Hello Hello and welcome to the growing family!
Your recent purchase means the world to me, and I just wanted to start with a massive thank you! If you are a recurring growing family member from April, May or June then welcome back, I’m so happy and excited to show you the July box!
July is when we finally start to harvest, and the garden is really starting to come to life. As the weather is now really starting to warm up your July crops will all be grown outside.
Let’s get growing together!
In your July box you will find:
1 small recycled fabric pot
1 medium recycled fabric pot
1 large recycled fabric pot
Twine securing your pots together
1 pack of spring onion seeds, 1 pack of French bean seeds and 1 pack of kohlrabi seeds
2 blocks of peat-free compost
Organic plant food
3 grow guides
1 how to start your compost guide
1 thank you for your order and how to dispose guide.
Now let’s get growing! ( This is the same as April, May and June)
It is a good idea to get started with your compost blocks. You can expand one block to start off with but I like to expand them both at the same time.
You will need a water tight container such as a bucket or tray. Place your compost blocks into your container, but make sure the compost has room to expand. It might look small now but its going to grow like crazy!
Start by adding 1 liter at a time, warm water will speed up the process but it is by no means necessary. Overall the dried compost blocks will absorb around 6-10 liters.
After a few minutes the compost will start to expand, if it is not expanding, try breaking a few chunks apart and adding a touch more water.
Now its time to get your hands dirty, break apart your blocks making sure to break apart any chunks. You might find you need to add more water at this stage.
Your coco coir compost should be lovely and fluffy with no lumps, and not saturated with water. If you still have lumpy compost, continue to break it apart with your hands. If your compost is soaking wet you can squeeze out some of the moisture.
Now let's get your seeds started!
Dwarf French Beans
Lets start with the dwarf french beans as the are really easy to grow, and I cannot wait for you to see how beautiful the plant and the flowers are, as well as tasting the home grown beans. Trust me everyone, this is a good one!
I have selected Mistic as the variety, as I have been growing it for years and it never lets me down. It is also quite a compact variety, where the beans will grow above the foliage making them super easy to harvest. Mistic is one of the only true purple varieties and it really is a stunner! If you are not overly keen on beans, I really hope this helps to change your mind, picked young and lightly fried, they really are a summer treat!
To get your beans started please grab your medium size pot.
Start by filling up you medium pot to around 60% full with your compost, and sprinkle in around one third of your organic plant feed. Please always wash your hands after handling plant food.
Once you have popped in your plant food please fill up your pot pretty much to the top, making sure the plant food stays buried.
Now using the back of your hand it is a good idea to flatten out the top layer of soil, and evenly space your seeds apart. Bean seeds are a best if they are sown on their side, to see what I mean by this please check out the images below.
Using your finger, poke the seed roughly 3 cm deep into the soil and cover them back up with your soil.
Now your bean babies have been popped back to bed, remember to give them a fun name with you plant label and give them a really good water. Please make sure the water has gone all the way down to the seeds.
Leave your pot somewhere warm and sunny outside and after a few weeks your baby French beans will start to germinate. Please make sure to keep the pot well watered as all times. The warmer the weather the faster they will germinate, but they should all start to appear within 10 days.
After around three weeks your baby bean plants should be around 7cm tall with a set of leaves forming at the top. This next part can be painful, but you need to select your strongest plant. One plant per pot will always give you the best results.
The best way to get your plants out is to use a spoon. Dig the spoon deep under the soil of your plants, being careful of the roots and gently life them out. The goal here is to lift the plant plus keep all of the root ball in tact. The left over plants can be given to friends, or you can replant them in other pots. Remember if you want more pots and compost please use your 10% off code.
Once you have your strongest plant, please bury it back in the pot making sure all of the roots and a little bit of stem is buried, and give it a really good water. From here your plant is pretty low maintenance, just make sure the soil stays moist and the bean is growing a warm sunny spot outside.
This is a dwarf variety so should be fine to support itself but just in case it gets a little top heavy, use a stick from the garden and the twine in your box to support.
Very soon little purple flowers will appear and these will soon develop into small beans. While it can be fun to let these grow massive, they will taste far better when they are around 10-15 cm long. I recommend snipping the bean pods rather than pulling as this can damage the plant.
Your plant may be small but they are heavy croppers and will easily provide you with over 20 beans per plant.
We will return to the beans in the harvesting and snacking section later on.
Now lets get your spring onions growing!
For me spring onions are a must in every garden, they are super easy to grow, it have so many great uses in the kitchen and if harvested properly, you can simply keep growing more and more. So lets not waste any time and get started.
To get started grab your small size pot and fill up with your compost, leaving around five inches from the top. Mix in approx 1/5 of your organic plant food, and once again please wear gloves and wash your hands afterwards. Then cover your plant food with soil up to a few inches off the top of the pot. As you can see from the images below I enjoy folding the top over so its even with the soil.
