weather this last week - from lots of much needed rain last week to beautiful sunshine this week, the Kitchen Garden has really burst into life!
This pergola is not only on show at RHS Chelsea this year! Gaze Burvill are so pleased with it that part of the structure is making it's way to Chatsworth house for the inaugural RHS Flower Show running from 7-11 June. For those not able to make it to RHS Chelsea, can view it in person at RHS Chatsworth
Last week we finally saw some heavy rainfall in the Kitchen Garden and all around the garden, plants seem to have put on inches of growth overnight. This week we will be exchanging the watering cans for soft-tie and scissors to stake the plants that have had a growth spurt.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the pinnacle of the gardening year taking over a small corner of London for a week every May and this is the 14th year that Harrod Horticultural have been a part of this fantastic spectacle!
It is certainly becoming an unusual growing season this year, with the serious lack of spring rain and the late cold temperatures. Mother Nature is challenging the Kitchen Gardener and it will be interesting to see what effect it has on our harvests.
It's our 14th year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and we thought it was a great time to look back at our stand over the years - things have really changed!
Now that we are well into May, we will be starting the Big Plant Out in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden. Our greenhouse and cold frame are crammed with tender crops such as runner beans, courgettes, squash, climbing french beans, sweetcorn, celery and celeriac all waiting to spread their roots into deep fertile soil.
As we head into May, in our part of the world we would normally expect to be planting out some of our tender crops such as beans, courgettes and squash plants. However we are in the middle of a very cold snap and planting out now would be a disaster for these tender plants.
We've finally treated to some significant rainfall in our part of the world. This was a big relief for us gardeners, giving us some respite from the watering can; albeit for only a few days. The garden seemed to sigh with relief too and plants in every part of the garden seemed to shoot up overnight after their welcome drink.
The long Easter weekend has given us plenty of opportunity to tend to the maintenance of the garden and we have been busy jet washing paving and oiling decking. The grime and algae of the winter has been washed away. Necessary and satisfying work, but time spent away from the main task of growing.
A great guest blog from Elementa Design using a 5 step guide to prepare your garden for Summer. Nick Dickinson, a much sought after plantsman and garden designer and offers some great advice in the article.
We seem to have permanent sunshine at the moment, with no rain on the immediate forecast. Consequently, we are busy with the watering can making sure our crops are well watered at a crucial time in the growing calendar.
Our tomato plants, sown back in February are now about 6 inches tall and lifting the lid on their propagator. They were started off in a heated propagator and then moved to an unheated propagator to free up some space. Outside in the kitchen garden we are now ready to apply Nemaslug nematodes to the soil.
The recent warm spring weather has brought a growth spurt to all areas of the garden, rhododendrons are beginning to flower and our young vegetable plants are getting bigger by the minute. Unfortunately the weeds are also enjoying the conditions and are thriving!
The warmer weather has finally arrived in the Kitchen Garden and we have been enjoying some sunny spring conditions. The rhohodendron buds are showing subtle hints of the colour that is soon to come and the weeds are beginning to grow. A sure sign that the temperature is rising!
The greenhouse is the central focus of our Kitchen Garden at the moment, as it is home to tray upon tray of seedlings and small plants.
Traditionally, pancakes were eaten on this day to use up rich, indulgent foods like eggs and milk before the 40-day fasting season of Lent began. But although it is enshrined in Christian tradition, it is believed that Pancake Day might originate from a pagan holiday, when eating warm, round pancakes - symbolising the sun - was a way of celebrating the arrival of spring and here is one of our favourite recipes.
At last we have reached the end of February and the Spring is about to begin. After the hard work of the winter, it?s time for the growing to really start. Inside the greenhouse this week, we will carrying out one of my favourite jobs of the gardening year; pricking out seedlings.
Unfortunately the vegetables you are attempting to grow for your own consumption are also much loved by lots of pests which exist in your garden - here are our most common garden pests .
We are currently harvesting some lovely rocket, grown in the greenhouse over the winter months and thankfully, not reliant on the weather conditions abroad. The milder weather has brought with it a flurry of activity in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden, and from the forecast it would appear that next week will be much the same.
We are great obelisk gardeners and have a number of competitor obelisks going strong, some a bit flaky by now. However when you introduced your obelisks we had two and then two more as they are far superior to the competitor ones and are sturdier and easier to erect ! We have David Austin hybrid roses trained up them and they are now in flower.
Raised beds are becoming ever more popular, and it is easy to see why: wooden raised beds are a great way to grow plants, vegetables and fruit right on your patio. They look great and allow you to create a simple, yet wonderful growing area - without the hassle of digging up plots in your garden.
One of my favourite things about gardening, particularly in the kitchen garden, is the blank canvas that presents itself at the start of every year. Last year's successes and failures are all behind us and we have an opportunity to changes things that haven't worked or learn from previous good practise
Well the wintry weather has finally hit the east coast, its coming down thick and fast at the kitchen garden!
The garden is tidy, the potting shed has been spring cleaned and the greenhouse is gleaming. Overwintering crops are snugly nestled in a heated tent of bubble wrap. We are ready for the festive break; the only time of year that I leave the garden and disappear into the house.
UK Restrictions were put in place for Avian Flu December 2016, these measures currently apply whether you have 2 hens or 102 and covers the whole of the UK and at present are in effect until 5th January 2017.
Now that the potting shed is clean and tidy, there is room to sit and clean our tools. We are very fastidious at cleaning the dirt from them every time they are used, before putting them way. This keeps tools in good condition, but we also like to give them a good dose of loving care to keep them in tip top condition.
The espalier apple trees and trained pear trees have at last shed all their leaves in the Kitchen Garden, which means that it's now the perfect time to give them a bit of attention.
Our log holders have been featured on Houzz.co.uk showing them as a great way to store your firewood and also make a real statement feature in the room.
The trees surrounding Stephanie's Kitchen Garden are now almost bare, so this week we will have more time to spend on jobs other than clearing up leaves. Our next big tidy up will be inside the greenhouse, where many plants have now gone over. Last week we harvested the last of our cucumbers and the plants are now ready for the compost bin.
If you need a gift for the Gardener in your life, our Top 10 Gifts for Gardeners will give you some great inspiration.https://www.harrodhorticultural.com/_c_centre/order_reports.asp
The first of the winter storms has just arrived at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden and this week we will be clearing up the aftermath. Storm Angus has swept across the country causing gardeners everywhere to open their curtains and despair at the mess it has left in its wake. It has ripped leaves from the trees and scattered them wide across the garden. We also have a few branches down and our first job of the week will be to clear and tidy away.
The big autumn tidy up continues this week in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden as we turn our attention to our bean supports. The bean plants have been shedding their leaves over the past few weeks and are now skeletons of the plants they once were.
The first cold spell of the Autumn has arrived in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden, with overnight temperatures dipping dangerously near to a frost. The forecast is for colder nights to come. Outside in the garden, we have been quick to cover our tender with fleece and cloches, but this week it is the turn of the greenhouse for some much needed attention.
Time to harvest one of our favourite crops in the garden, sweet potato, not only do we love the tasty tubers but the plant always looks fantastic trained up an obelisk in one of the raised beds.
This week we will be pulling the hoops and covers out of the shed to put over our raised beds and mangers. This will help keep our crops protected in the winter and allow us to plant out some winter crops such as spinach, rocket, mustard greens and chard.
Autumn is creeping into the garden and I have just filled my first barrow of leaves. This week we will begin the annual task of trying to keep the garden tidy it is a battle with Mother Nature that I know we will lose. As soon as the rake and barrow are put away, more leaves will fall and all our work will be undone.
Autumn is an important time of year for taking care of your lawn. The effort you put in during autumn will improve the quality and health of your lawn right through into spring and beyond. Here's some tips on caring for your lawn in autumn from our friends at Rolawn.
We have been supplying netting since 1954 so we think we know a thing or two about it! Our Top 10 of Garden Netting Tips will help you choose the right netting and protect your plants throughout the year.
Some great crafty ideas to get the family involved in the garden, growing your own and helping the birds
September is the ideal month to prune evergreen hedges and get them neat and tidy before the winter. Hedges trimmed now are unlikely to put on any significant growth before the cold weather hits us, so they will stay looking crisp for the months ahead.
There are a number of Do's & Don'ts when it comes to composting - so to make it easier we have created a simple check list along with some common problems.
One of our customers has been kind enough to send in some before and after shots of their garden and what a transformation!
For years, the art of making compost has been shrouded in mystery. Gardeners would regularly creep down to their heap in a neglected and forgotten corner of the garden, armed with old plant material, newspapers and other seemingly useless and unwanted items before the big day, months later, when they would emerge with a steaming wheelbarrow full of wonderful compost.
Despite the harvest and growing season being still in full swing, it is time to turn our thoughts to next year's crops so this week in the Kitchen Garden we will be ordering our seed garlic and autumn planting onion sets.
This week in the Kitchen Garden, we will be digging up our main crop potatoes. We would not normally expect to be doing this for at least another month, but our crop has been struck by blight following the wet summer. It certainly wasn't a surprise that our plants were attacked by blight. With the amount of rainfall we have had, it was something that we were fully expecting.
It's been mixed fortunes over the last few weeks in the Harrod Horticultural HQ Garden, luckily the successes outweigh the failures!
The Ultimate Guide to Wildlife Gardening - a guest blog from Green Gardens about the benefits of attracting wildlife to your garden and advice on planning a wildlife friendly garden
The air of mystique which sometimes surrounds allotments will be lifted for 7 days in August this year, when National Allotments Week takes place across the UK. The event will run from Monday 8th August until the 14th August.
One of Capability Brown's great skills was using structures and buildings to enhance vistas, something which is seen in many of his designs and has been continued in gardens to this day. When I am looking at working on a clients garden, there will no doubt be some sort of structure included and whilst that may be a building such as a shed or summerhouse, it can also be a beautiful pergola or arch for climbing roses and clematis or just attractive supports for growing plants in beds and borders.
The main point behind growing your own vegetables is how much better they taste fresh from the garden. The only failsafe way to guarantee harvesting vegetables at the optimal time is to taste test. However, there are some guidelines for judging when vegetables are ripe and ready for harvest. Keep in mind that great flavour isn?t always a simple matter of size or colour.
Every gardener has been there, after spending countless hours tending, watering, feeding your plants a pest invades or some extreme weather damages your plants and wipes out all your hard work...
A fruit press and fruit crusher are invaluable if you're faced with an orchard full of apples and pears that you want to turn into fresh fruit juice or make into cider
A mini heatwave hit the Kitchen Garden this week so the focus has been on trying to keep the plants happy - especially the leafy crops which can succumb to the heat!
