Growing veg is where it’s at!

There’s a nice post this week on the Thompson & Morgan gardening blog called Perfect gardens: tips for growing veg. It’s a concise introduction to the world of vegetable gardening with lots of great tips from various gardening bloggers. We’ve even got a couple of ours in there to thrown into the mix.

If you’re new to the world of vegetable gardening or even an experienced grower, pop over to the blog and have a butchers. The link to the actual blog post is here. A big ta to all at T&M blog for printing our tips!

And it looks like Robert Elms’ prediction is now coming true as London’s premier kiddy-rave fanzine Steroid Abuse told us all, nearly twenty years ago!

What? Dahlias on a draining board?

The dahlia experts out there are probably “tut tutting” at the picture above but Friday we gave the tubers (we only took out the ground the other week and will be putting them back in a short while) a little wash and brush up as the mud that was on them when we dug them up had still not dried out and some parts were looking rotten.

We know we should’ve taken them out a lot earlier but sometimes that’s the way it goes. We took off the rotting parts and dried them out in the sun the best we could and now they’re back under the stairs for a few weeks. We’ll inspect them on a regular basis and see how we go, fingers crossed we don’t lose any as we love a dahlia here. Next time we’ll pull them out in the autumn after the first frost like you’re supposed to!

And the best named dahlia of the week goes to…

Gardening bargain of the week!

Found in WH Smiths in Holborn today, the February issue of Kitchen Garden Magazine with 10 packs of FREE seeds! We know the packs you usually get with magazines are probably not as packed to the gills as the packets are down your local garden centre but these ain’t pretty bad! Some super stuff too: Tomato, Parsley, Radish, Leek, Parsnip, Cabbage, Beetroot, Lettuce, Carrot and Peppers. A bargain and an ‘arf!

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!

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.

Seek, and ye shall find my friend

We weren’t feeling too hot over the xmas and new year period as another damn cold/flu struck, but as the garden was looking a bit on the neglected side an hour or so had to be designated to a bit of outdoor tidying up. This one was for the bed next to the garage that  earlier this year contained tomatoes, sweet peas and dahlias amongst other things (past posts about said plants in all their glory are in the links).

We dug up all the dahlia tubers carefully (some of them are the size of big spuds!) which are now drying out under the stairs even though last year we took a chance and left them in and they did wonderful this summer (post here). More on lifting the tubers here.

We even replanted a silver birch (one we found a couple of years ago in a Tesco’s bag with a note that said “Take me” on it outside a house locally see post here) that was originally by the pond but hopefully it will do better at the end of the bed. We’ll be probably moving it again as it’s so near the old garage wall but let’s see.

And as protection from forthcoming cold weather we stuck one of the plastic mini-cloches from another find, which followed the same pattern as before; left outside a house with a note with “Take me” on it (post here) over the Foxtail Lily that’s started to sprout a bit prematurely.

So wrap up warm, happy gardening and keep em peeled as Shaw Taylor used to say.

Keeping it short and sweet

Little and often is an apt saying when it comes to gardening. The job for today was to tidy up the bed at the bottom of the garden that had gone a bit haywire (above). There was a fair bit of weeding to do and pulling up of dead Nasturtiums that were left to their own devices followed by a good old forking over. It looks like a proper vegetable bed now (below) rather than a bombsite!
In the process we found a couple of spuds that were missed when we initially harvested them in the autumn and also found a few dried out pods of some heirloom French climbing beans we bought at the Roots and Shoots Potato Day earlier this year. That’s one less packet of seeds we’ll have to purchase then!

Talking of Potato Days and Roots and Shoots here’s the next event in a few weeks time and one well worth going to!
London Potato Fair/Roots & Shoots Potato Day
9th and 10th February 2019 11.00am-2.30pm
Roots & Shoots 
Walnut Tree Walk
Lambeth, SE11 6DN
http://www.roots&shoots.org
FREE ADMISSION
More details on this and more such like events (all across the UK) at this site here.

And here’s a festive treat from The Groove Thief from KGNU Community Radio’s “Dub Palace” show. The mix includes some heavyweight bass from RSD, Prophet, Johnny Clarke and our very own Madtone with “Compost your mind”

A happy and prosperous 2019 to one and all from us at Weeds!