Garden centre offers Christmas on a plate with veg advice

Grow your own: Dobbies have all the kit, seeds and tips, for your Christmas dinner

You might not want to go to the lengths of rearing your own Christmas turkey in your backyard, but one local garden centre is offering free sessions to show you how to grow all the vegetables you might need for a traditional festive feast.

Dobbies at Woodcote Green is staging a free Grow How session next month to show customers how to prepare a delicious dinner with all the trimmings.

Dobbies’ Grow How interactive session on Saturday, August 6, is suited for novice gardeners and experts alike.

Dobbies’ horticultural experts will spend deliver an informative guide on growing Christmas dinner staples – Charlotte potatoes, autumn king carrots, kale dwarf green curled, parsnip tender and true, and Swiss chard bright lights. In addition to this, the experts will share top tips on creating a thriving herb garden to elevate your meal.

Growing your own vegetables is a great way to support the environment and enjoy some of your five a day all through the year, particularly at Christmas.

Sustainability will be at the core of this workshop, and Dobbies is highlighting the key benefits of using peat-free compost and safer pest control products in your planters and patches, in addition to showcasing that growing your own heavily reduces your carbon footprint, packaging waste, food waste and eliminates the need for harmful chemical fertilisers.

Dobbies’ Sarah Murray said: “We’re putting on our Santa hats early this year at Dobbies’ and doing everything we can to get our customers ready for the big day in a sustainable way. We’re passionate about encouraging growing your own and are looking to help reduce our customers’ carbon footprint when it comes to food transport and wastage.

Know how: Dobbies’ staff have plenty of ideas to help your vegetable garden

“Our customers really enjoy our monthly Grow How sessions, and we’re excited to get into the festive swing this August.”

For more details on Dobbies’ Surrey Grow How sessions in August, visit

Dobbies Woodcote Green, is at 4a Woodmansterne Lane, Wallington SM6 0SU.

If you’re unable to attend the event, Dobbies’ horticultural director, Marcus Eyles, shares his top tips on growing your own Christmas dinner. “When growing your own Charlotte potatoes ensure you’re continually covering shoots with peat-free compost. This encourages the potatoes to multiply and stops them going green.

“You’ll know your potatoes are ready to harvest when the plants start to flower but the leaves stay green.

“Autumn king carrots need an open site with fertile and well-drained soil. They’re an ideal vegetable for growing in a deep container. Sow your crop in the autumn months and make sure to cover them with an insect mesh to prevent carrot flies. Your harvest will be ready in about 10 weeks, so if you plant in October, they’ll be ready to eat just in time for Christmas day.”

Herbs are another brilliant and easy plant to grow in the garden or from your windowsill. “Herbs just need regular water, warmth and light to grow. For festive flavours parsley, sage, thyme and rosemary are some of my favourites, and mint is a great option if you’re looking to jazz up some festive candy cane cocktails.”

For more advice on growing your own, additional tips and inspiration, visit

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