I always like to flatten the soil with the back of my hand, as this makes spacing easier for me, but this is completely optional. Using a pencil or a dibber make 2cm deep holes spaced evenly apart. Please check out the image below to see how I spaced mine, but you should be able to get 12-20 holes.
Now you have your spacing drop one seed per hole and cover back up with compost, but do not worry if you drop multiple seeds in a hole, as it is faster to thin these out once they have germinated rather than trying to fish that seed back out.
Give your spring onion seeds a really good water and name them using your plant label. Place in a warm sunny spot and after around a week little spring onions will appear to say hi.
Spring onions are a very easy low maintenance crop to grow. Just keep them well watered and growing in a warm sunny spot in the garden. Just a warning, when your spring onion plants are young they are delicate, so please be careful when watering as they can easily break. After a week or two they will toughen up and you do not have to worry as much.
Once the tops of your spring onions are as thick as a large pencil and they have started to form little white bulbs at the bottom they are ready to harvest.
Now there are two ways you can harvest your spring onions, the first way and the way I use is to pull the whole plant out as soon as they are ready. Or you can cut just above the soil and let the onion regrow. I provide you with enough seeds to use option one and have another sowing.
We will be returning to spring onions in the snacking section later on.
Let's get those Kohlrabi planted out!
Kohlrabi is one of the most unusual looking veggies, but in my opinion one of the most underrated! They can be eaten raw or cooked and they make a great potato substitute. Plus they can be quite hard to find in the stores which makes them even better to grow. This is one I am really excited for you to try.
To get your kohlrabi started please grab your large pot and half fill with your compost. Sprinkle the remaining half of your plant food into your soil and then fill your pot to the top with compost.
As you may gather by now I like to flatten the top of the soil using the back of my hand. Using a pencil or a dibber poke 2 cm deep holes evenly apart in the soil. Please see below images to see how I spaced my holes. Now as per usual I will give you way more seeds than you need, so please feel free to use your discount to get more pots and compost to grow all your seeds.
Drop in one seed per hole and then cover back up with soil.
Give your kohlrabi a name using your wooden plant labels and give your seeds a really good water, making sure it gets all the way down to the seeds.
Now your kohlrabi are well on their way, pop them in a warm sunny spot in your garden and after around a week they will soon appear through the soil.
Again like your other plants kohlrabi are very easy to grow, just make sure the soil is moist and you are growing them in a warm sunny spot in the garden. Once your seed germinates and starts to grow into a small seedling it is crucial to keep an eye out for pests.
Small kohlrabi are prone to aphid attacks. Aphids are small little bugs that suck the sap out of the leaves. If you see any please pop on some gloves and remove them by hand or spray them off with water.
Kohlrabi will shoot out quite large leaves, so please just double check when you water, it is reaching the soil and not just running off the top pf the leaves. We are growing purple kohlrabi so the leaves will have purple veins which can be quite striking. Please check the underside of the leaves regularly as they can often house caterpillars, which will make short work of your plants.
Soon the base will start to swell up, and at this stage it is important to keep your soil moist to prevent the bulb turning woody in texture. You can eat kohlrabi at any size, but I think they are best when harvested around the size of a tennis ball.
Holding the leaves, gently pull out your kohlrabi, and then snip off the roots. The leaves are edible, but I like to compost them.
Storing, cooking and snacking on your beans, spring onions and kohlrabi.
Bean pods harvested straight from the plant are delicious but will not store very well so please harvest the day you plan to use them.
I like to eat my beans raw, chopped up in a salad, but this taste is not for everyone. I highly recommend picking a few beans at the same time, lightly heating up some butter in a frying pan and blanching for 2 minutes. This is amazing and makes a great side dish to your main meal.
Your beans will always taste better when they are smaller and tender, so please make sure they are between 10-15 cm when picked.
Spring onions have so many uses in the kitchen. They will store for a few days in the fridge, or the roots placed in a small cup of water.
Fresh spring onions can pack a punch so please be careful not to overdo it, you only need a small amount to get the great flavor. I love to chop them up really small and add them to your fresh salads, or sprinkle them as a garnish over your cooked meals to add a fresh kick.
If you chop just above the root, leaving the roots and 2 inches of onion, and place this in a small container with water in they will actually regrow!
Now I am excited for this one! Kohlrabi will store for a week or so in the fridge, but if you plan on using the leaves too, they will not last as long. While the leaves are edible they are not that great in my opinion, so I pop them in the compost heap.
The outer skin of the kohlrabi can be tough so please peel this and compost. I have a bit of a soft spot for raw kohlrabi in my salads, but this taste might not be for everyone. If using raw it is amazing grated or chopped into very small cubes. It also makes a great addition to coleslaw when grated.
Alternatively you can cook kohlrabi in the same way you would potato, whether that is chips, roasted, boiled or even mashed. It is super yummy and one of my all time favorites.
Thank you all so much for your support and Happy growing!
ps, don't forget to email me if you need any further help or want to share your pictures.