Rocket Gardens in Cornwall deliver boxes brimming full of organic vegetable, herb and fruit plug plants. We caught up with the owner Mike Kitchen for a little Gardening Inspiration .
Can you tell us a little bit about Rocket Gardens?
We’re based on an organic farm near Gweek, in Cornwall. We have several polytunnels which we use to sow and grow thousands of organic vegetable and herb plug plants which we then send to our customers via courier. The plants are sent at just the right size/maturity for planting out so can go straight into the customer’s veg patch when they arrive. It’s a really easy way for people to grow their own, using healthy organic plug plants that have been well nurtured in the early days. It’s quite timesaving, and we also do everything we can to make it easy for the novice gardener, with a full growing guide and a weekly newsletter packed with gardening advice and tips! (see below for details how you can win a years supply of plugs?
What motivates you?
Ooh, good question. Well, as a company, I think the thing that drives us is the desire to “be part of the solution”. It’s so easy to sit back and rant about environmental issues like climate change and the loss of our insects, and also other issues like processed food and health problems, but we want to do our part. Growing your own veggies organically has so many benefits, so the more people we can get to grow their own, in whatever spaces they have, the better, and that’s our big motivation. On a more personal level, I find I am usually motivated by the promise of good coffee and a slice of homemade cake!
We really love your branding with the lovely illustrations. How did those come about?
Yes, we love them too – in fact our illustrations are really a beloved part of our brand! We initially found it easier to relay the concept of the brand with illustrations rather than photos. Back then, we were focussing on selling our Instant Veg Patches, and it was much easier to translate this using our illustrations to demonstrate the different options – we have, for example, an Urban Veg Patch that can be grown in windowboxes, pots and planters, as well as a Large Veg Patch which is better suited to big allotments and country gardens. These are easier to illustrate than photograph! Anyway, we loved the look of the branding with the illustrations so we just went with it.
Do you have any advice for beginners who are keen to start growing their own?
Our three top tips would be these:
Grow what you love to eat and don’t try to grow too many different things – keep it simple. For the first season have a go at runner beans, lettuces and peas. If you try to grow too many different things, then you’ll probably end up feeling overwhelmed.
Minimal space? try growing salad leaves in pots. Most salad leaves can be treated as cut & come again by picking the outer leaves off and leaving the younger leaves in the middle. Doing this keeps the plants fairly small, so with just a few pots or windowboxes you can have a constant supply of homegrown salads throughout the summer.
Accept that not everything will succeed and don’t give up – growing your own veg is a constant learning curve, and if you give up in the first season because caterpillars ate your broccoli then you’ll never get to enjoy your own homegrown broccoli. But if you stick with it you’ll learn a few simple ways to protect your crops the following season, and you’ll enjoy harvesting your own broccoli spears for many years to come!
What can we do to help bees and insects in the veg patch?
Growing veg and herbs is great for bees and insects! I’d say that any veg or herb plants you grow will help, so planting something is better than doing nothing. Don’t be tempted to spray your plants with pesticides – far better to use insect mesh to keep birds and butterflies off your veg whilst providing them with other things to feast on. You can pop in lots of companion plants like marigolds, violas, and nasturtiums, and plenty of flowering herbs like lavender, rosemary and thyme. These bursts of colour really help. And some of the plants will act as sacrificial crops giving the insects vital food but encouraging them to leave your veg alone.
Win a Mini Year Round Veg Patch
A fabulous way to grow your own veg all year round, you can win a Mini Year Round Veg Patch prize worth £99. To win, enter now on the HoneyTree Competitions Page.
Terms and conditions apply. The closing date is Midnight on June 24th 2019. A winner will be picked at random on June 25th and notified by email. The prize cannot be exchanged for cash value. Delivery to mainland UK only. *
Gardeners Stationery Sets from HoneyTree
Our Gardener Stationery Collections feature illustrations of a Greenhouse, Watering Can, Apple Tree, Tomato Vine and Geraniums.
Writing Paper Set A5 x 20 – 4 sheets of 5 designs – £20
Correspondence Card Set A6+ x 8 – 2 sheets of 4 designs – £20
Stationery Collection – Writing Paper & Correspondence Cards – £36