Excess Baggage.

 It’s been a funny old day. We went shopping. That threw me into a fit of despair as everything is almost unaffordable. We went for ‘gardening stuff’ and bought quite a bit from Poundland and Aldi. I bought two very big bags that I can use to drag waste to the tip in and general use around the garden. We bought summer flower tubers/bulb which we will put in pots and we bought plant feed and slug exterminator (the jeffin’ things eat almost everything I plant!). I’m growing in bags again this year, the potatoes are in and just starting to show signs of life.

 Foster Mummy’s beans have been planted in this posh, bought new from a real garden shop bag, with pole holes, the poles in bags that I used last year kept falling down and didn’t stay upright…….I hope the £7.99 bag will do the trick.

 The fruit in pots is looking quite sorry for itself. The white currants are doing well, but the black currants don’t seem to be doing any thing at all. Is this the same for anyone else?

 Everything is coming along in the poly tunnel although most of it gets eaten by slugs and snails, I bought two huge pots of slug killer from Aldi which I compared with the stuff from the proper garden centre and it was less than half the price. If you have one near you, then pop down and get some, it’s only £2.10 each. Now it’s had a sprinkling of chemical warfare against snails, the plants might stand more of a chance.

 I’ve also masses of borders to get through. I have weeded the front border, which is looking much better and I’m enjoying the azaleas whilst they last. I now need to find/but some aesthetically pleasing and yet effective mulch to stop it drying out and try and hold back the weeds. We will try (again) to sell our house next year so this year will be about preparing the house and garden (with next to no budget) to appeal to the mass market and make sure we sell it for a price that will allow us to move.

I’ve moved the ‘veggie’ pots this year to the side of the house, it’s in full sun until 4 pm and the patio was just too exposed, windy and hot. This is only my second year of growing fruit and veg and I’m still learning as I go along. My garden is on the side of a hill, south facing, dry, windy and not the easiest to garden. I’m looking forward to an easier garden in my downsized and simplified future. In fact, my next home will be chosen on the basis of the garden and how it will be part of our sustainable future.


27 thoughts on “Excess Baggage.

  1. Crushed up egg shells, sea shells and dried coffee “grinds” are good slug repellent. I scatter them liberally over anything with a green leaf – they also compost into nutrients too.
    I use the cheapest animal-friendly slug pellets too, and the blue ones this year are organic which is a bonus.
    FM x


  2. We have tons of slugs. I buy the cheapest beer possible and pour it in tin pie pans and put on the ground. The slugs LOVE beer and slide in and drown. Mess to clean up but it is very green and doesn't kill dogs and cats if they get in it. You probably know all this, but thought I would say it anyway.
    And on another note, “the” wedding starts for me at 3am! You bet I am getting up for that. Most likely at 2am so I can see the ride to the church and the guests going in. We are all pretty excited.


  3. Feeling your pain with slugs and snails – they're a bloody nuisance! Instead of purchasing slug pellets try crushed egg shells mixed with some salt and putting a ring of this around your plants. A lot cheaper too and the chemicals from the pellets aren't leeching their way into your food too so it's much better for you in the long run. 🙂


  4. I am enjoying seeing all your garden progress, and things actually 'growing'. Nothing doing here yet, it snowed all day yesterday and overnight. We would like more fruit bushes but they are too expensive to buy.
    Jane x


  5. Oh I forgot to add also – rather than buy bags for planting in it's much better to spend your hard earned cash on bags of compost – just slit the top open and grow straight from the bag of compost! Works well for potatos. You can put the bag on its' side and do the same thing and use it for tomatos, cucumbers, squash – anything really.

    When the growing season is over, don't throw away the compost, just mix in some of your kitchen scraps with the old compost and it'll be ready again to use come the next Spring.


  6. Slugs have been a problem here too. We save egg shells, crush them up and then spread them around. When the slugs crawl over them, their bodies are cut and they die. Another solution that I're read about is to put a bowl of beer out. The slugs are attracted and then they drown. My favorite solution is a decorative frog that my sister gave me a few years ago. It has its hand over its mouth and it looks like it is giggling. I use that frog to squash slugs when I find them. One of the best weed controllers I've found is cardboard and newspapers. Put a heavy layer around plants and cover with a mulch. When the cardboard deteriorates, it enriches the soil. Gardening is my emotional therapy. Isn't it great that we can grow veggies and cut our grocery bills as a byproduct?