One of our team is a keen gardener and we love seeing the updates from the garden - obviously a few Harrod Horticultural products dotted about the garden too!
With it set to be the hottest few days of the year so far, make sure you are doing all you can to look after your plants as they will be feeling the heat too!
Powdery Mildew has struck our courgettes in the Harrod Horticultural HQ garden...
Our blackcurrants are looking black, fat and juicy and about ready for picking. I'll choose a nice sunny morning to head off into the fruit cage armed with a trug and some snips to harvest them before heading back into the kitchen to make some jam.
Which Garden Netting do you need? Some advice on the best netting to protect your plants...
Our Top Ten Gardening Tools - like any other hobby with gardening there are endless tools and equipment you can buy if you have the money to invest however we have compiled our list of our ten favourite tools
This week in the Kitchen Garden, we will be starting to harvest our early potatoes. These were planted way back at the end of March. They have flowered and their haulms are now turning brown. There is nothing quite as good as the taste of freshly dug new potatoes - a delicious meal just by themselves.
Kept my eye on the cherries this year, again and decided to leave the sleeves off till late June as the weather has been exceptionally wet. Noticed a lot of Ant activity on the tree - bad news as they do farm cherry black fly.
Last week the laptop took priority as other work became really busy, distracting me from the garden. As we all know, at this time of year, when you are called away from your garden for even a couple of days, nature goes mad. Crops have grown beyond recognition and are looking a little wild.
Gardening with children is a great way to get some fresh air, exercise and have fun together. As the summer holidays approach, all parents and grandparents are probably looking for ideas to stave off the inevitable 'I am bored' statement for as long as possible.
The Harrod Horticultural garden is really starting to flourish, the sunshine and showers over the last week really seem to have helped and we are starting to pick our first peas of the season.
This week in we will be thinning out the apples and pears on our fruit trees. Nature has its own attempt at this job with the June Drop, where trees naturally shed some of its fruit. This is the time to go over the trees and thin the apples further to allow the remaining fruit to grow to its optimum size.
We wanted to share these pictures from one of our team, a keen gardener who has had lots of success growing her own this year - with loads of vegetables and flowers we think it looks great!
There is nothing better than picking - and of course eating - fresh strawberries from your own garden and with Wimbledon approaching it is strawberries and cream all round!
This week in the Kitchen Garden, we will be planting out our leeks. Every year around this time, I walk around the garden trying to figure out where I will put the leeks that have been growing in cells in the cold frame as well as in neat rows in a seed bed
The customer service team were hard at work again in the greenhouse this week potting on cucumbers and also had time to put a slot and lock vegetable cage together to protect one of the raised beds.
We've just harvested our first strawberries and there are many more ripening. This week we?ll make sure we have some organic cream ready in the fridge to enjoy them at their best.
With lots of activity over the last couple of weeks the Harrod Horticultural HQ greenhouse and raised beds are coming along really well, helped by the sun finally making an appearance!
In the greenhouse, we will be keeping a very close eye on our plants. Whitefly has appeared in abundance on the leaves of our pepper plants and, although they still look really healthy, we are taking action to nip the attack in the bud.
Whether it's slugs, aphids, carrot root fly, rabbits or birds causing you sleepless nights, we have compiled a rogue's gallery of the top 10 grow your own garden pests. Often identification is the most difficult part of the conundrum and getting to the root of the problem is easy once you know which pest you are tackling.
Greenhouse vents and greenhouse shade are essential for the warmer months to maintain the optimum temperature in the greenhouse and to prevent scorching. The 3 simple overheating prevention steps are ventilation, circulation and shading.
Wow! What a fantastic week it's been at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, it just seems to get better every year, already looking forward to next year!
It can be difficult to find a long lasting, permanent support for climbing plants such as clematis for garden walls, but we think we have a solution that will help...
Healthy plants will resist pests and diseases much better than those grown under stress, so it's important to adopt a good feeding regime to keep your crops happy. Leafy vegetables, such as brassicas will be treated to a top dressing of fish, blood and bone every six weeks.
Back from the brink our nearly frazzled courgettes are now looking much healthier, the sunshine and showers this week has been great for them.
The excitement is building and the hard work is well underway as the Harrod Horticultural stand is starting to take shape at the famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The long bank holiday may have been a welcome break for us, but many of our plants in the Harrod Horticultural HQ Greenhouse didn't have quite so much fun...
All our crops are enjoying the current late spring heatwave, but the soil is drying out and there is no rain forecast for the next few days at least. Many of our young plants have only just been planted out and need a good supply of water to help their roots spread.
The weather was on our side this week as the Customer Services Team managed to spend a productive morning in the Harrod Horticultural HQ garden in glorious sunshine, the autovents on the greenhouse had even opened!!
Our tomato plants have now begun flowering in the greenhouse, so next week we will give them a foliar feed wth epsom salts and also begin feeding them with liquid tomato feed. The tomato feed will continue each week throughout the growing season.
Attaching the netting to a fruit cage is a simple task when using Harrod quick release net ties and net clips.
Despite the beautiful spring weather we have been enjoying recently, the forecast is still for cold nights ahead. We always keeping a close eye on the weather forecast ready to apply fleece or cloches to vulnerable crops, such as salads.
This week we will be potting on our tomatoes, peppers and aubergines into their final pots. They are a really good size now and getting hungrier by the day so will need a good sized growing space to spread their roots into. Some of our tomatoes have already started producing flower stalks.
The Courgettes planted in the self watering propagator have grown so quickly we are already having to pot them on. We have also been busy sowing squash and tomatoes - the greenhouse is looking full!
This week in the Kitchen Garden, we will be planting out peas. We have been growing Pea 'Norli?' in root trainers in the cold frame and they are now at a really good size to be planted out. We will be training them up an obelisk.
It may still be a couple of months until the famous Chelsea Flower Show opens its gates to thousands of visitors, but our planning has been underway since the show finished last year!
Since planting up the self watering propagators in the greenhouse we are already seeing so great results...
A busy week at Harrod Horticultural, with lots of orders and enquiries, but our customer services team still managed to find a bit of time to finish assembling the the new raised bed.
Making a feature with a Metal Garden Arch can transform the appearance of your garden, creating an entrance, framing a view or simply adding height to a one-dimensional space.
This week in the Kitchen Garden, it is time to plant our early potatoes. These have been chitting for a couple of months now and are ready to go into the ground. The raised bed they are destined for has been covered in fleece for the past few weeks to warm the soil ready for planting.
Perennials in borders often grow strong heavy growth that makes them easily susceptible to damage by wind and heavy rain. It is advisable to stake them early on in the season to help avoid mishaps. In particular tall plants with large flowers will require extra support.
Herbaceous peonies are often considered difficult to grow, but with some basic care they can provide you with glorious colour in the garden for many years to come.
We have long been an advocate of Remin's Volcanic Rock Dust - a soil and compost remineraliser proven to rejuvenate soils, helping boost soil fertility and plant growth.
The Customer Service Team were busy again at Harrod Horticultural HQ yesterday assembling some of our best selling Standard Raised Beds.
Have you heard the term "fruit cage" in the gardening world but been unsure whether it would suit your space? We discuss the merits of a fruit cage and with the many types available there is bound to be a style that suits your garden.....
A garden pergola will create a stunning scented garden walkway when framed with fragrant flowers and provide an excellent support for all manner of climbing plants. Designed to provide shade and filtered sunlight, a garden pergola is the perfect structure for training an array of colourful climbing scented plants.
Busy morning at the Harrod Horticultural HQ yesterday as we carried out some product testing and have a general tidy up before starting to sow some seeds in some self watering propagators.
Garden Arches can be a striking addition to any garden scheme whether creating a classic rose arch or creating an entrance to sections of a garden, but why choose a Metal Garden Arch over a Wooden Garden Arch?
This week in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden, we will be trying to make some much needed space in our cold frame. At the moment it is bursting at the seams with shallots, broad beans and peas to name but a few
This week in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden, we are trying to trick mother nature into an early harvest by moving a trough of strawberry plants into the greenhouse. The warmth of the heater will spur the plants into life and encourage early blooms.
Growing your own fruit and vegetables can have some real advantages over standard plots, our top 10 benefits will help you see why you should consider growing in raised beds this year...
This week in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden, the sowing season is in full swing and we will be squeezing trays of seeds into every corner of the greenhouse.
This week in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden, we are going to be installing a new raised bed in our greenhouse border. Over the past couple of years our tomatoes, grown in the border, have not performed as well as we would like.
Just in case you haven't seen them , we now have our stylish Harrod Roman Arches available in two exciting new colours - Silk Grey and Lichen Green. In addition we have extended our range to include a Vintage Wire Arch (in a choice of two finishes). All of our arches are made from quality materials and carry a 10 YEAR GUARANTEE, with our Steel Arches all being endorsed by the RHS.
I have a metal obelisk in my Victorian Kitchen Garden and I am looking for advice on how to grow vegetables up an obelisk and which vegetables would be best suited to growing up obelisks
This week in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we will be sowing parsnip seeds in our allotment raised beds. It's a little early in the season to sow them but with the mild conditions it is worth doing. We will make a successional sowing at the end of February. We always have great success with our parsnips in a raised bed. Year after year they reward us with big fat parsnips for our Christmas dinner. We will also be sowing broad beans, peas, chard, sweet peas and spinach under cover in the greenhouse.
To get you started with your own Cloche system, we have a SPECIAL OFFER on our 1m Extra Value Starter Kit which this includes all 3 cover options for a 1m length and is just ?63.95 which is a SAVING OF 15% on buying the items separately.
This week in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we will be wrapping up warm before heading out into the cold temperatures. We have been spoilt by the mild winter until now and the freezing conditions have come as a shock. Thank goodness for the winter gloves that Santa left in my stocking this Christmas. There'll be no cold fingers here!
Spring cleaning has a 1950s housewife image. Not many people open up their houses and clean them from top to bottom in March any more. But a New Year garden ?spring clean? will make a big difference to your gardening later on in the year.
