• We’ve got the ultimate grow-your-own veg prize bundles up for grabs in THREE competitions across our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook channels.
    To mark what would have been RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival and to encourage everyone to keep the growing going, we’ve teamed up with no dig gardening guru Charles Dowding, kitchen gardener and author Stephanie Hafferty, and heritage and heirloom seed specialist Pennard Plants.
    Charles Dowding is the world authority on the no dig-style of organic gardening and his books and courses draw audiences from around the world. Stephanie Hafferty is a fellow organic no dig kitchen gardener, award-winning writer and chef, specialising in seasonal plant-based food.
    Pennard Plants grows and sells one of the largest selections of edible plants, heritage and heirloom seeds, fruit and herb plants to be found in the UK.

    We’ll pick THREE lucky winners on our TwitterFacebook and Instagram channels (one winner on each channel) to scoop an exciting prize bundle comprising:

    • An online no dig gardening course with Charles Dowding, ‘No Dig Organic Home & Garden’ book by Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty, and ‘The Creative Kitchen’ book by Stephanie Hafferty worth at least £187.90
    • A £50 voucher to spend at Pennard Plants online shop
    • Wool Compost – you’re going to need the best compost to grow veggies in, so we are giving each lucky winner five bags of Wool Compost for Vegetables & Salads, and three bags of Wool Composts for Seeds worth £88.83

    To enter:
    Twitter competition - For a chance to win, retweet (RT) our competition post, follow & tell us your favourite vegetable to grow in your garden, in a pot or on your balcony, along with a photo
    Facebook competition - Entrants must tell us your favourite vegetable to grow in your garden, in a pot or on a balcony, with a photo. Then why not like our Facebook page, share the competition post and tag as many friends as you can!
    Instagram competition - Entrants must tell us your favourite vegetable to grow in your garden, in a pot or on your balcony – and tag a friend.
    All three competitions close 13 July 2020 18:00 and winners will be informed by 16 July 18:00. Full terms and conditions below.

    Terms & Conditions
    By entering Dalefoot’s Twitter, Facebook or Instagram competitions you agree to be bound by the following:

    Twitter – online course 1, no dig gardening with Charles Dowding, ‘No Dig Organic Home & Garden’ book by Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty, and ‘The Creative Kitchen’ book by Stephanie Hafferty; £50 voucher to spend at Pennard Plants online shop, and five bags of Wool Compost for Vegetables & Salads, and three bags of Wool Composts for Seeds. Entrants must retweet (RT) our post, follow & tell us your favourite vegetable to grow in your garden, in a pot or on your balcony, along with a photo

    Facebook – online course 1, no dig gardening with Charles Dowding, ‘No Dig Organic Home & Garden’ book by Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty, and ‘The Creative Kitchen’ book by Stephanie Hafferty; £50 voucher to spend at Pennard Plants online shop, and five bags of Wool Compost for Vegetables & Salads, and three bags of Wool Composts for Seeds. Entrants must tell us your favourite vegetable to grow in your garden, in a pot or on a balcony, with a photo. Then why not like our Facebook page, share the post and tag as many friends as you can!

    Instagram – online courses 1 & 2, no dig gardening with Charles Dowding, ‘No Dig Organic Home & Garden’ book by Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty, and ‘The Creative Kitchen’ book by Stephanie Hafferty; £50 voucher to spend at Pennard Plants online shop, and five bags of Wool Compost for Vegetables & Salads, and three bags of Wool Composts for Seeds. Entrants must tell us your favourite vegetable to grow in your garden, in a pot or on your balcony – and tag a friend.

    Dalefoot Composts will choose its favourite responses from the entries. A winner will be selected from each channel (three winners in total). The prizes will be sent to the winners by 31 July.
    The prizes are non-transferrable and cannot be refunded for any money. Prizes may take longer to deliver/arrive, due to current delivery delays.
    Open to all UK mainland residents aged 18 and over, excluding relatives, partners and employees of Dalefoot Composts, Heltondale, Cumbria CA10 2QL
    Closing date for entries in all three competitions is 13 July 2020 at 18:00.
    Only one entry per person on each channel.
    The winners will be informed within 72 hours of the closing date and will need to respond by 20 July 2020, or a new winner will be chosen.
    Dalefoot Composts may publish the winners’ details and the winning entries on its social media channels or website. If Dalefoot Composts does not publish the winners’ details on social media, those details may be obtained from Dalefoot Composts privately on request.
    Personal data will be processed and shared with third parties only for the administration of the prize, and for promotional purposes as listed above.
    By participating in these competitions, entrants confirm they have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.
    These competitions are in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or the RHS.
    Dalefoot Composts reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify these competitions or these official rules.
    Pennard Plants voucher will be valid for two years from date of issue and must be spent in one purchase.

