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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Just in Time!

Year six!
I confess to a smug smile on my face yesterday morning when I looked out of the window and saw we had our first real frost. Why? Because, yes... my Dad and I dug up (Dad) and potted (me!) all our Geraniums and put them in the conservatory for the winter.  I think this is now about year 6 from the same half dozen Geraniums I was bought as a present - and now they total twenty seven plants and 14 cuttings (well the bits that fall off as we transplant them).

Every year we bring them in in the Autumn - usually by October half term rather than nearing the end of November, but they looked  lovely in full bloom still and so we just kept our eye on the frost forecasts. But last weekend we decided we could hold out no longer and yesterday morning it looked as though it was a wise choice.

We use old plant pots and a bit of soil dug up from the garden combined with the fabulously rich compost made in my wormery (another Christmas present!) so it costs us nothing.  Better than that though, Geraniums thrive whether the weather is wet or dry through the summer - in fact, they seem to thrive on neglect which can only be a good thing in my garden. And, last but not least of their characteristics is that they seem to be totally rabbit-proof.

My wormery

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Thursday, 10 November 2011

Gardening - It is all so much effort!

Or is it?

Well it does require some effort, most definitely, but I can't help thinking that sometimes we don't do ourselves any favours by the way we garden.

I have long associated the growing of tomatoes with the 'Growbag' technique.  Stick a couple of grow bags on your patio and plant them up with a couple of tomato plants in each and low and behold you will have tomatoes in abundant supply all through the summer. BUT probably only if you remember to water them every evening. Ughhh! Can you be bothered with that?

The thing we all know about Growbags is they dry out very quickly. So why do we insist on planting our tomatoes in them?

This year we decided to do things a bit differently.  Instead of using grow bags we planted our tomato plants straight into the ground along a post and rail fence.  If I remember rightly they got a couple of cans of water over them when they were first planted and I pulled up the weeds from round them early on but since then they've been entirely left to fend for themselves.  If they want water then they have to send out their roots to look for water. If they want to survive among the weeds then they have to be strong and be the fittest.

It seems to be working!

You want water? Find your own!

So despite the money saving (no grow bags to buy or water to pay for) and the huge saving on time and effort we are still being rewarded with lots of tomatoes and they taste wonderful.