A potato finale plus animal nightlife

And here are the last of the spuds we dug up yesterday as we don’t want them going rotten with all the wet weather we probably get in the forthcoming months. These were originally from seed spuds we bought from Shannon’s and it’s taken us years to work out if you leave the potatoes in for longer they will grow larger. Sometimes it takes a while for the penny to drop. But when it does…

Also the other week we noticed a small tin of opened sweet corn and an opened bread packet down by the pond and thought nothing of it. Then we found that something had severed the lead from the little solar panel that powers the battery of the pond pump. Now yesterday we found they’ve all been severed. We have a couple of cats and they usually keep the vermin away and we’ve never had anything like this before. Any ideas?

Could the above be anything to do with it? We have a big pile of broken slabs piled up at the back of the pond (that we took from the area that has now been seeded) do you reckon there’s something that has made their home in there who likes gnawing through wires? Rodents perhaps? Suggestions please. We are putting an ad on Gumtree today for anyone who wants a load of 70’s slabs for free as hardcore for an old shed or something. That should do the trick to clear the area. Trouble is we still have to buy another pond pump next year. That’ll be the third in as many years, damn!

Radio, suckers never play me

On Sunday 17th November at 1300 UTC there’s a new transmission from DJ Frederick’s Free Radio Skybird on 6070 kHz shortwave by Channel 292 and if you haven’t got a suitable radio it can also be heard on the SDR link on their site here. The show will be rebroadcast the week after on Sunday 24th November at 1200 UTC on 7440 kHz.

This month’s programme will feature: Justin Patrick Moore’s Radiophonic Laboratory, Steve with Mini-indie radio and our very own One Deck Pete presenting the Skybird Mailbag. They will also play Pete’s “Shortwave mix and match” that has new tunes from: .ihaveaface, Jazzy System, Dabey and Leaking Shell.

The programme will be available on DJ Frederick’s Soundcloud page a day or so before transmission date if you want to hear it in true stereo but we here prefer the show via by ground wave. Tune in and turn on! #shortwavesnotdead #madtone #freeradioskybird

Giving it all away

A great thing about gardening is the passing on of stuff (whether it be it seeds, tools or plants) from one gardener to another. We don’t “give to receive” but there’s something nice about imparting something and then weeks later you get given something from someone totally unrelated. A Zen mate of ours told us this was “the universe rearranging itself”.

This week the universe has been on the rearrangement tip as the other day while going through the bag we take to work we found a folded piece of loo roll with a peg on it. “What the?” we thought as we began to unravel the mystery packet (above: packet with foxglove and lily seeds). Then we remembered a friend had given us some foxglove seeds.

On Thursday we had a workmate kindly pass on some lily seed heads (we’ve never grown lilies from seed before so any advice appreciated!) and last night a Tai Chi classmate brought in these well-healthy foxglove seedlings (below) which went in today. It now looks like we need to repay the universe for this week’s gifts. Anyone fancy some Egyptian onion sets?

 

Those lovable spiky tops

The dahlias in the back garden are still going strong, here they are this morning before the rain fell. We’ve had a few vases worth of them this year and there’s still no sign of frosts yet. These spikey orange/red ones were originally bought as one tuber from Shannon’s. Apart from once when they were left in the ground, they were mainly dug up after the first frosts, cleaned up and put under the stairs most winters until this spring where they were divided up and put back into various areas in the garden.

A big thanks to our good mate Andy for his top gardening tips including telling us about the excellent Adam The Gardener series years ago whose top tip for dahlias is shown above. Divide your tubers and get more for your money!

And whilst looking through our old blog posts about the ‘umble dahlia we found this brilliant Earl Gateshead Big Youth podcast. Tune in and turn on!

When one door closes, another opens

Things are coming to an end in the garden, here’s the last of the cherry tomatoes grown from seed and the potatoes where we’ve been very patient when it comes to digging them up. Look at the size of that big one, that’s a large colander by the way! Ta to Shannon’s for pointing us in the direction of the tomato seeds and the seed potatoes.

And finally the garlic we put in to overwinter. Those didn’t take long to get off to a good start. We’ll be soon saying goodbye the 2019 vegetable gardening season but it’s never too early to start planning for next year!

Everything’s gone Green

Due to being away for a weekend, periods of bad weather and being busy with other things, it seems like it’s been ages since we were out in the garden. We go down the pond and feed the fish daily but we haven’t done much work out there for a long while. This morning the sun came out and we took the opportunity to give the newly sown lawn (up to the tree on the right) its first cut with the flymo at its highest setting.

Over a few weekends in July/August we pulled up the 1970’s crazy paving that had been there for years which was nothing but trouble what with the constant weeding we had to do to keep it tidy (pic below: the paving that was).

Suprisingly when we pulled up the paving there was just very compacted soil and a bit of sand and no hardcore as we expected. Then all we have to do was give it a good decompacting with a garden fork and repeat the process a few times.

Finally over the August Bank Holiday we popped into Shannon’s for a couple of packs of grass seeds, sowed them all, put a thin layer of soil over the top, gave it a light trample and hoped for the best and low and behold it’s now looking great! The grass was wet this morning when we cut it hence the unevenness of it and its “puppy fur” type look but it’s a 100% improvement on the paving!