This week in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we will be eagerly awaiting the arrival of our new heated propagator. I can't wait to try it out and January is the perfect time to be sowing seeds such as celery, celeriac and chilli peppers
Make a statement this year with our beautiful garden arches, stunning garden pergolas, metal garden obelisks and plant supports - draped with our automatic seasonal festive lights it's the perfect way to light up this festive period. Why not light up your doorway by using our Christmas Tree-Shaped Pyramid Obelisks adorned with our lights? Our SPECIAL OFFER means that if you buy two, then you SAVE ?50
BALI, the British Association of Landscape Industries held their annual awards ceremony on Friday 4th December at the Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane in London. The BALI awards recognise excellence in Landscape Design, Construction, Products and Services, with nearly 900 in attendance and out of 108 entries received this year, only 27 were Principal Award Winners. Harrod Horticultural Scoops National Award for second year running!
A lot of tidying in the Kitchen Garden this week, lots of leaves thanks to the high winds, a Greenhouse to clean and lots of tools that need some cleaning.
With the wet and windy conditions recently we have had to make a hasty retreat to the potting shed, but this gives us a chance to catch up on some other important jobs...
There is something deeply evocative surrounding the traditional hand forging of tools. The heat of the forge, the smell of the coal furnace and the sound of molten steel being hammered into shape all take us back to a time long past, when tools were hand-made and lasted for decades. But are these wonderful noises and smells resigned to history? In most places yes, but in a small corner of Holland they are very much alive.
This week in Stephanie?s Kitchen Garden we will be carrying out some essential surgery on our beautiful box hedges. Over the past few weeks we have watched in horror as our hedges have succumbed to the dreaded box blight.
Last week in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we put up the bubble wrap up in our greenhouse. Up until now we had been very lucky with the recent mild temperatures allowing us the time to thoroughly clean the inside of the glass and supports before adding the greenhouse bubble insulation
This week in Stephanie?s Kitchen Garden we have been pruning our asparagus plants down to the ground. The fronds have begun turning yellow and dying off so it is the perfect time to tidy up.
The right tool for the job is a phrase you've probably heard hundreds of times and never does it ring truer than with garden tools. There is really no excuse for not matching the right garden tool with the job and our extensive range of premium quality garden tools has every job covered. It's also true that a good quality garden tool will serve you for years and it's often more cost effective in the long run spending out on a superior spade or fork for daily use.
When my neighbour removed the 25 year old conifers bordering my garden I felt the need of some sort of picture frame for my garden, to give me some privacy and to hold it all together. Mrs John, Shropshire
This week In Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we are harvesting the sweet potatoes. This is one of our favourite crops as it always looks so good. We like to grow them in a raised bed and train them up an obelisk to provide a real focal point.
This week In Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we will be pruning our blackcurrant bushes. The plants are now beginning to shed their leaves and have begun dormancy so it is an ideal time to give them their annual haircut.
This week In Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we have been sowing Mizuna, Mustard Greens, Winter salads and spinach in the greenhouse. We already have these growing in our mangers and raised beds, however we want to make the most of our heater and grow some in the greenhouse border where the tomato plants will soon be removed.
This week in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we have sown our autumn planting garlic gloves and onions sets into modules in the greenhouse. They can be planted straight into the ground if required, but our resident pigeon population would soon have them 'unplanted' again!
This week In Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we will be continuing the Autumn Harvest. The haulms on our maincrop potatoes have now all but died, so we will cut these off to the ground and leave the tubers for ten days before digging them up.
This week In Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we will be taking time out to sit and complete our seed and potato order for next year. We have had successes and failures this year, as always, and now is an ideal time to sit back and review this years crops whilst they are still in the ground.
This week In Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we will be turning on the heater in the greenhouse. We have had some cold nights forecast and our pepper and aubergines are currently bearing lots of ripening fruits. A cold night could set them back and jeopardise the harvest. Our heater is on a thermostat that we will set at 15 degrees. This will keep our crops comfortable for the remainder of the growing season.
The HARROD SUPERIOR GREENHOUSE design is elegant, strong and built to be a serious working greenhouse with its 25 YEAR GUARANTEED ALUMINIUM FRAMEWORK. It delivers precision engineering quality throughout, sophisticated glazing techniques, vast amounts of ventilation, integral roof blinds on one side of the roof and a host of innovative features as standard that make it the best growing environment of any greenhouse available today.
There are a few key considerations to bear in mind when storing apples...
Our Walk-In Steel Fruit Cages and Vegetable Cages offer exceptional high quality and value with the galvanised matt black powder coated framework, heavy duty side and roof netting, all the fittings and a door unit at no extra cost.
Making cider is really easy and a good way to use up a glut of fruit. Some experts say use only cider apples, others mainly dessert and others mainly cooking but in reality most home cider makers use whatever apples that they have at hand.
This week In Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we will be preparing the garden for a week long absence as Jo takes her summer holidays. It's always a nervous time for gardeners going on holiday during the hot summer months, but with careful planning, it can be managed with minimal stress.
The ComposTumbler uses a unique process which can make compost in as little as 14 days. You can make compost in 3 easy steps with a ComposTumbler.
Our New thicker (up to 6mm thick) wire Harrod link-stakes plant supports are available in either a Dark Olive Green Powder Coated Galvanised Steel finish which merges seemlessly into the background or a Mild Steel Natural Rust finish Link Stake that evokes a sense of history and blend effortlessly into both traditional or contemporary gardens.
This week In Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we will be sowing crops such as spring cabbage, turnips, pak choi, autumn carrots and winter salads.
This week In Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we will be pruning our espalier apple trees. Summer is the ideal time to carry out this annual job and our apple trees have put on an enormous amount of growth this year. They are definitely ready for a haircut!
This week In Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we will be planting out some winter broccoli in to new vegetable cages. We have two identical cages put up side by side. One is covered with white insect mesh and the other in covered with new black insect mesh. We are running a trial to see if the plants grow differently according to the colour of the mesh.
With autumn not far away now it will soon be the time to pick the bountiful harvest of fruit that you have protected and nourished through the summer months. The question is, 'what do you do with all the excess apples?'
This week In Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we will be harvesting our blackcurrants in the fruit cage. This is such a low maintenance crop, with the bushes needing very little attention through the year.
Caterpillars develop from eggs laid by Moths and Butterflies. There are many different species and many that produce caterpillars damaging to plants. Some of the most damaging for brassica plants are the cabbage white caterpillars; the large cabbage white (Pieris brassicae) and the small cabbage white (Pieris rapae).
In a recent blog post by the Hip Horticulturist they discussed 5 ways to cheer up a garden shed this summer and talked about how our wooden raised beds can transform the look of any garden.
This week In Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we will be planting out our leeks. It's a little later than we would normally like to plant them, but they always follow our new potatoes into the ground and these are a little late being harvested due to the cold spring. The leeks are good size plants though, so should have plenty of time to get to a good size before the winter.
The weather has at last warmed up and our crops now need more care and attention to keep them productive. We like to use fish, blood and bone every six weeks on our leafy crops such as brassicas, spinach and chard, and seaweed feed on flowering crops such as courgettes and beans.
This week In the Kitchen Garden we will be planting out the remaining tender vegetables currently taking shelter in our cold frame. Courgettes and squash will be planted out into the last remaining places in the garden. The garden will then be full with only small spaces for salads to be squeezed in.
This week In Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we will be planting out our sweetcorn. The plants have spent the past couple of week in our cold frame waiting for the temperatures to warm up and hardening off. They are now big enough to survive outside. We will be covering them with cloches just in case a cold night threatens. These will be removed in a few weeks time.
We're off to the Chelsea Flower Show for a few days, so will need to leave our plants in good shape for our absence.
Believe it or not, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is nearly upon us again and the Harrod Horticultural team are busy preparing for another show-stopping exhibit. With a string of previous Chelsea trade stand awards and twice winners of the Chelsea Product of the Year, the pressure is really on to raise the bar yet again and we are determined to do this as you can see with this sneaky peak of our 2015 exhibit
Success with composting depends on heat, biology and a good balance of ingredients in your compost bin. Adding in approximately 10cm. layers 'Green waste' (grass, border and hedge trimmings, snipped or shredded woody prunings) heats up steamily, starts to break down rapidly and can be stirred into layers below to speed everything up. 'Brown waste' (e.g. shredded paper, packaging and straw) should be added at regular intervals to counteract the wetness of the greenery and will rot down too
There are many reasons why you need to be aware of your soils acid/alkaline balance. The solubility of minerals can be compromised if there is an imbalanced pH. Minerals become locked-up in the soil making them unavailable for your plants to absorb.
This week In Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we will be planting out our runner beans and climbing French beans. We sowed the seed in rootrainers in the greenhouse a few weeks ago and they are now good sized plants. Last week they were placed in the cold frame to harden off. Now that the night time temperatures have at last warmed up we can plant them out into the garden.
It's late in the year for ground frosts in our part of the UK and the cold nights are really holding us up in our planting out. Our greenhouse and cold frame are bursting with plants that we would normally have planted out by now.
This week In Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we will be continuing with our regular feeding regime. We have been feeding established crops and newly planted vegetables with fish, blood and bone or poultry manure. These need to be reapplied every six weeks during the growing season.
Experts predict that this will be the worst ever year on record for the slimy garden pests due to a particularly warm winter, with above average temperatures recorded for December and January.
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be sowing our sweetcorn, courgettes, squash, runner beans and French beans in the greenhouse. We will also be sowing more salads and peas to ensure a succession of crops.
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be planting our potatoes. These have been chitting in trays for several weeks and have healthy shoots forming. The ground has already been prepared by digging in well rotted manure and some home made compost.
Here at Stephanie?s Kitchen Garden this week we will be setting up our irrigation ready for the coming season. We are currently experiencing a dry spell in East Anglia and haven?t had significant rainfall for a couple of weeks. Pots and beds are looking dry and we have already had to water our onion and garlic crops to try and prevent rust setting in later on.
With over 60 years of experience behind us here at Harrod Horticultural, our heavy-duty, long lasting range of garden netting should not be confused with cheap imitations. You'll find 100's of reviews from satisfied customers to back this up, and we're also happy to send out free netting samples so you can see the quality for yourself.
Our NEW, highly innovative Slot & Lock Cloche System can be used throughout the season with a choice of protection covers. There's the ultra thick and UV stabilised PVC cover to start growing earlier or extend the growing season; the 7mm long lasting soft knitted mesh netting to keep out all birds and the Cabbage White Butterfly
Here at Stephanie?s Kitchen Garden this week we will be starting the war on slugs and snails. According to recent press reports, this year is predicted to be a bad one when it comes to our slimy enemies, so we will be taking steps to ensure they don?t get the upper hand in our garden.
To help you price up and make the most of your raised beds - and most importantly enjoy growing in them - we've compiled a list of factors to consider when choosing, siting and filling your beds.
May is fast approaching and for the Harrod Horticultural team it means that plans are in full swing for another show-stopping exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show.
