Thursday, 4 August 2011

There's Something in the Green House...and a Herbie tip

...and it's not tomatoes!!....Actually like my craft room, my tiny little green house is a bit of a mess. Bindweed has taken over...which is one reason why, for the first time in years "we have no tomatoes!"
Things have been dumped in there, and they too, have been covered with the dreaded bindweed! The more you pull it up, the more bits break off and grow! So I decided to have a really good clear out today.

Suddenly half way through my tidying up, 'something' started moving under the black plastic, which I had put down to stop (unsuccessfully) the bindweed from growing. It was very quick and made a funny noise! Then I noticed a little path had been dug under an old plant propagator. What had been hiding under there!?! And what creature was now hiding under the plastic?
I was sooo hoping it wasn't a rat!! Luckily it wasn't! It turned out to be a little hedgehog. Too shy to show his face, he stayed curled up, pumping out the Zzzz's. So I carefully placed him back under the propagator, where he'd made a little dug out 'room' for himself, while I finished off the rest of the clearing out. And as far as I know he's still there now. What a shock he'll have when he wakes up to a tidy green house!! (don't worry I've left him a few snails for his breakfast)
This year my runner beans are rubbish!! Don't get me wrong! They've grown like mad, loads of leaves, but not one bean! (well, maybe two titchy ones) This time last year we had so many John was putting them in the freezer! (We were still eating them waaay past Christmas!)
I'm also growing little French beans this year too, and they are just the same, all leaves and no beans!! Pity they can't have a word with the bindweed! That's doing sooo well!
I only have a little garden so all my beans are growing in large pots. Something else that's fighting hard against the bindweed is this clematis, it's called 'Purple'.
Right, a gardening tip for you now, it might save a few pennies (or cents!)
If you buy your fresh herbs from the supermarket, you might usually get them in pots, like the one in the picture below. Look closely and you will see there's about thirty plants in one pot. All growing long and lanky. Seedlings really, never allowed to grow to their full size.
You pick off what you want, and after a bit, because you've forgotten to water the pot, it curls up and dies, so you buy a new pot. But when you think about it, 30 plants for one pound isn't too bad. You'd pay at least twice as much as that for one plant if you bought it from a nursery to put in your garden. .
This is Basil in the picture (Hello Basil!) and what I do is, break all those little seedlings up, leave as much soil as you can around their roots and replant them into larger pots.
Pinch off all the tops, to encourage growth. Put all those leaves. you've just picked off, into a bag and place it into the freezer. Once frozen just crush them up and use them as you want.
Meanwhile your little seedlings will grow into lots of full sized plants and last all summer or longer. You won't have to buy any more.
The best herb to try this with first is mint. Mainly because with mint, instead of pinching off the tops, you can bend or lay the long stems down into the soil and they will root again, and in about a week, three skinny seedlings will easy fill a medium sized pot and you'll have a whole load of fresh mint that will last forever! (It's best to keep the mint in a pot because it might go wild and give the bindweed a run for it's money!!)
**Up Date** Here's the picture of my Mint. After re-potting and layering them. In just over a week this is how three scrawny seedling have grown! (The Basil I've just re-potted is hiding in the back ground)

While I've been clearing out the greenhouse, Hubby John was in the kitchen cooking paella... here he is showing off his new large paella pan I bought him today! You can see he's pleased with it, can't you!
The paella was lovely!! (only I'm not too sure about the mussels! Might save those for the hedgehog!)
Coming up later an anniversary card.


  1. Hi Sue, Paella is a rice, veg, chicken, prawns, sea-food dish.... the link will take you to a recipe by Jamie Oliver, my fav English TV Chief

  2. I do that with the supermarket herbs too!


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