Gardening for Geeks


Here at Tentacle Towers we have the typical urban gardening facility – a yard. Your typical yard does not really lend itself to being transformed into a urban garden paradise of self-sustenance, but we’re giving it a jolly good shot.

Growing vegetables tends to throw up images of hours of back-breaking work, pitch forks, west country accents and the sounds of the Archers. Oddly, non of the above it required, except possibly the Archers (or at least a radio tuned to Radio 4). What it does require is time, a bit of money to initially invest, and dirt. Ideally some compost.

Veg tends to broadly fall into three categories: 1. Straight to pot – the easy one. Take a large container of dirt, add some seeds, water and harvest in a few months. Straightforward enough. 2. Incubate and destroy – a little harder. Requires small potting things, and somewhere warm to germinate and grow. When your seedlings are large enough to eat a small human, transfer into the obligatory large container of dirt later. 3. Herbs – easy, but … odd. Can be kicked off in the open, or in the greenhouse. We already have a few containers of herbs, but are starting off this year’s seedlings in the greenhouse.

Important bits: * Greenhouse – this doesn’t have to be the epic huge glass house that your Aunty Mabel grows her begonias in. The Range and B&Q both sell a small greenhouse which is essentially nothing more than a series of shelves with a plastic cover. The only real difference between that one and Aunty Mabels is Aunty Mabel’s is significantly larger. * Containers – if you let them, containers can be expensive. The most we’ve paid (so far) for a container is £25 for a container to hold our Jerusalem Artichokes. The best containers are often the most novel ones. Our potatoes are in garden refuse buckets and one of the herb pots is an old barbecue.


And to prove it works, broccoli making a bid for world domination.