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be emptying our compost bins ready to begin filling them up again throughout the summer.
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be planting out our broad bean plants and our shallots. These have spent the past week in the cold frame acclimatising to the weather and are now ready to be planted in their final growing space. The ground has already been dug over and fertilised with fish, blood and bone.
Harrod Horticultural are delighted to announce that they are the headline sponsor for the 2015 SGD awards. Managing Director, Stephanie Harrod said "We have chosen to sponsor these celebrated awards as the SGD has been championing excellence in garden design for over 30 years and we feel this is the perfect fit for our prestigious Harrod Horticultural brand."
The wonderful thing about gardening is garden tools can make it as labour intensive or relaxing as you wish. You may decide to dig your entire plot by hand, or you might choose to use machinery and then spend more time in the planning.
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be pricking out some of our new little seedlings in the greenhouse. The heated propagator is a hive of activity and some of the tomatoes, aubergines and peppers are ready to be transferred to small pots.
Harrod UK were proud to be selected to take part in a new 4 part BBC documentary hosted by John Humphrys entitled 'Something to hope for'. The 'Panorama-style' programme will be aired on the 23rd March and will be based around Lowestoft and 'Hope'. It will relate to Norman Kirk's theory that you need four things in life to be happy - love, work, a place to live and hope.
Growing in vegetable planters you'll be surprised how many delicious vegetables you can cram into a small space and an attractive Manger Vegetable Planter can transform a barren patio into a vegetable oasis.
It's an exciting time at the kitchen garden - some of our seedlings are starting to emerge in the heated propagator and really starting to get the feeling that Spring is on its way...
It may seem slightly premature to approach the subject of greenhouse vents whilst snow is lying on the ground in some parts, but there's nothing like being prepared! The sun will eventually gain warmth and temperatures will rise - especially under glass.
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be turning our attention to our rhubarb patch. Last year at this time we divided some of our existing plants to extend our crop and these grew well throughout the year putting on plenty of growth. At this time of year, the plants benefit from a generous mulch of well rotted manure or garden compost.
If you live in an area where there is already snow and you've got a flat roof fruit cage in your garden, this might be a 'horse/bolted' alert - but you need to remove the roof netting off your fruit cages in the winter.
If you're looking to bring a touch of sophistication and elegance to your garden this year then its well worth your time browsing through the NEW 2015 Ornamental & Kitchen Garden Structures brochure. The updated collection is brimming with more inspiration for traditional and contemporary gardens alike.
Growing in raised planters is a real boom area in gardening right now and it's little wonder when you realise just how easy it can be and how many delicious vegetables you can cram into such a small space. Let's take a look at how one of our attractive Manger Raised Planters - all 8ft of it - can transform a barren patio into a vegetable oasis, starting with watering.
Here at Stephanie?s Kitchen Garden this week keeping our wild birds well fed through the worst of the winter weather. Whilst some birds are unwelcome in the kitchen garden, others are helpful when it comes to pest control.
One of the great pleasures of gardening is to grow your own plants from seed. Unfortunately the exhilaration of planting out can quickly be followed by the anguish of seeing plants nibbled by wildlife or blasted by unseasonal weather if not covered with garden netting or plant protection.
You may wish to customise your Harrod Greenhouse with some handy optional accessories such as greenhouse staging, shelving, and work trays and reservoirs, available to add to your order at the time of purchase or to add to your greenhouse at a later date
The heated propagator and growlight have been cleaned and assembled and are ready for the first sowings of the year. We will begin with aubergines, tomatoes, peppers, chillies, celery and celeriac.
Here at Stephanie?s Kitchen Garden this week we have been giving the greenhouse windows a thorough clean.
Our stunning garden arches come in a range of styles and sizes and can be linked to create eye catching walkways. Pergolas utilise the same quality designs as the arches and when covered in climbing plants can create a breathtaking garden tunnel and walkway.
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be sowing the first seeds of 2015. Last week we finished cleaning all the pots and staging and the greenhouse and all its contents look as good as new.
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be getting back out into the garden following the Christmas break. There is plenty of digging to be done it is an ideal way to work off those Christmas excesses!
Here at Stephanie?s Kitchen Garden this week we will be assembling a new support for our blackberry crop. This year the plants dramatically outgrew their existing supports and we were reluctant to cut them back at the risk of reducing the crop.
Here at Stephanie?s Kitchen Garden this week we will be treating our fruit trees to a bit of TLC. Earlier in the month we replaced the glue bands on all our fruit trees and our job this week is to give them a winter wash.
Harrod Horticultural based in Lowestoft received a major award at the BALI National Landscape Awards 2014 in association with Horticulture Week, held in London on Friday 5th December at the Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane, London.
Here at Stephanie?s Kitchen Garden this week we will begin the winter clean of all our pots and tools. Last year I treated myself to a Sneeboer tool maintenance kit and gave all our tools some thorough care and attention.
Crop rotation has been practiced in both agriculture and horticulture for centuries, but it doesn't hold the same importance in Raised Planters as it does in open soil beds,
December is traditionally the month where the seed order is put together. The kitchen table is covered with catalogues and then the fun starts. Each variety looks better than the last and the new varieties promise better results with finer tasting crops than before.
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be completing our garden plan for 2015. Since the garden was first built, we have kept a plan of what is grown where in the garden. This allows us to maintain crop rotation as well as keeping a record of what has grown where in the past. We keep it hung on the wall in the potting shed and use it to refer to when we are completing our seed order
It is a good idea to put weed control barriers in place in late winter or early spring, as they work better as a preventative method rather than when an existing problem requires suppression
Here at Harrod Horticultural, we're always looking for quality gardening tools and accessories to bring to you. With Christmas in mind, we would like to showcase The Sophie Conran Collection for you
If you're looking for an extra special gift for someone in your life that you know loves gardening, then we've just the thing here at Harrod Horticultural. Take a look at our choice of three quality Sneeboer trowels which can all be engraved with a personalised message - a gift like no other!
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be harvesting our sweet potatoes. This is always an event greeted with trepidation and excitement and I must to confess to having already felt down into the soil to see what size tubers might be waiting for us.
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be planting strawberries. Our existing plants are 3 years old and this year our crop was not as good as previously. Strawberries need renewing every three years to maintain a vigorous healthy crop.
My first experience with raised beds was also my first time growing veg, some twenty years ago. At the time I lived in Hertfordshire and the soil in my garden comprised a charming mixture of clay, lumps of sandstone, iron ore and more clay. In short, it was rubbish.
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be planting garlic. This is one of our favourite crops and this year we are growing Picardy Wight and Carcassone Wight.
We have come along way in the past 60 years, constantly striving to improve our Company and our culture. It was even more fitting that we should achieve this the IIP Gold award in our 60th year?
Our greenhouse crops are coming to the end of their lives. The tomatoes have all been harvested and we will be clearing the old plants and consigning them to the compost heap. The pots, tomato towers, plant halos and slot and lock frame and will be brushed clean and set aside for scrubbing and cleaning during the winter months.
Crushing and pressing fruit to extract juice is a process rich in history, with the production of apple juice and cider stretching back to Norman times. Things have moved on a bit since then, and today, pressing your own home-grown fruit could not be easier.
It is a good idea to line the inside of your greenhouse during the winter. It is economical and quick to fit and will frost-proof the structure and can also extend your growing season for up to 6 weeks
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be harvesting the pears from our pear arch. After they have been picked the pears will be put through a fruit press to be turned into delicious organic pear juice. A real treat!
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be sowing spinach and chard into our mangers for overwintering. Our summer salad leaves are almost finished as they are beginning to succumb to the cold autumn nights. We will be clearing these and replacing them with winter crops. The mangers will then have their covers put on to give the seeds a snug environment to germinate in, as well as added protection over the winter.
Fruit Cages are becoming very popular additions to the garden as grow your own fruit and vegetable enthusiasts realize that you can harvest more of the crops you grow if you protect them from birds and other pests with a taste for something sweet in the garden.
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be digging up our Desiree potatoes. Last week Jo dug up our other maincrop potatoes which were Cara. This is very early to be harvesting our spuds and we wouldn't normally do this until October, but we were unlucky enough to get Blight this year and had to remove the tops of the potato plants a few weeks ago.
We used one of our two-tier, 173cm greenhouse staging units and loaded it up with bags of compost. Two bags per module became three, then the lower tier came into play until finally...we ran out of compost! But thats not before we calculated that each module was supporting a heavyweight 77kg of compost, far in excess of any normal greenhouse load.
The greenhouse is a valuable kitchen garden asset but to use it to its full potential you'll need to keep it frost free in winter, if not warm!
It's during the winter and early spring that the greenhouse becomes the most valuable asset on your plot - and lining the greenhouse with insulating bubble wrap can save you money (50% on heating costs) and keep tender plants alive.
Designed with our RHS endorsed garden arch range in mind, Harrod garden pergolas are offered in a range of width and length options and as we've designed and manufactured the pergola range ourselves here in our Lowestoft base we can be sure the quality will exceed your expectations.
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be planting out our Spring Cabbages. These have been growing away in our cold frame waiting for a space to become available in our vegetable cage.
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be planting our Christmas dinner. Our parsnips and sprouts have been growing since February and are looking very promising. We have also frozen some peas and runner beans to join them on our Christmas plate.
We have a number of our Harrod Original Link-Stakes Plant Supports available as 'seconds' (discoloured or with slight imperfections in the plastic) with 25% DISCOUNT. Available in packs of 12 in 2 different sizes, they are an effective, reliable and very cost effective way to support your plants. Hurry - only available while stocks last!
If August is holiday time for you, plans may be needed soon to enlist the help of friends and family to look after the garden when you are away. August can be one of the hottest months of the year and this makes watering essential.
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be awaiting the delivery of our vegetable plants. Having harvested our onions, shallots and garlic has we have some space for more crops in the Kitchen Garden.
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be pruning our trained fruit trees. Our espalier apple trees have put on lots of growth and this is the perfect time of year to restore their shape.
At last, the Holiday Season is here! For many of us, we've been looking forward to going away for quite some time, and now it's here, it's important that your hard work doesn't go to waste while you're away. To help you out with this, our range of products below will ensure your plants are well looked after while you enjoy your holiday!
Exclusively available through Harrod Horticultural, this stylish and modern, modular Retro Steel Raised Bed can be conveniently arranged in four different configurations and is very simple to put together, whichever configuration you choose.
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this week we will be harvesting our blackcurrants. The branches of our blackcurrant bushes are laden with plump juicy berries. Armed with a trug and a kneeler we'll choose a sunny day and head into the fruit cage to pick and string the berries. Then it will be off to the kitchen to make delicious jam.
