Monday 27 August 2018

Its Time To Empty The Compost Pile.

I lifted the old carpet (see left hand bottom of first photograph) and decided to have a look at my buried compost treasure last week.  
The rough stuff went into the bottom of a new pallet compost pile.  This is now full of nettles, cut flower heads, weeds and grass from the lawns.  

It's been covered up with the nineteen seventies psychedelic carpet.  I don't or try not to use nylon carpets because they are a nuisance breaking down and wrapping round my garden fork or shovel.  I believe modern carpets contain fire retardants and nasty chemicals and we don't want that in our growing soil do we?

Is it a badger sett or a fox hole?  No its my compost pile bank.  I once heard a gardener say your soil is like a money bank.  You can't keep taking it out with out putting something back.  What's the point of planting a good plant in poor soil or clay?  Remember the Parable of the Sower in the Bible?  

I bucketed my compost in an old tree plant pot and lay some one inch mesh over the top of my 'compost bath' and used an up turned weeding bucket to hold the other end of the mesh up.  Then I emptied the compost buckets contents onto the mesh and forced it through the mesh with my trusty garden spade and filled a bucket in the compost bath with lovely friable, sieved compost.  Any big lumps of compost went on next years potato are of the veg plot and any stones and twigs were thrown over the hedge into some rough grass.  

You can't beat having your own compost pile can you? 

Thursday 16 August 2018

Coca Cola Cans Plant Pots.

I am always short of plant pots.  I spent a rainy yesterday (all of it)in my poly-tunnel office,sieving my homemade compost, potting up and making new cuttings for my ever increasing perennials plant nursery.  I have even started using Coca Cola cans. 

All I did was cut the top off with a tin opener and discard that and punch a couple of holes in the bottom with a knife. Bobs your uncle!  

Aluminum (American) or Alluminium (English) plant pots that will last for a very long time.  

We bought some coffee cups the other day and this worked out at eight Cents a cup.  They make good plant pots but they aren't cheap or free like the Coca Cola plant pots.

Makes you wonder how much we pay for our packaging?  I think manufacturers should print the price of the tin or plastic packaging on our groceries.  Do you think they should?    

Sunday 12 August 2018

Butterflies On The Butterfly Bush.

I was visiting our pet cemetery in the garden where three of our dogs  have their graves.  I noticed the butterflies on the Buddleia  bushes.  I brought the Buddleia over with two wheelie bins of plants when we emigrated to Ireland seventeen years ago last month.  It was one of my successful cuttings that I made.  We have made lots of Buddleia bushes since then.

If you want to plant a bush that will attract butterflies, plant a Buddleia.  They are name after a vicar and Botanist: the Reverend Adam Buddle. He lived near Peterborough in Deeping St James.  I saw some Buddleia growing in derelict land near Temple Mead railway station when I went to Dorset in June.

My mental juke box started playing when I watched the butterflies.  Here's a song called Dog and Butterfly by the American rock band Heart.  I was lucky enough to once see them play live at Birmingham NEC in about 1988?  Enjoy.

Tuesday 7 August 2018

Making Cucumber Soda Bread And A Funeral For A Canine Pal.

We have been looking for different recipes for cucumbers.  I found Cucumber Bread on the old Tinternet and T'web.  Of course we tinkered with the recipe and came up with Cucumber Soda Bread.  

Here's what we did:  We picked a cucumber.  Sliced it vertically in half.  Scooped out any seeds and pith with a spoon.  Then peeled the skin.  Then we grated the cucumber.  Then we strained the juice out with a spoon pressing the cucumber through the sieve.  You should end up with a cup full.  

Then you get a brown bread mix.  We used Oudlum's Traditional Brown Soda Mix.  Followed the instructions to make the bread which is written (printed) on the back of the mix paper bag and added the cup of cucumber.  

Bob's your uncle:  Cucumber Soda Bread.

You can see the pieces of cucumber shinning and glistening through the bread.  

Makes you wonder what other vegetables you can put in your bread.   We enjoyed our cucumber soda bread and would definitely make it again.

On a sad note:  Poor old Fido our Jack Russell who I often post pictures and write about on this blog.  Decided it was time to go to Doggy Heaven last week.   

Number two son wrapped Fido in her blanket with the paw prints printed on it and he helped me dig the hole next to her dad Toby's (Jake Russell, obviously!)and Zeta the Border Collie's grave.  I was very proud of our son and realised he's not a child any more 

Fido is missed very much like our other departed four legged pals. She was 16 in our years or 112 in dogs.  We've still got Scamp the pint sized Jack Russell and Domino our white cat with the black tail.  He's always sat on the window sill every morning looking through the kitchen window, waiting for his breakfast.  Hope you're all OK?

Wednesday 1 August 2018

Cucumbers Grown From Lidl Goodness Gang Seed Pots.

Do you remember when I posted a blog about Lidl giving customers a free seed pot every time they spent twenty euros?  Well here are the Cucumbers.  We harvested and ate the first one today!

 A Cucumber resting on an upturned plastic plant pot.  This is to stop it rotting on the ground and hopefully keep the nasty slugs and snails at bay.  You will notice the blue slug pellets sprinkled around the plants.  We found thirty slugs and one snail the other morning.  I think their eggs must live in the soil.  Also the regular watering makes the perfect conditions for snails.
 Cucumbers and Tomatoes growing up bamboo canes with old Budweiser cans placed on top to prevent anybody poking their eyes!  Notice how healthy the plants look.  That's my cow poo and Nettle tea mix.  One pint pot of the plant grog to a full watering can of well water does the trick.  Who needs to buy chemical Tomato food when you have your own organic plant fertilizer?
Our first Cucumber of the season.  It tasted like, Hmm..., Cucumber.  We ate it with a tin of  Chopped Pork and Ham.  Not Spam but a very nice Dinner.  

Anyway well done Lidl for encouraging folk to grow vegetables.  We are really pleased with the results.

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