Rudgwick Church, together with the Ellens Green & Rudgwick Gardening Association
(and with support from a charitable trust) would like to encourage local people to
grow their own vegetables in 2021.
It's not too late to take part, so if you and your family would like to start growing your own vegetables,
or perhaps would like to try some new crops, then email the church office.
Join the Facebook page, to share tips, ask advice and share photos of your successes.
Free Seeds Scheme
Lets get started
The seeds have arrived and you will be contacted to receive your seeds in the next week, You will have plenty of leek and perpetual spinach seeds, but only about 5 runner bean seeds, 4 courgette seeds and 15 tiny tomato seeds - but this is because each seed will produce plenty of food for you.
The key is to make sure that you nurture each seed really carefully to give it the best chance of growing.
RUNNER BEANS; Enorma
(5 seeds each)
The plants require support as they grow, so you could create a wigwam of canes tied at the top for the beans to climb up. Flowers appear in the summer and require pollination by bees and other insects. You could give the bees extra encouragement by growing sweet peas in with your runners. Start the seed off undercover in April in 8 cm pots or plant them direct into the growing site in May. Prepare the site by digging in or mulching with compost. Runner beans like a moist, rich soil. Plant the seeds 3 cm deep and allow 15 cm between.
Remember to harden off plants that have been grown undercover to acclimatise them to outside conditions. Pinch out the growing tips when the plants reach the top of their supports. Harvest runner beans from July onwards when the beans are young and tender.
Pick regularly to encourage production and before the beans inside swell and the pods become stringy.
(15 seeds each)
Tigerella is a red tomato with a distinct golden stripe. Its taste is considered one of the best around. It is also quite high-yielding. Plant seeds in trays/pots of good organic compost in March and April – putting them on a sunny windowsill. Pot up into 8cm pots when the first few true leaves appear and the plants are approximately 8cm tall. Use a good quality organic potting compost with good nutrient levels and grow on at 10 degrees C. The plants grow rapidly and need the nitrogen particularly to stay green and healthy. Plant out in growbags or borders in April and May. Tomatoes are not frost hardy. Feed with an organic liquid feed when the first trusses of Tomatoes form and keep feeding and watering as required. Try to keep the watering consistent and try not to let the plants dry out. Support tall growing varieties with strings or canes and pinch out the side shoots that grow from the base of the leaf joint, but not the flower stems!
Once the plants have set 3 or 4 trusses of fruit you can pinch out the growing tip of the plant. Remove older, yellowing leaves from the base of the plant and this will improve light and air flow to the lower trusses of fruit.
Harvest your tomatoes when ripe from June until October.
Sow the seed 1cm deep into well-prepared ground from March. There should be 20cm between seedlings and 30 cm between the rows. It is a good idea to make at least 2 sowings during the season to ensure a good supply. Start harvesting with the outside leaves and pull the stems away with a sharp downwards tug. Leave the plants to grow on and harvest as required.
COURGETTE F1 Sunstripe
(4 seeds each)
Sow end of April/ May/early June. Can be grown early under glass. Will need about a metre around it, so space them carefully.
(about 45 seeds each)
Atlanta is a frost-tolerant variety for harvesting from December to April.
You can sow seeds outside in a seed bed sown during March and April. Sprinkle the seeds in shallow drills 15cm apart. Keep watered during dry weather.
In early summer when the plants are about 10-15cm tall and about the thickness of a pencil, they are ready to transplant. Using a dibber make holes 15-20 cm deep and 15cm apart. Carefully lift the Leek plants and separate them. You can trim the roots by two thirds and the tops of the plant but this is not absolutely necessary. Drop the plants into the holes and fill the hole with water or a weak seaweed solution. Some soil will fall in to cover the roots but do not refill the holes with soil. The plants will grow and swell filling the hole and be ready to harvest in Winter
Clarissa Bushell, EG&RGA
Should you have too many plants, do offer them to someone else, who may have had trouble germinating theirs.