This week in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden we will be hanging out the wasp traps. Last year we were infested with them and they destroyed our blackberry crop so this year we are prepared early to prevent a repeat disaster.
Setting up a store cupboard full of your own home-produced preserves is such a marvellous way to capture the full flavour of what you have grown that it far surpasses anything you can ever buy in a supermarket.
Rolawn Landscaping Bark is produced from organic material and the garden bark will naturally help your garden soil retain and hold water, which is ideal for our changeable climate.
Here at Stephanie?s Kitchen Garden this week we are going to be planting out our leeks. The seeds were sown into a raised bed back in March and are now a good size to be transplanted into the ground.
We have been working hard to prepare a raised bed for our sweet potato crop - they looked so good last year on our pyramid obelisk we just had to do it again.
With over half of the adult population in the UK feeding birds in their garden is it any surprise that Harrod Horticultural has designed two new beautiful bird feeding stations. Harrod stations are available in 2 different styles, Arched Topped and Crown Topped and both will add a real touch of class to any garden.
With drought summers increasingly predicted due to global warming, accompanied by hose pipe bans likely to come again in many areas, it certainly makes sense to wise up to potential water shortages in your garden.
Harrod heavy duty Poultry Cages are made using our 60 years manufacturing experience and are supplied with heavy duty chicken netting to keep your chickens safe. Based on our best selling fruit cages our chicken and poultry cages form a large part of our range these days.
Lots to do in the Kitchen Garden this week as the season really gets into gear. Sunshine and showers over the last week has been great for the plants, but meant more work to keep everything under control, especially the weeds!
We have managed to combine performance with looks, and source a great range of effective compost bins, some of which have been designed and manufactured here in our own factory in Lowestoft all of which you will be proud to display in your garden.
What a fantastic week at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, great to meet so many customers and so pleased with our Product of the Year Award for our 'Stormproof' Slot & Lock Vegetable Cage.
The seed sowing continues and keeping the plants fed and watered is now key to a successful harvest over the coming months...
Organic fertilisers come either as a 'compound' fertiliser which contains a mix of the three major nutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphate or Pottassium - NPK) in varying proportions, or as a 'straight' fertiliser which is only a major nutrient on its own.
Composting is not just a big garden thing. We can all do it and convert our kitchen and garden waste and a lot more besides into usable compost for the garden and there is a method to suit everyone.
There are lots of jobs planned this week as the season gets into full swing - beans to be planted out, potatoes to be earthed up again and even more seed sowing!
This week it's all about the brassica's, planting out our sprouts, broccoli and kale now that the plants have been hardening off.
Keeping plants in both the kitchen and ornamental garden well watered during the summer can be a real challenge, so drought-afflicted gardeners across the country will be delighted to learn that we've got plenty of ideas
Despite a very wet winter, we have had lovely dry warm weather of late which has dried out the soil. April is a crucial month for garlic as the bulbs are forming ready for harvest in a couple of month?s time.
As we move further into spring it's time to take off the bubble wrap in the greenhouse and give all the glass a good clean, before the plants get too big.
Great excitement on the Harrod Horticultural stand at the Edible Garden Show last week as we received a Royal Visit from HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall
Pests and diseases account for a large percentage of plant failures in the kitchen garden and ornamental border so accurately diagnosing who and what is munching or afflicting your plants is essential - and that's where Harrod Horticultural, in league with pest expert Gavin Hatt can help.
Busy in the greenhouse again this week, lots of seed sowing and potting on, hopefully planting up our wooden manger planters with salads and rocket. Harvesting some early salad leaves this week too.
The warm weather has really started to move things on in the Kitchen Garden. Lots of plans for the week ahead - dividing mint plants, sowing sea kale seeds, harvesting spinach and chard, now that should keep me busy!
Sneeboer make their tools with long handles, not solely for the benefit of six-foot-two blokes. These longer handles alleviate pressure on the spine and create a lot more digging power in the garden by creating a longer lever to work with.
Three of the major pest groups likely to cause havoc in any vegetable garden or allotment are animals, birds and weeds
The Kitchen Garden is really getting into swing now, harvesting, and most importantly eating, the forced rhubarb is a real early season treat!
Want to see some of our products up close and meet our team? Come and visit us at The Edible Garden Show at Alexandra Palace, London, 28-30 March - the ULTIMATE grow your own event.
Whether it's customising a Harrod structure to suit your garden needs, configuring a number of Harrod structures together to fit a scheme or realising the vision of a bespoke concept, our dedicated design team have the innovation and experience to make it a triumphant reality.
You can't over-estimate what a major garden problem slugs are and for years, gardeners have tried all sorts of tricks, traps and techniques to protect their plants from these premier league pests and now, in the shape of Nemaslug Slug Killer, they may have found the answer.
The warm spring weather is loved by the plants and unfortunately by the pests too - we have already had our first cabbage white in the kitchen garden!
Here at Stephanie's Kitchen Garden, we will be sowing seed outside this week. In our Superior Raised Beds, we will be sowing 'Amsterdam Forcing', an early variety of carrot. These will be given protection using a PVC cover and Hoops kit to keep them warm and snug whilst they germinate.
A quick snapshot of British vegetable plots, kitchen gardens, allotments and even patios will undoubtedly reveal that potatoes are right up there when it comes to grow your own crops
Whilst design is something we encounter in every realm of our daily lives, there still exists a lot of confusion around what garden design actually is, and the positive impacts it can have on shaping the world around us.
Two bags per module (the 173cm long unit consists of three modules) became three, then the lower tier came into play until finally...we ran out of compost! But that's not before we calculated that each module of staging was supporting a heavyweight 77kg of compost, far in excess of any normal greenhouse load.
Our team have been busy developing more exclusive Harrod branded products suitable for all gardeners. So whether you are thinking about getting your seeds off to an early start in the greenhouse or digging over your beds we are sure that you are bound to find something to help you in the Harrod Horticultural NEW 2014 range.
Active birds are a great friend of the gardener so don't wait until the depths of winter before putting food out for the local population - start now and help our feathered friends build up enough strength to get through the cold winter.
The best selling Quadgrow has many fans, including the editor of Garden Answers magazine and Kitchen Garden magazine and was featured in the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail.
A house is more than just bricks and cement; it's your home, a sanctuary into which you can escape from the outside world and into your own paradise, the same rules apply to the garden. Most people see their garden as their own private oasis, a place which they can make it their own and de-stress from a hard days work, but what do you do if you have an interruption on your paradise?
"Our schools Budding Gardeners programme supports school gardening across the country at grass roots level. This is important to us as a company as children are the gardeners of tomorrow" says Stephanie Harrod, Managing Director of Harrod Horticultural.
As Autumn raspberry plants get taller and stronger they will need support from poles or a frame. Harrod Horticultural have been specializing in fruit protection and growing frames for over 50 years and their exclusive product range is designed and manufactured in the UK
If you have a sunny patio you can easily grow an amazing variety of vegetables. You won't be self sufficient but you will soon make a good contribution to your home grown vegetables.
And now, the Biggest Pest of All...! In a recent survey, an incredible 88% of gardeners confessed to loathing slugs – and their partners in crime, snails – more than any other garden pest.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show celebrated its Centenary this year, and here at Harrod Horticultural we are celebrating too having received the 'Certificate of Merit' for the outstanding presentation of our stand!
We are again proudly exhibiting at the 2013 RHS Chelsea Flower Show from May 21st - May 25th. As the RHS show celebrates its Centenary year, Harrod Horticultural also celebrates the 10th consecutive year of exhibiting at this prestigious, world renowned event.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show announced Thursday the 21th of March that the Sneeboer entry, the 'Royal Dutch Hoe' with 3 innovations for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden Product of the Year 2013 was been successful.
Another year another golden opportunity to make this one the best yet! At Harrod Horticultural, we wanted to share our excitement with you about our variety of NEW products for 2013 as well as our NEW website too. There are plenty of inspirational, imaginative and practical products for the ornamental and kitchen garden boasting both traditional and contemporary designs and here's a few of the highlights
Wormeries are gaining in popularity as gardeners and householders embrace the recycling ethos and discover the benefits that soft, crumbly and beautifully textured wormcast can bring to the garden...
A range of Christmas delights includes engraved trowels, quality gloves, welly warmers and even stylish planters and obelisks - we are sure to have that special gift you have been looking for. The last day for standard delivery orders for guaranteed Christmas delivery is Wed. 19th Dec.
Facts about Ash Dieback disease. The History of the disease. Impacts of the disease on the environment and wildlife in Britain and the Impact of the disease on the UK economy.
Fifteen years ago our garden was a very large grassy area with the soil full of flint and clay. I had little knowledge of gardening at the time, but had been told that if I wanted to grow a healthy and happy garden I should pay very special attention to the soil.
Brewing your own pickling vinegar is a popular pastime for gardeners who produce plenty of fruit and vegetables but storing the liquid can be a problem. Here, self monikored 'preservaholic' Jess from Pickles, Jam and Preserves explains why our Padova Flat Flasks are ideal
October really marks the changing of the gardener's year, this is the month where we finish the main harvesting and start preparing for next year. Soon the frosts will come and finish off crops like runner beans so, depending on the local weather patterns, it's time to clear them.
There is something deeply evocative surrounding the traditional hand forging of tools. The heat of the forge, the smell of the coal furnace and the sound of molten steel being hammered into shape all take us back to a time long past, when tools were hand made and lasted for decades.
Many gardeners and allotment holders will be reviewing their composting activities and aiming to save money by producing more of the nutrient-rich home made stuff.
The season is definitely on the turn but to beat those late season blues, Harrod Horticultural have put together a feast of gardening products in our latest 116-page 2013 Catalogue.
There's no escaping the fact that in the garden, a large part of the autumn is spent clearing up fallen leaves, but there's an upside to all your hard work - leaf mould.
Late September and early October heralds the start of bulb planting season with gardeners countrywide frenziedly digging away, driven on by the thought of a wonderful spring show.
'I Am A Cider Drinker' sang archetypal west country scrumpy-swilling combo The Wurzels - and all over the UK people are following their advice as this traditional drink enjoys a resurgence.
Rows of apple trees in orchards dripping with ripe apples and berries and currants glistening like jewels are quintessential and endearing late summer harvest time images - and it seems only right that Suffolk-based Harrod Horticultural , with their 55+ years of manufacturing experience, should be lending a harvesting hand at this thoroughly traditional time of year.