  • 06 July 2020

    Are they ready yet?!

    Caption: Healthy Potato Foliage
    Caption: The first opnes!
    Caption: Feverfew

    Waiting for first early potatoes is just sport in June but come the first week of July it gets serious. I know I need to wait for the flowers to finish and there’s no point turning up a fork full of empty soil but like many gardeners, I’m itching to see what’s there.


    There’s something really satisfying about those first small beauties. Our Rocket and Charlotte potato plants are looking fantastically leafy and healthy in their beds and trugs, they’re positively burgeoning with promise. As much as we love eating Jersey Royals, they just whet the appetite for our own homegrown.


    ….So I’ve done what I know I shouldn’t and gone and had a root around with my hand in a trug of Rocket first earlies to see what’s what! I’m delighted that inspite of my impatience, our plants have plenty of potatoes and they’re growing nicely. Not quite big enough for a hearty meal but big enough for a first precious warm salad and a taste of what’s to come.


    We use Lakeland Gold as a top dressing for our potatoes, placing a good inch or two on all the beds and the trugs to give an extra boost of nutrients (especially potash) and the slightly acidic conditions they prefer. These early potatoes are a tonic for the soul especially after all these weeks in lockdown. They’re on their way now and we will have plenty more in a week or two.

     

    Also in the garden this week, the feverfew is looking particularly glorious at the moment!

     

    Juliet

  • Caption: Pea plants climbing up the peasticks
    Caption: Chooks eating the redcurrants
    Caption: Allium
    Caption: Chick in the shade

    Visitors to our gardens!

    Great news! We’ll soon be allowed to have friends and family visit our gardens! If, like me you’re excited by this prospect, you might also be looking around at the many buckets, compost bags, balls of string and forgotten mugs of tea that are distributed around your plot. My Mum and sister have booked in on the first day of easing this lockdown rule and I’m already counting the number of days I have to get things ‘ship-shape’.


    With their visit pending, I found myself outside this morning straightening bamboo canes and pea-sticks. Next job is putting in more plant supports (Monty’s been telling us to do this for weeks!). So, I’ve wielded the twine and been tying-in Purple Sensation alliums and trying to stop the catmint from flopping. The other job is the bribery of my husband to mow the lawn (real ale has been effective here….), and I’ve been sharpening up the lawn edges. Finally, I must remember to tidy away the make-shift water drinkers which I’ve dotted around for our baby chicks in the hot weather (definite trip hazards!).


    So, lets hope we’re all putting our best foot forward by the time our gardens, patios and veg plots are ready for inspection. What pleasure to be able to share our gardens again!

    Juliet.

  • At this time of year, we would normally be meeting customers, press and fellow garden supply companies at the world’s most famous flower show, RHS Chelsea. But this May, for obvious reasons, we’re having to give it a miss.

    Instead we’re proud to be taking part in the Virtual RHS Chelsea Flower Show as an exhibitor, showcasing photographs from previous shows on our social media channels and also running exciting competitions on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels.

    We’ve teamed up with our RHS Chelsea neighbours - their stands have been near ours at previous shows – to offer some amazing grow-your-own veg prizes for three lucky Twitter, Facebook and Instragram followers (one winner on each channel).

    • Wool Compost – you’re going to need the best compost to grow veggies in, so we are giving each lucky winner three bags of Wool Compost for Vegetables & Salads, and two bags of Wool Composts for Seeds worth £48.95!

    • Franchi Seeds Vegetable Growing Survival Kit – Vegetable seed pack containing 12 easy-to-grow nutritious container seed varieties for sowing or harvesting every month of the year to help feed your family, including varieties for preserving or storing over winter. From Franchi Seeds and worth £21.99!

    • Two pairs of gloves from the Glove Specialists - a pair of Red Back Gloves (textured-latex palm with a breathable back makes this the perfect weeding glove, with excellent fit, grip and great protection) and a pair of Easy Fit Gloves (strong yet soft and light, amazingly tactile gardening glove, in stretchy black nylon with a strong black polyurethane palm. Perfect for handling compost, pricking out, planting and potting, weeding and cleaning up around the garden, even changing the plug or oil on the lawnmower!) Worth £11!

