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garden is tiny and my soil shallow, so I'm growing dwarf French beans and spinach in pots.As well as being small, with shallow soil, my garden is shady, but it gets two hours of strong sun in the afternoon, which I hope will be enough for French beans
As container-grown fruit and veg start to crop, it's important keep your eye on the ball to ensure they stay productive. I've just harvested a small batch of French beans from my late container sowing as part of the Grow Yourself Healthy campaign
.I love the way home-grown salads start off as a meagre collection of leaves in spring, then steadily grow as tomatoes, broad beans and other ingredients are ready to harvest. The watercress growing in my pond is always the first leaf crop I pick, followed
off in summer.
Chives, which refuse to grow in my shady garden; I miss them in potato salads.
Borlotti beans, for drying and storing in jars, then adding to winter stews. Butternut squash and several varieties of pumpkin, for hearty autumn soups
I've a confession to make: my efforts at growing veg in pots, as part of this year's Grow Yourself Healthy campaign, haven't been a great success. The French beans I sowed indoors germinated well, but as soon as I moved the pot outside, Sid
), the beans were stringy, the courgettes didn’t thrive and the lettuce was eaten by slugs. My compost heap was good though. I’ve always loved a good compost heap.I had a break until a few years ago, when my dad brought me a couple of tomato plants to grow
, and - in extreme situations - lead to erosion. In the wild, plants quickly colonise exposed earth, protecting its structure and absorbing the nutrients that would otherwise be washed away. A green manure does the same thing; you just have control over what grows
in hanging baskets and pumpkins confused with courgettes, but everything was slightly leggy (due to the short days and low levels of sunlight) and there were too many plants for me to look after each one properly.Most plants ended up growing well eventually
, amaranth, squashes, broad beans and also lupins, which they harvested for their seeds.The terraces proved perfect for the production of food. The stone walls would warm up quickly, creating a warmer microclimate within the terrace and enabling some crops
Last month, we challenged you to break the World Record for growing the tallest sunflower. Free seeds of 'Russian Giant' were given out with the April issue of Gardeners’ World magazine, and many of you emailed us to register your interest in taking