Friends and Foes of Fruit and Veg

As you may have noticed the slugs have started to hatch, grow and eat. Not all slugs munch through your healthy lettuce though, some only eat decaying matter, so knowing which one does what is very useful for your veg patch and compost.

There are other bugs in the garden who’s looks are deceptive. Take ladybird larvae for example, they look like little dragons but they are incredibly useful, eating more than their fair share of aphids as they fatten up on the road to becoming ladybirds. So if you see one of these, no matter what you do, don’t squash them!

courgette destroyed by slugs

However, if you were to find the culprit who did this to our courgettes…

…then please, squash away!

Simon Gulliver from the Botanical Gardens, will be running a one day session at Urban Veg on Friends and Foes of Fruit And Veg . The morning will be spent learning what to squash or save and the afternoon will focus on diseases which are often over-looked but can be detrimental to this and following years crops.

All pest and disease control will be chemical free. We love all wildlife!

When? 15th June

Where? Urban Veg, Winterbourne House and Gardens

How much? £30 including refreshments

To book a place please call 0121 414 3003 (and choose option 4) or in person at the Winterbourne Garden entrance.

You can also email for more info

We hope to see you at Urban Veg soon, ’til then, happy hunting!


Grow It Yourself (GIY) UK Gathering 2013

GIY Birmingham Gathering 20th July, University of Birmingham

Grow It Yourself (GIY) is community of food growers expanding from Ireland into the rest of the world. Like Urban Veg, GIY believes that by being part of a supportive community you will have more success at growing food.

“Our vision is for a healthier, more sustainable and more connected world where people grow their own food. We inspire and empower people to grow their own by bringing them together in community groups and online to share tips, advice and expertise.”

Its time to get excited as GIY IS COMING TO BIRMINGHAM!

Venue: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Date: 20th July 2013

Time: 9:30am – 5pm

Ticket Price: £25 (yes, a complete bargain!)

With a dazzling list of speakers it’s a must for any gardening calendar:

  • Alys Fowler, Guardian columnist, gardener, tutor and urban food guru
  • Rachel de Thample, Abel and Cole’s Food Editor and community gardener
  • Maddy Harland, co-founder of Permaculture Magazine and The Sustainability Centre
  • Mark Diacono, writer, photographer and River Cottage tutor
  • Craig Sams, founder of Green and Black’s chocolate and exec’ chairman of Carbon Gold
  • Michael Michaud, ethnobotanist, food grower and co-owner of Sea Spring Seeds
  • Dr David Shaw, Savari Research Trust, the people saving potatoes for our future
  • Paul Clarke, professor and a founding member and director of Incredible Edible Ltd
  • Lia Leendertz, guardian writer and dedicated allotmenteer
  • Michael Kelly, journalist, member of the TASTE Council of Ireland and most importantly FOUNDER OF GIY!

BOOK HERE £25 per ticket

Full description of speakers and more information on GIY

As Urban Veg is part of the University there will be tours on offer so you can have a look around our site.

We hope to see you there for fantastic talks and amazing networking opportunities!

Edible Chelsea

The grow your own message is all over Chelsea Flower Show this year.
Adam Frost’s Homebase garden mixing edibles and ornamentals beautifully.

Show gardens, trade stands and floral pavilion displays are showing off edibles as attractive plants in their own right.

There are new and forgotten varieties, ideas on how to grow veg and simple, sumptuous treats for the eyes!

Angelica adds structure and flavour to Adam Frost’s Homebase garden.

A boot full of strawberries by Ken Muir.

A biome of delight. Where could we put this at Urban Veg…?

Kelways have a great sense of humour with their veg tree! Ideas for Christmas?

East Malling display rootstocks in a novel and exciting way.

East Malling educate again with a skeleton apple tree showing the proportion of root to canopy. A great way to show where roots are for effective watering.

All parts of the viola are edible the petals and whole flower are pretty in a salad!

Amazing Caigua will be grown at Urban Veg thanks to Robinson’s and their amazing seeds.

Trombonchino also from Robinson’s will add interest and fabulous tasty gourds to the polytunnel. When the fruit touches the ground it turns and grows back up again!

Herbs spilling over the shed bed at Pennard plants.

Daubenton’s perennial kale is now on the shopping list. Harvest top growth for a perennial short kale with delicious sprouting shoots.

A raft of container ideas including an oil tin and tonne bag in a crate. Even if you don’t have ground you can have fruit and veg!

Barnsdale Gardens shows us where rhubarb began.

Semi aquilegia ‘sugarplum fairy’ with red kale is just the loveliest combo!

Birmingham may be land-locked but the message is the same, seaweed is good for your garden!

The gardens and stands at Chelsea Flower Show are a showpiece, they may not be practical or real but they do inspire!