Tis Jack Again

Ignore the skinhead ghost…at your peril! Ooooooo…okay, I’ll shut up.

I’m tagging this with every tag to spread the site around a bit. This post is just gardening, but check out the blog if you’re new. I have lot of of recipes for all different diets. More to come, just a small digression today. Just another gardening post, with your friend Jack! As in all of all trades, as in doesn’t know Jack…diddly. No, I’m not really called Jack, it’s just the majority of my gardening is seat of the pants, hodgepodge and I played a lot of Harvest Moon. I just figured I’d share some of my Winter preparations. We’ve had some crazy weather, really warm so I’m still managing to grow a few things, not very much, but it’s something. This year’s end will mark the end of my first year gardening. My fridge is still filled with my Harlequin Squash recipes, though they are starting to deplete sadly. At least I still have my pesto.

As you can see I carefully posed this photo…and knocked over my planter of dirt. It’s high art…really.

I was given the strawberry barrel, and most of the strawberries too come to think of it. The top ones are fragoo pink, I saved them from being washed away in muddy water, planted them and now they’re huge. Their babies are scattered all over the place, given as gifts and still taking. Come next year you’ll probably see a lot of strawberry recipes. They don’t take much work to look after, just keep them watered and well fed. The first year never yields any fruit and I’ve been told you should remove the flowers to promote growth. I took off a lot, but they just kept flowering, it’s probably this unnatural heat. All Summer I needed it and now it’s here.

Yes. I wrapped up my barrel in scraps of greenhouse covering and bubble wrap. Recycling at it’s….er, finest!

The old cover was well and truly trashed. I salvaged as much of it as I could.

I will say one thing for the mini-greenhouses, as much as they’ll fall if not properly mounted, they trap in heat brilliantly. I grew some wonderful herbs this year thanks to mine. I’ve gotten a stronger cover and hopefully we’ll get a year as good as this one out of it. The frame is also still standing, somehow. Hopefully I’ll also have a glasshouse (Another gift, such kindness, my cup overflows) next year, but the small two tier and the five tier will still be being used. I’ll also be growing (Trying to) roses and a fair bit of basic vegetables alongside my herbs and squash so I’ll need all the room I can get. It’s not that big a garden.

A wild raspberry plant and garlic in a pot hold the plastic covering the strawberries.

Those are the same planters, or plastic crates, that my squash sat on for a fair few months. I zip tied them together and made them into raised planters. We have a dog who will not rest until everything has been marked and another who may eat them. One of the strawberries is a sweeter variety, but I didn’t mark it so I don’t know which. I’ve since started marking things. Live and learn. I want to protect these from the frost and the old cover was just the right fit. I’d hate to just throw these things out.

I never knew how cheap seeds were online. Lollipop sticks for marking plants. A lot of plants.

I started with yoghurt pots and milk jugs, but this coming year I’ll be better prepared. We’ve saved all the pots and I’ve got my reusable bag planters. I’m keep a note pad for my ideas, notes and plans. I have no idea how much will grow or whether we’ll see anywhere near the success I’ve enjoyed this year, but if nothing else it’ll be fun and the more I learn in the garden the more it helps me in the kitchen. Fresh ingredients are always welcome of course. I’ve had my fun and I will have a new recipe this week. For a hint read Pippi Longstocking. If you guess correctly you win…my unending love and respect…what? Not a great prize! Pah! Until later.

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