Friday, September 09, 2005

William, Tufty, Spiky and Ring Culture

It was just TOO hot to go up the lottie today, and apart from caterpillar picking, the harvesting could wait.

I spent a couple of hours working at home. Firstly my favourite job (not) was pricking out Sweet William seedlings into pots. I saved the seeds from this year’s plants and still have more seeds that I can gather from them. I am always amazed when seeds gathered from my flowers actually grow. I have found that putting a few in a pot, rather than singly, is the best way to do it as it ensures that at least you get one to grow successfully, and more is a bonus and they can be divided up later. It is rather a time consuming job, but has to be done!

Once finished I took them to the side of the garage where I put my seedlings – so positioned to remind me to water them. I took time to exam the strawberry cuttings and saw that a number of them had not taken, and some had dips in the middle of the pots. This I blamed on rabbits – the poor maligned little things.

When I started emptying the compost out of those posts I discovered these……….
I should have guessed. We have seen the grey squirrels in abundance in the garden carrying them in their mouths and Pat has seen a squirrel carrying one in each hand! They are busily burying them everywhere as usual; in the raised beds, the lawn, the big pots, in fact everywhere they can think of. And I spend a lot of time cursing them when I wrestle with all the walnut tree seedlings that appear in the hedge, the lawns, the raised beds….. yes you get the picture.

Squirrels do not remember where they bury the walnuts, they do so haphazardly and if they bury enough they randomly find them in the spring – I am convinced of it. It is a bit of a cheek to pull out my strawberry cuttings and stick big walnuts in the pots and then cover them up as if nothing had happened. Still I might plant one at the end of the allotment and see what happens. How long do you have to wait before you get nuts, I wonder…..?
Now this is a visitor I like in my garden in the evenings. We usually have a hedgehog or two, this one is a baby and to give you an idea of its size the green dish is about 5 inches across and the height is about 2 inches at most, and the little thing could just about get its tongue over the edge to lap the water. The food on the ground is Spiky hedgehog food. Just a few pennies from the pet shop, and contains all the right things that a hedgehog can eat.

Family and friends laugh when they see me growing vegetables amongst my flowers, but although an allotment is lovely, you just can’t beat popping out into the garden and picking a lettuce or herbs or salad leaves or even tomatoes – on impulse can you. In my raised flower beds I grew not only herbs but different varieties of lettuce (all eaten now), and salad leaves too. Nice to nibble on goodies as you do the gardening. I had a wasted space behind a bit of trellis by the fence, so I tried out a bit of ring culture with tomatoes – but outside. Take a pot, cut off the bottom, put it in a tray of gravel (the book said absorbent matting made for the purpose but it was a bit costly), plant up pot. Water from below, and feed into the pot. This has been very successful, as the rain when I had it filled up the gravel tray so I didn’t have to water, and when there was no rain, a fill up of water from the butt lasted three days at least before I needed to water them again. The ones up the allotment are far better without any attention, but it is nice to experiment and make use of odd gaps – and I grab a ripe warm tomato every time I walk past – heavenly.

Better than chocolate – well almost.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, thank you for visiting my blog. You're welcome to drop by for a chat anytime *wink* :)


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