Friday, 4 September 2009

End Of Season Break

Well that’s it for this year, Bob is off for a rest now. I want to thank all those who visited me at the garden to the big house and I hope you managed to pick up a few tips and tricks that make your gardening experience more enjoyable. I know one or two that are in awe of Bob’s gardening techniques but really I’m just an ordinary guy and have done nothing that any of you can’t do if you have a go. Anyway I will be back on October the 18th in readiness to start the new gardening year, you’re all welcome to join me again. If you’re like me though and don’t like repeats then I will understand if you choose to look elsewhere, it’s been great knowing you though.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Week 35 In The Veg Garden.

The other day I lifted the Onions and put them to dry prior to stringing. For this purpose I use what I think are old bread trays. They have open bottoms so when turned over and placed on the potting shed bench I can place the onions in them upside down to dry. I will leave them like this for a couple of weeks and then clean off all the dirt which should be dry by this time and then string them up. The proper way is to plat the tops together but I find using sting less of a faff.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Week 35 In The Fruit Garden.

This week in the fruit garden we have some late Strawberries ripe for picking. These are from new plants this year that were taken from runners last year. To be right its best not to let the plants produce fruit in the first year but I can never resisit sneaking a crop. Now is a good time to be looking out for new runners to plant, very oftern they can be found already rooted in to the soil by the mother plants but if you can't find any rooted just peg some down with wires or even a stone and they will soon root. Strawberry plants are best replaced after three years as the berries become smaller and the plants less productive.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Compost Corner

Last week someone asked me what I do with all the grass cuttings on mowing day so today I will show you. I try and put as many as I can in to the compost bins but that’s not always possible so my next favourite place is between the Raspberries. I put them there because the cuttings make a good mulch and Raspberries like plenty of moisture so the grass cuttings help to keep the soil moist also it’s not easy to weed between the rows so they also help to keep down the weeds. Of course this is not advisable if you’ve treated your grass with weed or moss killer. In the main garden there is a shrub border where I can lose a few grass cuttings too. When there are too many for all of these places we have a rubbish dump on some rough ground where they just get left to rot away.

When I put the cuttings in to the compost bin I make sure I mix them with something courser or drier. As you know in the winter months I have to take hay to the sheep so if I get any bales that aren’t very good I put them to one side and then I use this hay in the summer as a dry layer in the compost bins. I usually put it on the top after adding all the grass cuttings and then after a few days just get a fork and mix them together a little. When using grass cuttings I think its best to cover the compost with a plastic sheet to exclude any water from above because the grass cuttings add plenty of moisture to the heap as it is.

Here you can see grass cuttings as I’ve added them to the heap.

Then shake up a covering of hay over them, straw is better if you can get it but anything dry or course will do.

Then make the heap waterproof with some plastic.

And if you have any, old carpet is good to put over the plastic to hold it down and also hold in the heat.

Here is some compost ready for use next spring. I had some Trailing Geraniums going spare so for a bit of a fun thing I stuck them in to the compost.

In the past I've used grass cuttings as a mulch around Cabbages etc. both to conserve moisture and also as a barrier against Cabbage Rootfly.