Pumpkin’s progress

rat_large_resizeIt all started with seeing the back end of a large rodent in one of our dalek compost bins back in April (post here). The contents of said bin was then emptied into a trench in the bed at the bottom of the garden (below).

compost trench

A pumpkin, butternut squash and a courgette plant were purchased from Shannon’s and stuck on the top of the trench as they love that sort of richness.

Everything has gone green

Then there was that big gardening faux-pas, all the potato peelings in the compost trench started to sprout and threatened said plants (post here). It was dealt with by some continuous hoeing, a few times a week!

Then we had some action on the pumpkin, it started small, then a bit bit bigger but still green.

yellow-pumpkin_2

yellow-pumpkin_1

Then the other week it started to change colour. As long as those pesky rodents don’t have it we might be onto having a giant pumpkin!

yellow-pumpkinThe butternut squash is on it’s way too! All’s well that ends well and all that!

yellow-squash

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That was my mistake, that was my mistake

Everything has gone green

Big gardening mistakes of all-time – number 5 in an ongoing series.

Never fill a compost trench with the contents of a compost bin that has lots of potato peelings in it. The above picture taken earlier this evening is proof why. If you look closely there is a courgette and a pumpkin plant in there somewhere. You live and learn…

compost trenchMore on why the compost trench (above) was originally dug in April here (you will laugh!)

New Year, New Idea

top tip 2016Are you a bit like us at weeds who leave plastic plant labels in the ground and forget all about them? Then a few months down the line when you’re tipping around with a hoe you shatter them into little pieces?

Well we here at weeds have a clever solution for you. We’ve got a small purple plastic box that we leave in a central position in the garden and if we ever find a stray label we stick it in the box. When it’s full, after a good old scrub with Bar Keepers Mate, we use the labels again. We are so chuffed with our idea we might patent it and put it into immediate production. Any backers out there?

Big New Years shout to all our friends and may it be a good one!

It shouldn’t happen to a gardener pt. 1

At the weekend en-route from the kitchen to the garden I was reminded by something on the radio about a bonkers thing that happened to me a couple of years ago.

joe-hayes_on the grass

About 9 am on a Saturday morning after dropping my son off at his music class in Peckham on my way to the supermarket, I walked past a well-dressed elderly chap (late 70’s) in a suit who looked a bit confused and a bit down on his luck. I stopped and asked the bloke was he okay. He told me he had just hitchhiked from Dartford after being chucked out of his flat and had been on the go since 6 am. He said he was on his way to a hostel and did I know where he could get the bus to Victoria. I did and walked him to the main road. This is where it gets mad…

He told me his name was Joe Hayes and was a famous footballer who played for Manchester City back in the day but had fallen on hard times after his wife died. I know nothing about football so it was lost on me but he said he played for city in the FA Cup in the 50’s and also played against the great Stanley Matthews. Most of his other contemporaries had since died and said his secret to him looking so young was he kept off the demon drink. He told me a lot of people back in Manchester thought he was dead and he was waiting on his monthly pension from Manchester City but they could only send it to a fixed address hence him looking for a hostel in Victoria. I felt sorry for the old boy and gave him his bus fare (£1.50) as I didn’t want to see him walking the few miles to Victoria. I stuck him on the bus and carried onto the supermarket.

When I got home I looked him up on the internet telling my wife about meeting a supposedly legendary football player saying wouldn’t it be funny if he really was Joe Hayes, he had died and I gave his ghost one pound fifty! Turns out he was an imposter and an early morning one at that! Here’s what I found out about him on the Manchester City fan site (there’s a few posts on him as he’s well known):

“Someone was passing himself off as Joe Hayes in London a few years ago. He conned quite a few people out of a few hundred pounds and was never caught. The police were informed but the story was kept out of the papers because of the distress it might cause his family.
The guy is a good con man – he knows far too much about Joe and sounded so believable that I ended up talking with some old players. One of them confirmed that he had visited Joe in hospital shortly before he died and had also been to his funeral.
There’s no doubt that Joe has died and that this man is a very convincing con artist”

Brilliant, so if you ever need a couple of quid, catch me on a Saturday morning, spin us a yarn about being a dead musician/sportsman and I’ll part with some cash!

Who’s had me Sunflower, bud?

whos had me sunflower budThis morning I noticed something has had the beginnings of a small flower bud away on my “Genuine Giant 9 Foot Sunflower” (yeah right!) purchased off ebay (£1.50 for a pack of seeds). Yesterday it was looking good but now…nothing!

The next time a bud appears I will be camping out in my back garden overnight and if that fails, hire a gang of gardening vigilantes and get them to hide behind the shrubs and try and catch the culprit! I reckon it’s a squirrel or a high-risk-taking slug. Any ideas?

Sluggy Ranks

sluggy ranks_weedsuptomekneesA neat piece of slug deterrent (crushed up eggshells in a circle) around some brassicas seen last week in the great non-conformist front garden with the vegetable plot in it up the road from us. I am not sure if this is working, as today I saw they had some green plastic sleeve-type things around them.

We here at weeds love the garden this is taken from, as it’s well “out there” in the front garden stakes. At the moment there’s a massive sheet of opaque polythene draped over a DIY metal frame covering some tender plants.

It makes me smile every time I pass there and always makes me think of Bob Flowerdew and his unconventional use of household objects in the garden. It may be different but it does beat the normal summer bedding in neat lines, a small lawn with a garden gnome etc. More front garden vegetable gardening please!