It was easy, it was cheap, GO AND DO IT!

Jim_2A big shout to our good mate Jim N who sent us pics of these great planters he put together last month. All the wood was from Wickes, that at the time had a deal on decking boards (4 for the price of 3). The small planter cost just under a tenner for the wood, and the big one just over twenty pounds. The tin of paint was £13, which was enough to cover the above two planters plus a couple of others he had as well.

With the large planter, over loosely spaced slats across the bottom it was lined with weed suppressant membrane which lets water through. Into the bottom of that was a layer of crocks to help with the drainage then potting compost. As it’s raised off the ground a bit by the slats at the bottom, any excess water just drains out. They’re looking good Jim and we’re loving that blue!

Jim_3

Jim_1Have you knocked together any interesting planters, raised beds or the like of late? Send us your pics to stick up on the blog to onedeckpete (at) gmail.com

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The ISS goes round and round, round and round etc

Space station 2015 It’s that time again! The International Space Station is back around these parts, and can be seen up to five times a day if you’re feeling hardcore! I’ll be out in the back garden joining the slugs and snails over the next few nights, stumbling into the flowerbeds while looking up at the night sky!

For viewing times, stick in your location here or download the ISS Detector app for your mobile. Also if you want to get a bit on the deep tip, check out Heavens Above for all sorts of stuff to tilt up your head up at the night sky to.

Also here’s something ISS related from our sounds from the south podcast from last year. One small step for mankind and all that!

Thursday night style

It’s been a funny old week weather-wise here in London, sunny one day, rain the next, culminating in hail the other day. So to celebrate the lovely bit of sunshine we had this evening, here’s two oldies but goodies for your listening pleasure.

Bob Andy – You don’t Know – Harry J Blank 

The first is a cracker of a tune from the great Bob Andy, which I first heard on the Rt Hon David Rodigan‘s show a while back and revisited on a youtube clip played by Gladdy Wax only the other day. The above is the vocal on the original Jamaican release from 1970. A tune!

Karen Young – Hot Shot – West End

And the second is something I first heard this week on an excellent vintage mix from Grandmaster Flowers recorded at a Brooklyn Park Jam from 1979. It’s a tune by Karen Young called Hot Shot on the excellent West End Records ran by Mel Cheren. Have a listen to the Grandmaster Flowers mixtape recorded in 1979 which is a great piece of musical history and available here. It’s got beat mixing and some great collaging of sounds from a DJ innovator now sadly passed away.

International gardening round-up

pumpkins in australiaThanks to a couple of good mates of ours for sending in some great gardening pics this week. First is from our good friend and musical collaborator Paul Greenstein formally of the East Dulwich parish now based in Melbourne, Australia of his (Jap or Kent) pumpkin harvest from only two plants, how good is that? Brilliant stuff Paul, hope you’ve got some good recipes to use them in!

phil H seedlingsAnd also to our fellow dub gardener Phil Harmony in Berlin for sending us pics of his tomato (from the free Heinz seed offer earlier this year) and peppers seedlings that he has on the go at the moment. Great stuff Phil, they’re looking good!

Tomorrow never knows

Dig this 2015

It’s short notice, but this year’s Happy Seeds Festival/Tomato Planting Extravaganza takes place tomorrow, Saturday 16 May from 11am – 6pm at St James’s, New Cross Gate London SE14 6AD (next to Goldsmiths University and St James Hatcham Primary School) and it’s FREE!

The event will feature 90 varieties of tomato plants (90, how mad is that?) alongside 50 varieties of potted herbs and loads of seeds for sale. There’s lots of activities like making planting boxes, music, workshops on seed paper making, cooking, food, a beekeeping demonstration, local honey for sale and a fund raising book stall.

Happy Seeds/Dig This Nursery know a thing or two about growing tomatoes and sounds like a great day out, so pop down if you get a chance!

On a bargain tip!

courgettes on a bargain tipBig shout to our good friend Paul W who on his way home from work tonight, bought four courgette plants for £2 (that’s 50p each!) from a plant sale outside Charlton Station. How good is that?

If you are buying plants now, do make sure they have been “hardened off” and can go straight out into the garden. The plants may have been started off indoors/under glass and won’t be used to the ever changing weather outside and there’s always a risk of frost that might knock them for six too!

So just to make sure, leave the plants outside during the nice days and take them in at night so that seedlings become accustomed to the strong sunlight and varying weather so toughening them up a bit. Then in a few days they can be planted outside and if you’re still in doubt that there may be frost about, wrap some horticultural fleece (net curtains or newspapers) around them at night.

Also watch out for those slugs and snails, as they love those young plants too!

So keep em peeled (for cheap plant sales and the slugs and snails) as Shaw Taylor (RIP) used to say!

Ideal Guest House (Part 2)

Flame vine

A big shout to our good friend Phil Harmony from Dubnight Radio Show, Berlin for alerting us to this great flower pic taken at the Prince Valley Guest House in the beautiful surroundings of the Blue Mountains, Jamaica.

A big thanks to the owners Jackie and Robert for getting in touch with the name of the plant which is the flame vine (Pyrostegia Venusta). Just how brilliant are those flowers? If you want to know more about this rampant climber have a look here. It says in some parts of the world it grows as a weed! Beats ground elder anyday!

jamaican jade

Last year we featured the Prince Valley Guest House and the great plants that are on-site. There’s some out of the ordinary stuff growing including (above) the Jade Vine (a member of the pea and bean family, can you believe?) The posts are here and here.

So if you’re travelling to the “the land of wood and water” (as Rodigan says,) spend a couple of nights at the guesthouse (with an adjoining coffee farm) as it looks a great place! More on the guest house here. Thanks to Phil, Jackie and Robert again! We love that tropical flower madness here!