There's no need to extend or move house this summer if you want more space as it's often said that the garden is an outdoor living room - and with a 116-page new catalogue jam packed with products to help you make the most of summer in the garden, Harrod Horticultural will have you beaming!
Our new Garden Arch range, designed and manufactured in our Suffolk factory has made the pages of the August edition of glossy East Anglian-based lifestyle magazine Places & Faces
There's no need to extend or move house this summer if you want more space as it's often said that the garden is an outdoor living room - and with a 116-page new catalogue jam packed with products to help you make the most of summer in the garden, Harrod Horticultural will have you beaming!
It?s not only the Chelsea football team who celebrated a West London twin triumph last month as table topping mail order gardening suppliers and manufacturers Harrod Horticultural have scooped a memorable award double at the 2012 RHS Chelsea Flower Show!
It's certainly no secret that stored water levels across the UK are at their lowest for decades and a domestic ban on using hosepipes has recently been implemented - but what is less clear cut is what the beleaguered gardener can do about it!
It's certainly no secret that stored water levels across the UK are at their lowest for decades and a domestic ban on using hosepipes has recently been implemented - but what is less clear cut is what the beleaguered gardener can do about it!
A Norfolk stately home and a Suffolk mail order gardening product supplier and manufacturer may seem unlikely partners but with their new Royal Horticultural Society endorsed Garden Arch range proving the catalyst, Harrod Horticultural and Hoveton Hall have joined forces in a truly symbiotic relationship...
Hot on the heels (almost) of his national newspaper writing debut, Harrod Horticultural company horticulturist Martin Fiddes has made the headlines again as his article on growing herbs in the kitchen appeared in the April 11th edition of top selling tabloid the Daily Express!
Versatile is a term often bandied about when it comes to describing garden equipment but in the case of Harrod Horticultural's Slot and Lock? connector and crop protection cage range, it's a title well merited.
Summer is the season for growing fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance - and it really doesn't matter if you've got little or no space as our patio growing press release shows.
Easter is traditionally the time of year when gardens - and gardeners - spring into life as warmer weather, longer days and a couple of bank holidays all combine to point us in the direction of the outdoors; and with 116 pages of top quality and incredibly diverse gardening products in the form of the Harrod Horticultural Spring Catalogue on hand to help, spring 2012 promises to be a gardening season to remember
With 157,000 visitors passing through the gates each year, a heritage and history as rich as any and a reputation for gardening excellence around the world, the Royal Horticultural Society?s Chelsea Flower Show is a pivotal event in the gardening calendar ? and for the 10th year running, Lowestoft ?based Harrod Horticultural will be there!
Our Budding Gardeners initiative has always proved extremely popular with schools of all sizes benefitting from our gardening knowledge, factsheets, lesson plans, expert support - and of course the 20% discount we offer! But now we've taken the project a step further by teaming up with the Memory4teachers Campaign, compacting our Budding Gardeners site onto a fully interactive memory stick.
As the garden prepares to burst into life, you can be sure that the local pest population is slowly stretching, stirring and sleepily emerging from winter hibernation too with rumbling stomachs and big plans on how to fill them - all involving your plants
The Royal Horticultural Society's Lawrence Hall in London was the venue for the 2012 Garden Press Event - an annual event which represents the perfect way to banish the winter gardening blues and get the lowdown on what's new in gardening. Our horticulturist Martin Fiddes sends this report...
The Royal Horticultural Society's Lawrence Hall in London is the venue for the 2012 Garden Press Event which represents the perfect way to banish the winter gardening blues and get the lowdown on what's new in gardening. Visit Harrod Horticultural on stand H56 for a unique chance to see the most exciting and innovative developments to their extensive gardening range for 2012!
The Royal Horticultural Society's Wisley HQ is renowned for it's stunning and varied gardens but the venue - and the fruit growing areas in particular - just got a whole lot better! Read our horticulturist Martin Fiddes's report into how eleven (yes, eleven!) fruit cages made their way from Suffolk to Surrey
The Royal Horticultural Society's Lawrence Hall in London was the place to be yesterday as the industry's journalists and press uncovered all the new products, trends and ideas for the coming gardening season at the 2011 Garden Press Event
There are two good reasons for East Anglian gardeners to make their way to the Royal Norfolk Show next week - both our very own horticulturist and photographer Martin Fiddes and pest control expert Julian Ives will be in attendance
We sent our versatile and multi-skilled horticulturist Martin Fiddes off to the packed Norfolk Showground to appear as a Master Composter on the Norfolk County Council (NCC) stand at the Royal Norfolk Show recently - and by all accounts the day was a roaring success
Sunday March 18th is Mother's Day and although it might seem a good few weeks away, thinking of a present suitable to the lady you call mum isn't a five minute task! But it gets a whole lot easier if Mum likes her garden and we've got load of ideas to make Mother's Day 2012 a bit special. Engraved tools, Sophie Conran garden gear and plenty of top quality food preparation equipment for when the produce makes it into the kitchen are all featured in our press release along with plenty more mum-friendly gifts - 2012 is the year to really treat your mum!
All good things come in threes and that's certainly the case here as an early summer awards frenzy saw us scoop a trio of prizes at prestigious gardening shows the length and breadth of the country
Our 9th Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show sees us unveil our new Garden Arches along with displaying plenty of old favourites including our exclusive and traditional Sneeboer Tools
Our Royal Horticultural Society endorsed Garden Arches are causing a stir in horticultural circles - and with the range set to publicly debut at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, there's no better place to see these stunning garden structures in the flesh
It's at this time of the year that nature takes over in the garden and if you're not careful, things can get a bit out of control - so there's no better time to unveil our Easter Catalogue and give you a helping horticultural hand
Vine weevils can be one of the most destructive garden pests and as they wreak their havoc undetected underground, it can often be too late once you've eventually laid eyes on them
Our debut Customer Newsletter is jam-packed full of topical gardening ideas, hints, tips and discussion starters; it's perfect reading material after a hard early spring day of seed sowing and transplanting in the kitchen garden or down the allotment
All eyes are focused on the Harrod Horticultural Kitchen Garden this coming Tuesday (July 12th) as the sixth meeting involving customers - dubbed the Focus Group - takes place
We've been busy during the autumn developing and testing our new Harrod Slot and Lock? range of connectors, low level strawberry cages and rock-solid vegetable cages. The new innovative Slot and Lock fixings spell the end of costly cage collapses when the tubing slips out of the connector - they do exactly what their name implies! Read all about how the Slot and Lock connectors ccan improve your gardening experience, the cage permutations we offer and plenty more in our Slot and Lock press release...
It’s being held at the current location for the 84th time this year; over 600 exhibitors displayed and presented gardens and equipment over 5 days in May last year; and it has a history stretching back to 1862 – the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower show must be the greatest horticultural event in the world!
National Nest Box Week February 14th is intrinsically linked to love and romance, and here is a bit of a different slant on Valentines Day this year, show some love to your garden birds!
Although all eyes are currently on the Royal Horticultural Society's Tatton Park Flower Show, it's the preceeding Hampton Court event that we're focusing on
Root Aphids are one of the most common garden pests, appearing on leaves and stems of flowers and vegetables in vast quantities but it's not just the foliage they like to feed on...
Versatile is certainly a word which applies to the tub trug, a real gardener's ally.
Slugs and snails consistently feature in the top three of the Royal Horticultural Society's annual Garden Pest List, cementing their position as one of the gardener's arch-enemies.
'Flying Ant Day' isn't eagerly anticipated like an annual event such as a birthday or Christmas - in fact it's probably not anticipated at all, eagerly or otherwise
It's a meeting of the 'H's' this week as Harrod Horticultural comes to Hoveton Hall with the new Garden Arch range the catalyst for the get together
Badgers are certainly headline news at present and without getting drawn into the debate on the proposed cull, it's fair to say they can be a major pest in the vegetable garden.
As the Royal Horticultural Society's summer calendar of events roadshow rolled straight out of Hampton Court bound for Tatton Park recently and one important award
Our recent Press Day struck a chord with all the invited guests with Grow Your Own's Teresa Tudge the latest member of the gardening media to give the event the thumbs up
There's a steady stream of glowing praise flowing in to Harrod Horticultural HQ following our Press Day earlier this month.
Share with your fellow Tweeters...
Our Autumn catalogue is almost ready...
We sent our horticulturist Martin Fiddes off to the packed Norfolk Showground to appear as a Master Composter on the Norfolk County Council (NCC) stand at the Royal Norfolk Show recently
The second Harrod Horticultural Press Day was a resounding success with a mix of garden writers, magazine editors and journalists enjoying the spectacular surroundings of the recently refurbished Folly and Kitchen Garden. Martin Fiddes reports...
The great British weather has intervened and the heavy rainfall is here in East Anglia...
Arguably the busiest week in the Harrod Horticultural Calendar is rounded off when the latest set of informative website video clips are shot in the stunning grounds of the Kitchen Garden...
Garden writers and journalists will be punching the Norfolk postcode of Harrod Horticultural's Kitchen Garden into their sat-navs on Wednesday as the second Press Day takes place...
All eyes are focused on the Harrod Horticultural Kitchen Garden as the sixth meeting involving customers - dubbed the Focus Group - takes place. Martin Fiddes finds out more...
The waiting is finally over and the prizes have been dished out at the 2011 Royal Horticultural Society's Hampton Court Flower Show with Will Quarmby's Heathers in Harmony scooping the Best Small Garden - assisted by a few hundred Beepol bumblebees!
It wasn't only our hands-on horticulturist and Master Composter Martin Fiddes who attended the Royal Norfolk Show this year as garden pest control expert Julian Ives occupied a slot on the Easton College stand - accompanied by around a hundred of his friends!
The second in The Royal Horticultural Society's (RHS) four-show summer schedule takes place in the sumptuous setting of Hampton Court Palace and the showpiece garden will heavily feature Harrod Horticultural products
The late summer can be a time when certain insects become more pests of humans than of plants! This can happen at the time we are using our gardens most for socialising and outdoor living but fear not, as Harrod Horticultural can provide you with safe and natural solutions for keeping these nuisance pests under control. Find out what damage ants and lawn pests can do to the garden on our latest informative seasonal summer press release - and more importantly, how to stop them!
There are two good reasons for East Anglian gardeners to make their way to the Royal Norfolk Show next week - both our very own horticulturist and photographer Martin Fiddes and pest control expert Julian Ives will be in attendance!
Why does my climbing hydrangea show a reluctance to flower...?
