Archive for August, 2015

A couple posts down I shared some early Summer and Spring photo’s from this year, here you can see the later progress on the plot with photo’s from early Summer (May / June) through till August.

Cucamelons in various growth stages in my polytunnel – ( I wish I grew a few more of these plants! )

One Funky Looking Caterpillar!

First Good Mixed Harvest, Large Courgette / Marrow in the back (30+ cm long and at least 8/9cm wide), 4x Italian Vine (Costoluto Fiorentino) Heirloom Tomatoes, 1x Cucumber, 9x Scarlett Runner Beans, 12 x Loganberries and Raspberries, 4 Cherry Tomatoes and at least 50x Blueberries (The blueberries are all getting small now as it is nearing end of season, but the taste is Great!!) I have never tasted a store bought Blueberry anywhere near as nice as these …

Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes) halfway through the growing season they were half the height they are at the End of August, placed in an area to hide my rain barrels from view and sunlight, Variegated Mint is growing in pots beneath.with Wild Garlic in the ground beneath.

Ladybird Larvae doing what they do best, Species of plant is unknown but all flat topped flowering plants such as this are great at attracting ladybirds in to control Aphids etc.

Honeybees, many of us don’t even understand how important the pollinators are not only in the creation / production of most of our food, but also in the entire ecosystem!! This little guy is enjoying one of the three lavender plants I have on site.

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Chipotle Mexican grill is 100% Non GMO

Chipotle Mexican grill is 100% Non GMO

(NaturalNews) The free market victories against the sleazy biotech industry are coming at a rapid pace now, and the latest announcement is a real game changer: Chipotle Mexican Grill has outright rejected all GMOs and, as of today, is now serving all non-GMO ingredients in its foods.

“When it comes to our food, genetically modified ingredients don’t make the cut,” says an official announcement on the Chipotle website. “…[T]he food we serve should be made with ingredients raised with care for animals, farmers, and the environment. We’re doubtful that the GMO ingredients that used to be in our food meet these criteria.”

The fighting words from Steve Ells very closely mirror the clean food mantra that Natural News has been advocating for years. He says, quoted in the New York Times:

This is another step toward the visions we have of changing the way people think about and eat fast food… Just because food is served fast doesn’t mean it has to be made with cheap raw ingredients, highly processed with preservatives and fillers and stabilizers and artificial colors and flavors.

Read the Full Article Here at Natural News.

These photo’s were mostly taken a few month’s back so it’s great to share them now with you all, enjoy:

Base of a Sunchoke (Jerusalem Artichoke) bed

Note: Failed Experiment!!
I grew garlic after planting the Jerusalem Artichoke tubers hoping that the garlic would be able to cope fine under the Artichokes but as you can see in the above photo, there are Zero garlic plants visible! I had this planned as a time stacking experiment but the Garlic was not happy at all, it may be because Jerusalem Artichokes are part of the Sunflower family which excretes substances which other plants don’t like, this is to ensure they get their own space free from other nutrient thieving plants!

First Blueberry Harvest for Summer 2015

First Blueberry Harvest for Summer 2015 (only 1 plant)

Blueberry Plant with Lots of Berries 2015

Blueberry Plant with Lots of Berries 2015

This season's First Courgette (Zucchini)

This season’s First Courgette (Zucchini)

First Italian Vine Tomatoes forming

First Italian Vine Tomatoes forming

The prolific Flowering of the Lldi Tomato, this is one flower stem

The most productive part of the plot, L to R: Various Tomatoes Bush Legend, Italian Vine, Beefsteak, Gardeners Delight, Oca Andean Tuberous plants at bottom ( ones with clover like leaves ), Galeuse d’Eysines Pumpkin on trellis at back, Courgettes (Zucchini) with Nasturtiums growing between to attract the pollinators in,Some leaves of my potatoes at bottom, tips of my Perovskia flowers (Russian Sage) right side and my polytunnel to the left. There is even a nettle poking out and a volunteer Jerusalem Artichoke behind the Courgette!

Violas keeping the plot looking pretty - these were being thrown out due to annual bedding change by a gardening company, they recovered very well after a week or so! ...

Violas keeping the plot looking pretty – these were being thrown out due to annual bedding change by a gardening company, they recovered very well after a week or so! …

My goal for next year is to go 100% Heriloom / Heritage seed and get rid of all my Hybrid junk, I am 100% sure I do not have / own any GM seeds so safe there! So far this is my second year growing Heirloom / Heritage seed plants and I find the success is great! these plants have been Naturally adapting to our climate and therefore are better suited to times of drought, wet, local pests, fungus etc. When placed in a Polyculture system it creates even better conditions for them to thrive in! I can;t wait to order more species / varieties to experiment with for next season.

