I’ll have an pee please Bob

Bob Flowerdew’s Organic Gardening Bible (Successful growing the natural way) Kyle Books £8.99

Picked up in Shoe Lane library on the hottest day of the year last Thursday whilst making full use of their air conditioning this book is what it says it is, a “gardening bible”. It’s an ideal reference for across the board organic gardening (vegetables, fruit, flowers and livestock) with tons of top tips. There’s a great section on harvesting and storing harvests and some interesting alternative pest and disease control methods.

In a typical Bob Flowerdew style there’s some corkers in here when it comes to unconventional gardening, take this one for a start: “Human liquid waste is not a health hazard in temperate climates and it is wasteful to flush away such a rich source of fertility. Saved in a bucket, it can get whiffy…the whiffiness is much reduced if you add some sugar”. We’re ones for pouring the odd bit of urine from a bottle on the compost heap from time to time but not when the neighbours are watching. Bob Flowerdew we salute you, we urge all gardeners to buy or borrow this book!

We wanna be free to do what we wanna do

DJ Frederick’s Free Radio Skybird returns to the shortwaves on Sunday August 4th 2019 via http://www.channel292.de/ on 6070 kHz at 1900 UTC (8pm UK time).

With a mixture of features and music, the hour transmission will include One Deck Pete’s “Soul on shortwave” and Justin Patrick Moore from Sothismedias with the first episode of the Radiophonic Laboratory. Pencil it in on your WH Smith wallplanner! #freeradioskybird

Summer the first time

A bit of a mish-mash of photo’s taken on the hottest night of the year we reckon in London town. It’s 9pm and it’s still about 28 degrees!

We do love a dahlia here and here’s a couple in the nearest bed to the house whose tubers were taken indoors over the winter and put in a new position in the spring. It’s early days but we’re starting to get some nice flowers on them.

The nasturtiums (below) from the Thompson & Morgan trial seed collection are just great and we’ve had a few comments about them too. It’ll be worth getting a packet or two of the seeds next year!

And here’s the first flowerbud of the sunflower from the T&M collection too. It looks like it’s a mini one but it could be just where we planted it!

The question is how hot will it get later tonight?

96 degrees in the shade

Well it’s supposedly going to be the hottest day in London today “since records began”. And talking of records (or audio files in this instance) here’s a nice summery one a mate told us about yesterday. It’s one to chill out to whilst drinking gallons of water, eating choc ices, getting stuck under somebody’s sweaty armpit on the tube and other things you find yourself doing on hot days.

On a beefsteak tip, perhaps?

The other day we spied what we think are possibly fruits of the beefsteak variety on the Thompson & Morgan trial seeds tomato and (a possible further clue it may be a beefsteak) looking at the sheet accompanying the seeds it does mention that the “plants need side-shooting and support”. We love a beefsteak tomato here, please be one.

Talking of tomatoes, we always side-shoot the plants but the other week we watched Bob Flowerdew on youtube where he was advocating not to pinch out all your tomato side-shoots as growing on two/three cordons ain’t a bad thing. Have at the link look below as he’s very funny, educational and we do love his barnet!

Also we’re now getting flowers (and the start of fruit) on the spaghetti squash. We got what we thought was another spaghetti squash at the bottom of the garden (lower of the two pics) but now comparing leaves we wonder if it’s something else like a courgette (zuchinni) that we may have sown earlier? Only time will tell!

Also another spinach experiment is on the go (we’ve had the seeds sown between the earthed up spuds and inside a circle of broad beans which both sadly didn’t work), we sowed a row at the bed at the bottom of the garden that gets limited sunlight, let’s see how they do. The sticks are to keep the cats off (going back to Bob Flowerdew, on another youtube in that series above he says he welcomes cats into his garden and encouraged them to do there “doing’s” in a dedicated toilet space complete with straw and catnip! We do like his unconventional style!) Updates on the trial seeds to follow.

Saturday morning cardoons

A year or so ago we bought a couple of cardoon plants at Shannon’s and stuck them at the bottom of the garden and duly forgot about them. We didn’t know much about them when we bought them (and still don’t know much now) but we do know we love the wild and whacky. This year has seen some mad growth spurts in the plants and now some mad thistle type heads. Reminds us of our punk days back in the seventies! #gardeningsnotdead

Smells like teen spirit? No.

We here at Weeds swear by comfrey liquid used as a plant feed. Ours is made well out of the way at the bottom of the garden in a 1980’s Boots homebrew fermenting bin. A good few handfuls of the leaves of the plant are chucked in the bin alongside a few of borage and nettle and are left to rot in a small amount of water for a good few weeks weighed down with a housebrick, talk about simplicity!

It’s a brilliant feed used well diluted but what of the pong you may ask? Comments heard the last few times we’ve used it have ranged from “that smell is blxxdy awful!” to “that’s worse than the wiff of a thousand dirty ashtrays” to “urgghhh, that reminds me of body odour off a sweaty armpit stuck in your face on a tube at rush hour times ten”. Never mind the niff, it’s brilliant stuff, it’s cheap and works wonders! #comfreyliquidforever #comfreyplantfeediswhereitsat More comfrey info here.

More from the seed trials

Here’s an update to the seed trials we’re doing for Thompson & Morgan in the Weeds back garden. The most suprising thing to come up are the tropaeolums (nasturtiums), we’ve lots of self-seeded normal orange types going nuts at the bottom of the garden (below) but look at the pinkish/purple ones from T&M above, how good are they? We’re loving the colour of them and funnily enough nasturtiums normally don’t do that much for us here.

The spaghetti squash that is in the top bed is now making a break for it (below). Hopefully they’ll be more room when the broad beans beside it dies off. The squash is looking healthy and just started to flower. We’ve neglected feeding all the plants for a couple of weeks as the home-made comfrey liquid ran out (we gave Honor Oak Train Station a couple of bottles of it to help them with their station in bloom contest entry!), but we’ve now a new batch on the go. There’s another spaghetti squash at the bottom we sowed late but who knows the summer may go on for a bit longer this year.

The tomatoes (below) are in a bed which once used to house a greenhouse, the soil is not great there and doesn’t get the sun until mid afternoon and not for that long but the three plants there are surviving and there’s at least one truss of flowers showing. We won’t give up on them and we’ll be on it with the comfrey feed this weekend. Cheers again to T&M for the seeds!

On a T’ai Chi tip

If you’re in the Honor Oak Park area in London next Sunday (21st July) and fancy a bit of Tai Chi, there’s a great event going on from 11-4pm with a seminar from Rose Oliver over at the moment from Shanghai. It costs £40 and will be covering a whole lot of stuff suitable for anyone interested in Tai Chi, beginners or experienced practitioners. Her seminars are good fun and you’ll certainly come away with a bit more knowledge of the art and a couple of more friends. Contact Rose by email roseinchina2006@yahoo.co.uk to prebook or visit the Honor Oak Tai Chi Facebook page here. #SE23taichi #roseolivertaichi