There's a real buzz about Harrod Horticultural today as page 62 of the Daily Express carries an article on growing your own vegetables - and our very own horticulturist Martin Fiddes has his vegetable seed sowing tips in print too!
Composting is a great subject for the school curriculum. It embraces science, nature and really opens our eyes to the environment and the future - oh, and I forgot history as it's been around for quite a while!
Is there a way of combating the dull, overcast days of late winter and early spring and bring our plants on earlier than they should? Horticulturist Martin Fiddes thinks there might be...
The 2010 version of our pest control guide ran to reprints galore so we're expecting the 2011 tome - The Little Book of Least Wanted Pests - to be just as successful. The 24 pages are crammed with pest control solutions and advice from pest expert Julian Ives and you'll find the organic answers to problems from A (ants) to almost Z (whitefly), along with plenty of tips to make your plants stronger and more pest and disease resistant. It's a must-have guide to accompany you through the growing year
Propagation Bench It's around this time of year when thoughts of sowing seeds and striking cuttings occupy the minds of many gardeners - and what better way to give those seeds and shoots every chance of making it than providing them with a propagation bench?
The Royal Horticultural Society's Lawrence Hall in London was the place to be yesterday as the industry's journalists and press uncovered all the new products, trends and ideas for the coming gardening season at the 2011 Garden Press Event. Martin Fiddes reports...
If you've been following @HarrodHort on Twitter or even joined us on Facebook, you'll know from our tweets and entries that our new warehouse facility is nearing completion.
It wasn't only our hands-on horticulturist and Master Composter Martin Fiddes who attended the Royal Norfolk Show this year as garden pest control expert Julian Ives occupied a slot on the Easton College stand - accompanied by around a hundred of his friends
Stephanies Kitchen Garden has been the subject of various articles and features in the gardening press over recent years and inviting a single gardening journalist to the garden takes plenty of planning, preparation and general tidying up – so imagine the effort involved when eight representatives of the country’s leading gardening publications and highbrow daily newspapers are due to drop in! Martin Fiddes was on hand to witness preparations...
You might recall the visit of Splash Broadcast to Stephanie's Kitchen Garden last August and the footage of the garden and Harrod Horticultural products they shot back then has been helping our customers understand and assemble the more technical items we supply ever since, thanks to the video clips located on the product pages of our main site.
Did you experience problems with your runner bean crops this year? That was certainly the case in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this summer with poor pod set the main bone of contention. Here's what Stephanie herself had to say on the matter in her latest Kitchen Garden update...
With the countdown clock showing only 49 days, the 2010 RHS Chelsea Flower Show is rapidly approaching – and Harrod Horticultural will be there to give our customers and other interested parties a chance to see our products, including a fruit cage, timber raised beds and Sneeboer tools, live and close up!
Growing Organic Seed Potatoes Planting organic seed potatoes and harvesting armfuls of delicious fresh tubers is often the route into gardening and home vegetable growing in particular for many novice gardeners – and although we’ve got a bit more experience than that, we still enjoy the anticipation of digging up a real bumper yield of spuds!
Often regarded as the ornamental flower garden, kitchen garden or vegetable patch nerve centre, the greenhouse can easily get cluttered, disorganised and generally become a mess without the provision of greenhouse staging – and that kind of chaos is bad news for gardeners but good news for pests!
Hot on the heels of our announcement that pest control guru Julian Ives has joined the Harrod Horticultural team is the publication of a little book which is sure to get plenty of use in the kitchen garden, down at the allotment and in the vegetable patch this season – our Little Book of Pests.
One of the challenges of kitchen garden, allotment and vegetable plot growing is to overcome the army of garden pests with designs on your crops.
The popularity of growing your own vegetables is soaring, with waiting lists as long as your arm for allotments and community groups establishing new vegetable plots asnd gardens all over the country.
Obtaining heirloom vegetable seed varieties is much easier now thanks to Garden Organic's Heritage Seed Library and if you're really into growing veg and have an interest in preserving the seed types of yesteryear, you'll jump at the chance of being a Seed Guardian!
It seems that the biggest pest in the garden at this time of year are ants; that's if the letters, e-mails and phone calls pouring into Harrod Horticultural HQ are an accurate indicator! Martin Fiddes finds out more...
It's the horticultural event of the year - and next week sees the gates of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea swing open once again as the 87th RHS Chelsea Flower Show takes place. Martin Fiddes sets the scene...
The majority of grow your own vegetables grown on allotments and vegetable plots are raised from seed - but if you've ever tried to locate a long forgotten, traditional variety you'll know how difficult it can be!
It's fair to say 2007 will not go down as a vintage year for potato crops, with blight and the unprecendented wet summer weather being the main culprits.
With Christmas over, and the annual trawl through the seed catalogues almost complete, the thoughts of most gardeners turn to sowing and growing once again - and that means peat free seed compost.
Home composting is one of the real growth areas in grow your own gardening, and as a result there's an absolute myriad of composting products on the market - more than enough to baffle any would-be composter!
Imagine growing a tomato variety in your own back garden, packed full of antioxidants helping to prevent cancer and coloured a glorious shade of purple. Sounds to good to be true...? Martin Fiddes finds out if this is the case!
I've been putting my Master Composter knowledge to good use recently with a visit to Sir John Leman High School in Beccles, Suffolk - where I extolled the virtues of composting in schools to 15 interested (at least I think they were interested!) teachers.
Who would of thought that a delivery of contaminated manure to an allotment site in Wakefield would hit the national headlines?
With the soaring popularity in growing your own vegetables and gardening in general, it's hardly suprising that manure is a most sought after commodity!
The Consumer Council for Water has produced a checklist of water saving ideas following predictions of another long, hot - and dry - summer.
Can you remember those early days of vegetable growing when you couldn't tell a spade from a shovel, a cucumber from a courgette and thought a propagator was a kind of crocodile? Martin Fiddes looks back...
Remember last month I brought you some updates of what we've been up to in our own Harrod Horticultural Kitchen Garden?
Following on in our recent series of Kitchen Garden overflow news, Sharon has advised me she's been busy planting artichokes.
It's always good to find out what the nation's gardeners are up to, and although not quite on the scale of a Gardener's World roadshow, I do occasionally get an insight into what plans others are drawing up.
Organic gardening - in the Harrod Horticultural Kitchen Garden at least - doesn't just mean that chemical-based pest sprays, weedkillers and fertilisers are banned from the potting shed. It's about protecting the environment in general, and that's why you'll find water butts scattered around the garden.
If you're familiar with the Harrod Horticultural Kitchen Garden, you'll be well aware that I produce an update of just what Sharon and I have been sowing, growing harvesting and composting in the garden each month.
Imagine a typical scene at the local allotments. Older men wearing caps and clad in their favourite gardening gear, gathered together in a ramshackle shed plonked next to an overgrown plot discussing how great it is to escape the house and wife, is probably the picture your mind conjures up. But things are very different these days...
Potato growers across the country – both amateur and those whose livelihoods depend on a good harvest – are still coming to terms with a disastrous 2007 season, where summer floods and widespread blight combined to decimate crops, explains horticulturist Martin Fiddes.
A quick rummage around a typical gardener's shed will uncover various forms of derris, the well-known organic insecticide - but all that is set to change next year with the proposed outlawing of the product. Martin Fiddes explains more...
Being a Master Composter, you could say compost-wise I've seen it, done it and got the T-shirt - and now, quite literally, I have!
The process of composting has been taking place ever since the earth was created, long before any of us were even thought of. Fast forward a few million years to today however, and your chance to learn all there is about compost as Norfolk County Council hold their latest course next month.
Is this Garden Forum page?
Garden Vegetables You can sometimes get a suprise when lifting root crops - there might be a record breaker lurking under the soil surface or alternatively, you might unearth something you didn't quite expect!
There's never been a better time to start growing your own fruit and vegetables at home says our horticulturist Martin Fiddes.
Have you been watching Alan Titchmarsh's latest offering on BBC TV - 'The Nature of Britain'?
The Royal Horticultural Society's Britain in Bloom competition results for 2007 have been announced - and it's good news for East Anglia, reports Martin Fiddes.
The three shire counties of Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester have a rich agricultural and horticultural history, celebrated by the ever-popular Malvern Autumn Show. Martin Fiddes finds out more...
The latest in the series of Kitchen Garden Grow Your Own Veg events, held at the Royal Horticultural Society's northernmost gardens at Harlow Carr, has proved to be another resounding success. Our horticulturist Martin Fiddes filed this report from the event.
RHS Harlow Carr are hosting the latest in a series of their popular Grow Your Own Veg Events on Friday August 31st, this time with the topical theme of harvesting to the fore.
One of this season's big success stories at the Kitchen Garden has been the new trailing courgette plant, Black Forest. This cucurbit leviathan is rapidly taking over the greenhouse at the garden and it's certainly a plant we'll be welcoming back next year reports Martin Fiddes.
With National Allotment Week in full swing, it's not the best time to discover that local authorities are reducing the size of alloment plots dramatically - but according to a recent report, that's exactly the case. Our horticulturist Martin Fiddes discovers more....
Top celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has inevitably turned his hand to gardening, and his new series - Jamie at Home - kicks off tonight on Channel 4 - and horticulturist Martin Fiddes will be watching!
Remember our recent post (July 27th) on school dinners and the way some go-ahead seats of learning were growing their own produce in school gardens?
Growers in the West Midlands and parts of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire - whose crops have been devastated by the severe summer floods - are now facing up to possible financial ruin.
Although the school holidays have barely begun, you've no doubt already spotted the 'Back to School' banners emblazoned across windows - and when the kids eventually do go back, what exactly will they be eating? Horticulturist Martin Fiddes finds out more...
Here's a copy of an article I've produced for my Master Composter post-course work...
Seems I'm in good composting company, judging by this article I came across in the Daily Telegraph...
Update Cast your mind back all of 2 days to my article regarding organic fruit and veg and the benefits of eating food grown in this fashion.
Remember last month when I bought you news that the local produce market was booming? The growth of this sector shows no sign of slowing down - and organic food in general has received a real boost.
I came across an article in the Telegraph recently, and very interesting it is too!
Here’s a question for you - what have a chart-topping 1990’s pop combo from Scotland and the previous month got in common? The answer? Wet, Wet, Wet!
Hot on the heels of my Master Composter course follows this press release, re-inforcing the importance of the initative and the role the partnership organisations play, along with publicising the fact that Harrod Horticultural now have a compost guru on board!
Remember back in February when I told you I was going to be a Master Composter? Well, I successfully completed the course, held in Swaffham, last week and now I'm well on the way to becoming a compost ambassador for Norfolk!
