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Monday, 22 May 2017

Frugal gardening and experiments

As I mentioned in the last post I've continued my frugal ways. Growing as much as possible in our own garden means reduced fruit and vegetable bills throughout the summer and autumn.  This year I'm hoping to increase my harvest even more. My approach to gardening is very simple: 1) don't over spend on fancy products or growing your own isn't economical 2) if it grows it grows 3) can you get it free(ish)? potatoes that have gone to seed in the cupboard can be planted out. Seed saved from last year provides the crop this year etc. Swap 'plants' shop with friends and family.

I start most of my seeds off in damp tissue having learnt the technique last year, it speeds the germination process up considerably and you have healthy little shoots to put straight into compost.  I'm still experimenting, I recently put some beetroot and carrot seed in damp tissue to see how it fairs using this technique. I watched a YouTube video of someone growing blueberry seeds this way and they are tiny.  My carrot seed hasn't done very well in the garden because its been so dry and the parsnip is almost non existent. This is the beetroot shooting after 48 hours. Its a little fiddly but once I'd put them in the compost they had grown leaves within 12 hours! I've had the same success with the carrots and they're in pots and have already formed the first leaves.

Sprouting in 48 hours

First leaves 12 hours later
This is a mix of two types of dwarf green bean I started of in tissue less than 48 hours ago. Peas love this process, the first three trays have been planted out and I'm just about to start another tray off. 
Sprouting dwarf green beans only take 2-3 days
2-3 days later you have the plants forming

Peas ready to be put in trays with compost after 3 days
Eggs shells collected all winter and dried in the greenhouse have been placed them in a bag, then smashed to pieces using my pent up anger before being placed around the strawberries and other plants to ward of snails and provide nutrition. I have to say the strawberries have come on leaps and bounds since I did this. Take a look. there are hundreds of flowers on them.


The next lots of shells will be used to make a 'plant food'.  The shells will go in the nutri-bullett with water and this solution will be put on the tomatoes from time to time as its high in  potassium. I've collected comfrey and the tops of nettles to make two further types of plant food.  All the vegetable beds had 'free' horse manure dug into them in the autumn. They've also had our  own composted waste dug in prior to sowing to help replace the nutrients lost. 

All the compost from container grown produce last year was kept in a huge (free) tub hubby brought home. Last month I mixed in 4kilos of chicken manure, two large bags of fresh compost, 1 bag of top soil and two thirds of a box of blood fish and bone. The garden has been my sanctuary, it never ceases  to amaze me how things grow so quickly.  I swear the cucumber plants grow in front of my eyes.  
A tour of the greenhouse next time.
Bye for now. Tx

9 comments:

  1. It all looks to be doing really well. I miss the fresh veggies from my allotment, I'm just growing a few buckets of potatoes and some tomato plants this year.

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    1. Gardens big or small can always produce something. I think I would have an allotment if I ever had to forgo a garden.

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  2. I grow my strawberry's is pots off the ground, the fruits hang over the side and don't touch soil. I have ordered a wormery to use all the kitchen waste, in hope I will get liquid fertilizer and small amounts of compost. It also means we throw hardly and food waste into our dustbin.

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    1. A wormery is something I would like to find out more about. We have very little rubbish as we buy and eat mainly fresh produce, so far less packaging.

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  3. I'm trying carrots in containers and my strawberries are in a trough. When the fruits get bigger I prop the up or hang them over the side.

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  4. Our carrots aren't coming up in the garden either. Well, truth be told they have just started and are very spotty.

    God bless.

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    1. I'm disappointed with the ones in the garden, there are a couple of dozen if I'm lucky. Do I'm experimenting in pots now.

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  5. Great hints and tips here. I think I'll start saving my egg shells and I'll definitely try starting seeds off before planting. Thank you.
    xx

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    Replies
    1. I'm really pleased with the damp tissue method. I try to use up as much as possible reusing it around the house and garden. Tx

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