    • Vegebag from Vegepod UK – This amazing product is a finalist in the RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year. Vegepod UK is giving each lucky winner a small Vegebag. Their signature mesh provides amazing growth rates as well as protecting against wildlife, pets, pests, bugs and inclement weather. Simply fill the bottom section with Dalefoot peat-free compost and plant your veg. Worth £19.99

    To enter:

    Twitter competition - For a chance to win, retweet (RT) our post, follow & tell us your favourite garden plant (with a photo from your own garden if possible).

    Facebook competition - Entrants must explain why they enjoy gardening. Photos of entrants’ gardens welcomed. Then why not like our Facebook page, share the post and tag as many friends as you can!

    Instagram competition - Entrants must explain why they enjoy gardening – again photos welcomed – and tag a friend.

    All three competitions close 25 May 2020 18:00 and winners will be informed by 28 May 18:00. Full terms and conditions below.

    Terms & Conditions

    By entering Dalefoot’s Twitter, Facebook or Instagram competitions you agree to be bound by the following:

    Twitter – the prize as described above. Entrants must share the post, follow and name their favourite garden plant. Photos welcomed.

    Facebook – the prize as described above. Entrants must explain why they enjoy gardening. Photos of entrants’ gardens welcomed. Then why not like our Facebook page, share the post and tag as many friends as you can!

    Instagram – the prize as described above. Entrants must explain why they enjoy gardening – again photos welcomed – and tag a friend.

    Dalefoot Composts will choose its favourite responses from the entries. A winner will be selected from each channel (three winners in total). The prizes will be sent to the winners by 30 June.

    The prizes are non-transferrable and cannot be refunded for any money. Prizes may take longer to deliver/arrive, due to current delivery delays.

    Open to all UK mainland residents aged 18 and over, excluding relatives, partners and employees of Dalefoot Composts, Heltondale, Cumbria CA10 2QL

    Closing date for entries in all three competitions is 25 May 2020 on 18:00.

    Only one entry per person on each channel.

    The winners will be informed within 72 hours of the closing date and will need to respond by 5 June 2020, or a new winner will be chosen.

    Dalefoot may publish the winners’ details and the winning entries on its social media channels or website. If Dalefoot does not publish the winners’ details on social media, those details may be obtained from Dalefoot privately on request.

    Personal data will be processed and shared with third parties only for the administration of the prize, and for promotional purposes as listed above.

    By participating in these competitions, entrants confirm they have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.

    These competitions are in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or the RHS.

    Dalefoot reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify these competitions or these official rules.

  • Caption: Gladioli packets from the supermarket
    Caption: Gladioli in full bloom at RHS Malvern 2019 taken by Laura
    Caption: Our newly hatched chicks
    Caption: Bulb and Corm thieves

    Glad for Gladioli, a VE day thank you.


    If like me, you watch Gardeners' World each week, you might be feeling tempted to grow some Gladioli after watching Monty Don sing the virtues of summer bulbs and corms in the past few episodes. Having never grown them before I feel a little apprehensive; can such flamboyant flowers be easy to produce? I’ve managed to secure a few packets of left-over bulbs from a local supermarket and now need to swing into action.


    Last week's VE Day anniversary has spurred me on to get those packets open and the corms planted. There’s something about the joyfulness of Gladioli that’s easy to associate with the post-war celebrations of VE day. My own Grandpa liked bulbs of every sort (the brighter, the better) and would certainly approve and it seems like a nice way to hold him in mind throughout this summer.


    So with Dalefoot Bulb Compost to hand and some long-tom terracotta pots empty of their ‘gone-over’ tulips, I’m ready to plant. I just have to keep a watchful eye out for our chickens who like to steal bulbs and seeds when I’m sowing seeds or when my back’s turned.


    As I understand it, Gladioli need to be planted once the danger of frost had finally passed (around about now). They need a decent depth of soil or compost, approximately 30cms, thus long-toms are ideal. Each corm needs to be planted 10 to 15 cms deep, then covered and compost pressed down. Ideally plant each corm about 10 cms apart. Give them a thorough watering and that’s it!

    Finally, Gladioli like growing in full sun, so find that sunny spot and keep your fingers crossed for a burst of exuberance later in the season.

     

    Juliet

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© Barker and Bland Ltd t/a Dalefoot Composts 2014 - 2020. All rights reserved.
Barker and Bland is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Dalefoot Farm, Heltondale, Nr Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2QL. Registered number: 8312959

This project is supported by the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) for which Defra is the Managing Authority, part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.

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