If you enjoy growing vegetables, then make a bee-line for the forthcoming RHS Hampton Court Flower Show - for the theme this year is definitely edible plants.
It's a quintessential English summer scene; the local gardening club take over the village green for the day to present their annual show, with a wonderful - and traditional - selection of oversized fruit and vegetables, carefully arranged flowers and delicious home baked cakes. Martin Fiddes takes us on a trip round a local garden show!
Top veg grower Medwyn Williams MBE - a 10-time RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winner - has turned his attention to producing a record breaking onion.
It seems there's something of a renaissance in the local produce market, with organic fruit and veg proving ticking all the right boxes - including price, for so long a stumbling block for those wishing to support local growers. Martin Fiddes finds out more...
I've found time this month to flick through the pages of June's BBC Gardener's World magazine, and amongst the beautiful photography and gripping features, one small news item stuck out - Anthea Turner and composting!
On the subject of wet weather and flooding (see July 6th's entry), it's worth considering a rather topical Royal Horticultural Society report says horticulturist Martin Fiddes.
A report by UK tool manufacturing giants Spear and Jackson has revealed that most gardeners are healthier, happier and suffer less from stress than those without green fingers. Martin Fiddes discovers more...
Today (June 5th) sees the 35th World Environment Day - established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 to stimulate awareness of the plight of our planet. Martin Fiddes investigates...
The barn owl is one of Britains' best loved birds and is currently the focus of a joint project to both increase numbers and provide nesting boxes across Eastern England.
With the 85th Chelsea Flower Show now just a memory, there's just enough time to look backwards and reflect before the next RHS show - with Hampton Court Palace in south west London the venue. Martin Fiddes reports.
One of the wettest May Bank Holidays on record might not be the best time to raise the issue of hotter and drier summers - but it's something we have to embrace none the less!
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) are behind a new guide, recently launched to help the UK's gardeners make the most of their gardens. Martin Fiddes digs deeper...
After weeks of planning, preparation and eventual construction, the stands, gardens and displays which form the RHS Chelsea Flower Show are finally complete.
Urban Jungle, the specialist exotic plant nursery in Norfolk, have recently expanded the wonderfully diverse range of unusual plants they supply.
The Royal Horticultural Society's garden at Harlow Carr in North Yorkshire is the venue for a 6-day Sustainable Gardening event in June. Horticulturist Martin Fiddes looks ahead...
My latest horticultural jaunt was a short-haul journey through Suffolk to the fruit tree specialists at Crown Nursery, situated in the village of Ufford near Ipswich.
It's a long way from Lowestoft to Leyburn, but some of Harrod Horticultural's bio-degradable pots will be making their way up to the The Dales Festival of Food and Drink - a celebration of food, drink and farming in the glorious Wensleydale area of Yorkshire. Martin Fiddes takes a trip to find out...
I dipped into the first of the one hour BBC Gardener's World programmes on Friday evening - and saw plenty to interest me!
In fact, this month's magazine is of extra interest as it contains a 30 page garden special, including a feature by gold medal winning garden designer and writer Tom Hoblyn, along with Country Living's Garden Editor, Stephanie Donaldson.
I'm back! Following a busy week even by my standards, I've finally returned to my keyboard and can bring you a fully illustrated report on the latest Kitchen Garden Sowing and Growing Event to be held at the RHS's Harlow Carr gardens. It goes something like this...
I promised to keep you updated with any more horticulturally-based road trips I've got scheduled - and hot on the heels of my Exeter jaunt, I'm getting behind the wheel again!
Whether you're a gardening novice or an experienced campaigner, tomatoes are likely to be top of your planting list this summer.
The benefits of a well-maintained garden may extend to an increase in the overall value of your property, according to the Horticultural Trades Association's PlantforLife campaign.
I must apologise for the lack of entries recently, but I've been on a whistle-stop trip to Exeter in Devon, near to the RHS's west country garden at Rosemoor.
Found an interesting article in the Daily Mail last week which seems to indicate that recycling and composting are starting to become big business - the worm has turned!
The Met Office, one of the world's leading authorities on weather and environmental issues, have published their forecast for spring in the UK - and it looks like we're in for warm and wet weather, writes Martin Fiddes.
In gardens and allotments all around the country, there's one plant that will almost certainly be flourishing this summer - every gardener's favourite, the tomato.
Heard an interesting story on the local news over in here in East Anglia recently, concerning the National Trust-owned Oxburgh Hall near Swaffham in Norfolk.
You do not need an excuse to treat the person you call mum, but Mothering Sunday (March 18th) is the perfect opportunity to show just how much you appreciate her - with a special Mother's Day gardening gift.
We've mentioned before just how many gardeners rate slugs as their biggest garden enemy - and now is the time to start your defence in earnest.
A top advisor at flagship gardening organisation the Royal Horticultural Society has claimed that global warming is rendering reference books out of date.
We're always keen to share our hands-on growing experience with others, and to support our local community - and this was an opportunity too good to miss. Our horticulturist Martin Fiddes takes up the story in his own words below...
It's always satisfying when a technique you use in your own garden - in this case growing in guttering - is endorsed by one of the celebrity gardeners, and that's just what's happened in the February edition of Gardener's World magazine!
The British Red Cross, the charity funded global voluntary network, are running an Open Gardens programme in 2007 to help boost their coffers.
Wireworms, and their potential to devastate potato crops and many other garden vegetables and plants, were in the forefront of one of our customer's minds recently - and here's the advice our horticulturist Martin Fiddes gave him...
We all know that that proposals for the building of a huge amount of new homes countrywide puts allotments and other greenfield sites at risk - so growing our vegetables in containers may well become more and more popular.
Here at Harrod Horticultural we like to be leaders in the horticultural field, and to back this statement up, we're growing an early crop of tumbler tomatoes in our own Kitchen Garden.
I'm going to be a Master Composter! As you must be aware by now, I'm responsible for the one-third of an acre Harrod Horticultural Kitchen Garden - fed with our own compost - which of course is an absolutely invaluable resource for a horticultural mail order company.
In a recent survey, an incredible 88% of gardeners confessed to loathing slugs – and their partners in crime, snails – more than any other garden pest.
Everyone loves a great story and you can't get much better potential film making material than this one, reports our horticulturist Martin Fiddes!
The beautiful Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden in Norfolk is holding a 'go behind the scenes' event in February when visitors can see how traditional woodland techniques play a huge part in keeping the garden in immaculate condition.
The Harrod Horticultural ethos is global! Here's a little video clip for you which shows, I think, that biological pest control is worldwide!
Since I raised the question of what is a bilberry rake last week, I've been swamped with replies. Seems this tool is not as elusive or mysterious as first thought.
Received an e-mail earlier today asking about a bilberry rake. Now I know all the tools we've got in the Kitchen Garden and there isn't one kicking around and there's certainly not one in the greenhouse.
The Royal Horticultural Society Quite possibly three of the most well known letters in horticulture.
Yet another set of famous horticultural initials, the HDRA carries the working name of Garden Organic. The organisation is a registered charity, and Europe's largest organic membership association.
A great many gardeners and allotment holders grow cabbages or other members of the brassica family each year, so will no doubt be familiar with a common garden pest – the mealy cabbage aphid.
The roots of Britain’s rich apple growing industry are buried deep in history, and the fascinating local diversification of traditional varieties is being rightly celebrated on October 21st – the official British Apple Day.
They’re a great help in the garden, are both endearing and lovable, they’ve been mentioned in works of Shakespeare and far too many perish under the wheels of a car – all good reasons why we should be helping the hedgehog this winter.
As the summer slips away and mornings grow noticably cooler, culinary thoughts turn to hearty, warming, autumnal soups and broths.
After recording a temperature of 41 degrees C outside the greenhouse recently, you’d certainly be forgiven for thinking that’s as hot as it gets – but as the chilli peppers inside start to develop, the temperature is only going to rise!
July was a testing time as I was busy fending off attacks from mice (chief suspects) whilst battling against tropical temperatures.
If your local park or open space is a hidden horticultural gem, then it’s time to act – for the annual search is on to find Britain’s Best Park.
The fluctuating winter weather is proving havoc with the country’s insect population – and ladybirds in particular are feeling the cold, according to the UK Phenology Network.
For so long given a bad press, and cast as the perennial villain of the piece, the humble British Chip has it’s annual opportunity to fight back. For this week, beginning on Monday 13th February and continuing through to Sunday 19th, is National Chip Week.
This remarkably named moth (plodia interpunctella), which measures 10mm long, lurks in the larder. The adult moths are are grey/white colour at the front and the lower half is a rusty brown; the moths like to fly at night and lay eggs on grain and dried food.
Birds do so much to reduce the population of garden pests, and that's enough of a reason alone to support the latest Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Big Garden Birdwatch. The 2006 event is to be held over the last weekend in January (28th and 29th) and hundreds of thousands of people are expected to participate.
Got any comments which just don't seem to fit in any of the existing categories we have? This is the ideal place to post them...
As we drop ever deeper into autumn, it is time to consider how we can store some of the crops which have reached maturity in the garden for winter use - and who better to talk us through the storage of vegetables than our horticulturist Martin Fiddes?
The term "organic" has become a real buzzword over the last decade in particular, and is now used to describe more of a lifestyle.
Gastronomic rewards! This is where we really require your assistance! Although sowing the seeds, caring for the growing plants and watching the crop reach maturity is very satisfying, the very best part about growing your own fruit and vegetables is eating them!
Before the physical construction of a Kitchen Garden can begin, there are numerous natural elemental factors to consider. Amount of light, wind, rain and temperature are critical – plants are exceptionally fussy – although these conditions we can control to some extent.
Many view the growing of fruit on trees as a romantic journey back through time, with childhood memories of long summer days in traditional orchards, bursting with blossom or ripening fruit, and wonderful scents and smells filling the air, depending on the time of year.
What will you require? To gain the full benefit of a greenhouse, a source of heat (other than the sun) is essential. This level of heat varies greatly, from the bare necessity of preventing frost damage, to the expense of providing high temperatures for exotic plants.
Unfortunately, a gardener never has all the space they would like to grow their crops, no matter what size their plot! If lack of space is a definite issue, container growing becomes a necessity.
The aim of growing vegetables is, ultimately, to enjoy the harvested end product. Unfortunately, this is also the main objective of most other creatures in the garden who are dead set on eating their fair share, and often more, of the crops before you!
Get those taste buds trembling! If vegetables form the essential, staple produce from the garden, then the soft fruits are the luxuries!