nettle tea fertilizer

Nettle tea fertilizer for free!

A couple of weeks ago we were watching Monty Don one Sunday morning on BBC 2’s Gardeners World. He was talking through his “Jobs for the weekend” and ...

trellis screening the bins with runner beans growing up

Runner bean, wheelie bin screen

For a while now we have been discussing our options how to partially hide our wheelie bins from view with some form of trellis and maybe a vigorous cl...

compost airator

Simple compost aerators

This is a simple, sustainable and very green trick to help speed up your composting using old toilet rolls. The old trusty toilet roll, there are so m...

bamboo trellis

Our frugal bamboo pea trellis

We could not leave it any longer, our “Champion of England Tall Climbing heritage peas” (yep that is their name) were desperately needing to run riot ...

Gardening

nettle tea fertilizer

Nettle tea fertilizer for free!

A couple of weeks ago we were watching Monty Don one Sunday morning on BBC 2’s Gardeners World. He was talking through his “Jobs for the wee...

Money

Energy efficiency

Saving money: Energy bills Part 2

At first glance around our house we knew there were plenty of improvements that could be made to maximise our energy efficiency, despite not...

Food & Drink

Boiled eggs with asparagus

From garden to plate in less than 15 mins

Ahh home grown fresh asparagus! They taste so much better than what you buy in the supermarket and we are not just saying that, they are swe...

Nettle tea fertilizer for free!

nettle tea fertilizer

A couple of weeks ago we were watching Monty Don one Sunday morning on BBC 2’s Gardeners World. He was talking through his “Jobs for the weekend” and was highlighting the benefits of stinging nettles being fantastic plant fertilizer and just how easy it was to make and would cost absolutely nothing!

Well that was it a man on a mission, free fertilizer! I was determined to give it go as there are always thousands of stinging nettles nearby. Plus there are no unpleasant chemicals or additives to worry about, plain and simple nitrogen rich fertilizer…

Carry on reading...

Runner bean, wheelie bin screen

trellis screening the bins with runner beans growing up

For a while now we have been discussing our options how to partially hide our wheelie bins from view with some form of trellis and maybe a vigorous climber or vine (passion flower/clematis). Instead of purchasing a plant for the purpose, we could have always taken a cutting of one of our numerous climbers from the back garden. The initial downside was the lead time in which to get a cutting to take root and plant out was too long as we are already 4 weeks into summer. Plus any cutting would take many months to completely take up residence in advance of winter.

For a couple of weeks we have been deliberating where we could grow our runner beans this year, as you cannot grow them in the same location two years running.

Carry on reading...

Simple compost aerators

compost airator

This is a simple, sustainable and very green trick to help speed up your composting using old toilet rolls. The old trusty toilet roll, there are so many things one can do with them in addition to finding their way into the recycling bin!

We have previously used them as bio-degradable planters for our seedlings or brown mulch for our wormery to name a couple of great uses. Though our dog has really found a love for left over toilet rolls, she brings them to us asking for permission before chewing it to pieces.

Carry on reading...

Our frugal bamboo pea trellis

bamboo trellis

We could not leave it any longer, our “Champion of England Tall Climbing heritage peas” (yep that is their name) were desperately needing to run riot in the new raised vegetable plot. These are a very rare UK variety that was almost extinct commercially and can grow up to 10 foot tall. They seem ideal for those living in an urban location with limited garden space, like ourselves.

With the usual crop rotations, we cannot grow beans/peas in the same location two years in a row, so we could not do the usual wigwam construction in the main veg plot to support them all…

Carry on reading...

Building our raised vegetable plots

Brick raised bed - vegetable plot

To increase the amount of food we can grow in our garden each year, we had been contemplating how to make a more efficient use of the space available in our back garden without any large scale landscaping or demolition.

Raised vegetable plots were certainly the favoured option, but our requirements were not as straight forward as the last time we built raised beds in our previous properties, there were plenty more variables to consider this time.

Carry on reading...

From garden to plate in less than 15 mins

Boiled eggs with asparagus

Ahh home grown fresh asparagus! They taste so much better than what you buy in the supermarket and we are not just saying that, they are sweeter, juicier and have a much stronger flavour.

Though neither Sherrie nor I have ever used an asparagus spear as a soldier substitute when dipping into boiled eggs, what were we missing!? They were absolutely yummy, though after a great debate whilst devouring our prey, we decided the next set of spears (ready in a week or two) will get the hollandaise treatment!

Carry on reading...

Reading Beer festival food & frivolities

beer festival lion logo

Every year we venture down to Reading’s Beer Festival, looking forward to sampling a little of everything we can manage to fit into our stomachs (especially the pies!). Well it used to be the hog roast, but it was a little disappointing last year, so now it’s the wild boar and mushroom pies! Yummy!

In the previous years I have tried some very tasty beers, ales and mead’s, though I am not really a cider fan. Probably since those dreaded teenage years of getting ridiculously drunk on white lighting & TNT and now the smell of any cider makes me want to hurl.

Carry on reading...

2 new dwarf trees: Peach & Apricot

dwarf fruit trees - peach apricot

Well we went out for a ‘quick look’ at one of the local garden centres on Saturday, which turned out not to be quick at all! Though we (ok i) came back with two dwarf fruit trees, a Peach and an Apricot!

I got permission from high command to approve the use of a little garden space for these two new additions to our edible family. Well I think we nearly have every possible fruit tree available and only in a small urban garden, it’s a good job they are of the dwarf variety lol…

Carry on reading...

Finally, potatoes planted out

potato seeds

Most of the potatoes have now been planted out, we were a little behind schedule (to say the least). They should have gone out a couple of weeks ago and were starting to get a little leggy and grown through the netting. Ooops!

Yes our chitting regime has been left a little by the wayside, instead of well sprouted tubers we opened the box to find them their long triffid ‘tendrils’ trying to escape through the gaps. Most of the years prior we have been pretty good at saving our egg cartons and getting the potatoes chitted, but this year we were so busy we fogot time and time again.

Carry on reading...

Interesting..Making wild nettles beer!

Making Wild Nettles Beer

Oooh, this sounds interesting! making beer from wild stinging nettles. You could end up being stung all over if you are not careful haha! I think i would need plenty of vinegar to hand and doc leaves.

I am quite curious to what it might taste like, we could either wait for them to force their way into our garden from under the fence or alternatively go on the hunt.

Carry on reading...