10.30am to 4.00pm, £205 – includes refreshments and a feast of homegrown vegetables.
We start with the principles of no dig growing, and how it saves so much time, for harvests as good as, if not better than, those from dug/tilled soil. You’ll see how to create a productive garden, even when a beginner, and how to be on top of weeds, including couch and bindweed. Experienced gardeners will learn timesaving methods to increase the growth and health of their plants.
Gardening is often made to sound more complicated than it is, especially with regard to feeding plants and coping with weeds. You’ll feel empowered through understanding the methods you see at Homeacres, which you can then adapt to your own garden.
Homeacres is a third of an acre market garden and a field lab too – there is so much to see and learn from.
- Making soil clean of weeds through mulching rather than digging – a prerequisite to having time for creative work.
- Different composts and manures – when and how to use them for best results.
- Different ways of making compost – which ingredients work best; there is plenty to see in the heaps here!
- A look at Homeacres’ trials and comparisons – dig/no dig, fork/no dig, no-rotation, and different composts.
Sowing and propagation
- Different sowing methods – examples of sowing and multisowing in modules, pricking out, and sowing direct into surface compost.
- Seasonality and timing of sowing for strong, healthy growth.
- Uses of fleece and mesh to speed growth and protect from pests.
- Reducing slug numbers, and protecting crops from other pests.
- How and when to pick crops for healthier, long-lived plants.
- Advice on polytunnels – which size to use, orientation, and what to grow in them.
- Energy gardening – simple ways to improve growth (see also the last chapter of my book, Skills for Growing.)
We start at 10.30am, so please arrive a little before, and we finish at around 4.00pm. The day includes lunch made from Charles’s vegetables, both stored and fresh from the garden.
We offer tea and coffee mid-morning, and before you leave, when you can also buy books, calendars and wallcharts, as well as CD module trays and dibbers.
The courses include lunch (except afternoon). If you have dietary requirements, please say when booking.
My ‘go-to’ reference source for growing different vegetables. There is so much detail and guidance. I cannot recommend it highly enough and I would not have been able to have the success (or confidence) I have achieved in growing vegetables (and delicious melons) without it.
This course has taught me an incredible amount about growing vegetables, even though I went through these topics in my studies. I was able to deepen my knowledge and, above all, simplify it a lot! Charles Dowding’s methods are well-founded and incredibly fun. I am simply thrilled!
I took this course in winter, and was astonished how much vital practical information Charles was sharing. His knowledge is extensive, and he shares it with ease, great skill, and much charm. The course is well-organised, and the information is easily understandable and thorough.