  7. I just read Jane and Chris's comment about how expensive fruit bushes are. One of the best “free” way to get plants is to save your seeds from plums, apples, peaches and plant them. We got our best peach tree this way. Out by our compost bin, about 10 peach trees have come up from the seeds I dumped there last year when I canned peaches. Fresh ginger can be grown from ginger roots bought in stores. Bring plants in for the winter. They'll usually go dormant for the winter, but you can harvest when needed.


  8. Froogs, is it you that uses a mini oven rather than use your big oven. My combi micro blew up last night, I have been looking at a mini oven with a rotisserie in it. its on Amazon called Multi Function Mini Rotisserie Oven I am not sure who makes it, but it loooks ok at £49.95 its a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a new microwave, I just cannot afford to buy a new one.

    You can contact me via my blog I moderate my messages so I would not publish your reply.


  9. My blackcurrant bush is thriving- it is covered in flower buds at the moment. It is planted on a north facing exposed slope at the allotment. I think yours may not be happy in the pot that it is in.I would try cutting a piece off to see if it is still wick- if it is I would remove it from the pot and move it into a space in the garden if you have one. You can always dig it up when you move and take it with you. I was talking to a couple at the allotment this evening who had moved fruit bushes. They moved to a larger plot 3 weeks ago and transplanted their blackcurrant bushes , which look really healthy.My plum tree appears to have died for no reason at all – it was healthy last year but looks like a dead stick this- gutting but just part of gardening.


  10. oh id like a slightly bigger house with a much bigger garden. our house needs cupboards, a nice big hallway cupboard would be great, somewhere to put things. a kitchen big enough to work effectively, somewhere to store preserves. one can but dream… doesnt have to be beautiful just functional. i love your wicker baskets in the poly tunnel, they look awesome, i wonder if they dry out quickly?


  11. Slugs and snails apparently don't like human hair, they get suffocated by it! But don't chop off your lovely locks, get it from the barbers/hairdresers!
    Another thing I use is copper wiring from old electic cables, if you see some in a skip or know anyone who is having their house re-wired, jump to it and ask for it. Cut the outer cable carefully with a stanly knif/craft knife and pull out the copper wire. some have 5 strand,7 in some too of varying thicknesses. wind this around your pots and containers.
    But, all the slug pellets in the world and anti slug devices are no good if you have growing stuff hanging over your protected pots as, the little buggers can stretch to over twice their size and 'leap' from leaf to leaf!
    Failing that, go out with a litter picker and put them in a bucket of salty water!

    Sandie xx


  12. Well you are industrious!

    One reason I like where we are in the US (i.e. freezerland, not near a salt water body of water), is that we don't really have a slug problem at all.

    That wasn't the case where I grew up. We used to leave out aluminum pie plates with cheap beer. The slugs drowned in them but it was soooo gross!!!

    We are having our trees cut down tomorrow… but are not having any luck finding a contractor to do the work that we need to have done in order to put our house on the market. Unlike you, we do have some cash for it, but are not having an easy time finding someone who returns our calls. Well, at least the tree guy did…


  13. I'm another one for the eggshells, I am not very green fingered but these seem to have been succesful for me for the last couple of years. Am trying the coffee grinds as well. Starbucks often have them.x


  14. It's all a learning experience growing your own, i have an allotment now as my garden is mostly in shade any bits that i tried to grow in were covered in the little slimy blighters! i think if you can grow your own food then you will definitely reduce food bills. Unfortunately, kitting out my allotment, water butt etc, chicken wire to keep out bunnies is expensive but i am sure in the long run and years to come i will eventually know what i am doing! and not have to spend anymore other than on packets of seed.


  15. Too dry for snails and slugs here, thank goodness…I do know that ducks love to eat them, but thats no help to you though lol!

    Your garden looks great, it's amazing what can be grown in small places.
    I am lucky enough to live on a little bit of land, that's where Australia has an advantage with plenty of space.



  16. well, your front border will certainly appeal to buyers–lovely! and your stone walkway reminds me of something I learned yesterday: straight vinegar can be used to kill off any weeds growing on sidewalks (may take more than one application). I happen to like some vegetation growing between the cracks, but Hubby doesn't, so I was happy to find a greener, cheaper solution than pesticides.


  17. Now for the slugs….bait in purchased container plants. In pots the ones with a curved top…turn them over and vaseline or petroleum jelly the lip and then put salt on the vaseline. The mixture doesn't have to be replaced often as the rain and water doesn't reach it. On straight-sided pots spray WD40 or equivalent….(oil-based spray for sqeaky doors and hinges) about half way up the pot all around the middle. Copper strips are quite effective but pricey. Seaweed slows them down with the salt in it.Good luck


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