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Planting Potatoes

We started planting seed potatoes on 12 February in 2011,  not because conditions were ideal, but because work was taking Mike abroad, & he would be away for 4 weeks. Luckily the soil had been covered with a plastic sheet since late November.  So the rain had been kept off and the soil was quite dry. The sheet was taken off, and the soil
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Young gardeners eat more fruit & veg

First-year college students who have gardening experience eat more fruits and vegetables while they’re away at university, compared with peers who don’t have green thumbs, US researchers say.  The research was published by Reuters on 26 December  2017 The more gardening experience the freshers had, the greater their intake of produce, the study also found. Those who had gardened both during childhood and more
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Holly and Ivy Wreath

Why are holly and ivy grouped together?  It first happened in pagan times, as a thinly disguised competition between the sexes.   Holly was thought to be male: crisp and prickly. Whereas Ivy symbolised the female: being soft and clingy! But ivy is only mentioned once in the carol “The Holly and The Ivy” & that is in the first line of the first verse!
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How to Plant Raspberry Canes

Raspberries are best grown from bare root canes in the autumn. Always  buy virus-free stock. Most soils are suitable for raspberries, but the best soil is: * slightly acid * not too heavy * rich in organic matter * well drained The site for the raspberry canes should be: * sheltered from high winds * in full sun, but partial shade is acceptable Raspberries
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How to Prune Summer Raspberry Canes

When the summer raspberry harvest has come to an end, prune out the old flowering canes at soil level. The new shoots that have grown this year will bear next year’s fruit. Removing the old canes from the raspberry row will prevent the carry over of diseases, and give the new canes light and space.  (This method is for summer fruiting canes, not autumn raspberries.) *
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Pickled Runner Bean Recipe

This recipe for pickled runner beans is a good way to use up surplus runner beans. Ingredients: * 1.5lb runner beans * 1pint malt vinegar * 1.5lb granulated sugar * 1 level teaspoon ground allspice * pepper Method 1. String & slice beans 2. Cook in lightly salted boiling water for about 8 minutes & drain. 3. Mix vinegar, sugar, allspice & pepper in pan, &
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How to pickle onions

The main thing you need to pickle onions is plenty of time, otherwise it is quite straightforward! most people use shallots for pickled onions make a brine solution by dissolving 8oz of salt in 4 pints of water skin the onions – using a stainless steel or silver knife – or the onions will discolour cover the onions in the cold brine solution for at least 24 hours. 
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How to Freeze Parsley in 10 steps.

Parsley has grown well in this mild winter and it is worth clipping for freezing, to save it being lost in the frost. To freeze parsley: Cut off the outer stems Discard any shoots that are not perfect – they must be green and young Wash well under cold water Shake dry Place in a freezer bag & seal Label ‘parsley’ Put in freezer
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