Don’t forget though, there are still many edible plants you will need to be sowing soon for winter food or overwintering for early Spring cropping! …

Only recently I came across this recipe as I usually use Comfrey as a chop ‘n drop fertilizer or thrown straight into my compost site.

This is Really Simple!!

All you need is some Comfrey leaves and Stinging Nettle, Water (Preferably Rainwater), a bucket or container and a stirring stick. There is no particular ratio of water to materials but as long as the plant material is all submerged then everything is good to go.
Cover the bucket after placing the chopped / shredded leaves inside with water, be sure to stir a little vigorously everyday if possible and wait until at least a month has passed or until the water becomes quite dark in colour. You will need to dilute this to about ten (10) parts water for every one (1) part liquid fertilizer. The Nettles provide the Nitrogen and the Comfrey provides the Potash, so use loads of Nettle in the beginning of crop growing, then switch to more Comfrey once fruit is set on your plant/s.

Nettle & Comfrey Liquid Fertilizer Tea Recipe

Nettle & Comfrey Liquid Fertilizer Tea Recipe

Nettle & Comfrey Liquid Fertilizer Tea Being Filtered

Nettle & Comfrey Liquid Fertilizer Tea Being Filtered

Nettle & Comfrey Liquid Fertilizer Tea Brewing

Nettle & Comfrey Liquid Fertilizer Tea Brewing

Nettle & Comfrey Liquid Fertilizer Tea - Final Product

Nettle & Comfrey Liquid Fertilizer Tea – Final Product

The beauty of doing this at home is, the benefit of KNOWING Exactly what your fertilizer is made of! as well as eliminating some pollution (in the production of branded liquid feeds) further, you not having to travel to a garden centre to purchase products for this purpose is an advantage almost above the money you will save too …

After filtering, make sure to throw the waste back into your composting area and keep the fertilizer in a marked / dated container.

Other known nutrient rich materials can be added in as well such as Seaweed etc. I usually make sure to toss in a small handful of Soil / compost from my garden.

If you are interested or already have a rain barrel (Water Butt) attached to one of your down spout / gutter drainpipes, here is what you should do.
Preferably before you install the system, build a good platform to hold your first barrel securely at a good height. Even if you only intend to have a one barrel system, this is still highly recommended to ensure you wont need much alterations later on if you decide to expand the system!
In the below image you will find your typical household rainwater harvester: should you want to expand, you may get away with placing one more final barrel flat on the ground next to the existing one connected with an overflow pipe.

Rain Catchment / Water Barrel Harvesting: Typical Setup

Rain Catchment / Water Barrel Harvesting: Typical Setup

The below image is of a good system where the first barrel was placed high enough to allow the expansion to accommodate another 3 – 4 barrels! So in the case of your typical 220 liter system, you can now potentially increase to a 1100 liter system running off of One Downspout / drainpipe!

Rainwater Barrel / Roof Harvesting Multi Barrel Setup

Rainwater Barrel / Roof Harvesting Multi Barrel Setup

Think ahead and be proactive! This summer has been quite dry for us here in Southern England and this year my one barrel emptied quite fast compared with last year and it took a while before the rains came to replenish the lost water, Remember as well to clear debris from the diverter and pipes to ensure you get the full potential out of your equipment.

Register on Streetbank and Freecycle as people give stuff away for free there, a water butt can easily cost £30 new online or at a garden centre, just be sure that if it is not a purpose built water butt / barrel, it needs to be a container that is food grade.

Hi everyone, it’s been a while again, I know. Middle to late summer becomes quite busy for me not only at work but also in the garden 🙂

I have come across quite a few people in the last half year perhaps, who had the excuse that they ”only have a balcony” so ”cannot grow much”, I do try ask for their email addresses so I could send them some info. to show what can be done, some do, some don’t.
Anyway, in this Previous Post, you can see a very good example of what can be squeezed onto a balcony, then below, are some pictures taken from the web for your reference and pleasure…

Ornamental and Herb Balcony Garden

Ornamental and Herb Balcony Garden

Herb Balcony Garden

Herb Balcony Garden

Vegetable Balcony Garden

Vegetable Balcony Garden

Large Terrace / Vegetable Balcony Garden

Large Terrace / Vegetable Balcony Garden

balcony garden ideas

balcony garden ideas

Ornamental Balcony Garden with Japanese Theme

Ornamental Balcony Garden with Japanese Theme

Ornamental Balcony Garden with Japanese Theme #2

Ornamental Balcony Garden with Japanese Theme #2

Balcony Gardening and Utilizing reuseable resources such as buckets