PLANT Note: Cathy has volunteered to blog about his garden for us, sharing her seasonal recipes for food from her garden – you can find her posts here.
How long have you been growing food at home?
About 20 years
Is this your first garden?
No, but the first garden big enough to grow vegetables in.
What inspired you to start growing food?
Geoff Hamilton’s 1995 TV series and book ‘the ornamental kitchen garden’ which showed me that veg can be attractive as well as productive.
What is your gardening philosophy/main influence?
Main influence – my late father, an enthusiastic vegetable grower. I try to be organic, using mesh and nematodes to protect against pests, and making my own compost, but I’m not above using a bit or growmore or spraying aphids with systemic insecticide.
Your favourite food plant to grow right now and why?
Favourite food to grow right now – Chard (Rainbow) – easy to grow, colourful, stems and leaves can both be eaten, overwinters well and the chickens like it!
Current challenge and how you’re tackling it?
Creating a fruit garden. Have planted apple trees, fruit bushes and strawberry plants. Now need to figure out how to protect the fruit from the birds…
Your favourite local nursery/garden centre/supplier and why?
Favourite garden centre – Jamesfield Garden Centre near Newburgh has a good range of interesting perennials, but for veg and herb plants I go to Dobbies or Glendoick. On-line – ‘Gardening Naturally’ – good for protection netting/cages for vegetables.
What is your go-to resource for food gardening at the moment and why?
Go-to resource for food gardening – The Vegetable and Herb Expert, Dr G Hessayon (really useful bible for veg growing), and The Fruit Expert (same author). Also, RHS Encyclopaedia of Gardening and RHS website
What would be a single piece of advice you would give to somebody just starting to grow food in a Tayport garden?
The soil where I live in Tayport is sandy and dries out quickly so I sow seeds and plant seedlings in shallow trenches. This means it’s easier to water and ensures the water gets to the roots.