It’s the second weekend in a row that I haven’t been able to visit my allotment due to heavy rain! Not happy!! 😦
I’ve created a fairy garden around the tree stump at the bottom of the garden, as requested by the ‘Tiddlers’ but constant rain is preventing any more garden tinkering…
So I’m doing a little light reading, gathering a few gardening tips in readiness for the next growing season. Fellow allotmenteers and gardeners, down the generations, have passed on tips about the best way to grow flowers and veg.
There is so much information that we can all share…
Soak seeds in tea, apparently, the tannins soften the seed casings and aid seed germination. Chamomile tea is especially good because it contains anti-fungal properties which reduce cases of ‘damping-off’. As every gardener knows, some species will struggle to germinate unless they’ve had an overnight soak!
Tea is useful for helping your flowers to bloom too!!
The left over ‘cooking water’, from your veg, eggs and even pasta, is full of nutrients. If the water is free from oil or salt, why not use it to water your plants (when cool)?
It is said that ants hate the smell of spices! Try growing a lavender bush or a curry plant – they dislike the distinctive aroma given off during flowering. My grandmother used to protect her beloved rose beds from an ant invasion by sprinkling a line of curry powder around the perimeter – she was convinced that the ants wouldn’t cross the curry line!
Another tip from grandmother…stick your rose cutting into a potato and plant the whole lot into the ground! She thought the potato helped keep the cutting moist while it established some roots.
We know that bananas are rich in potassium so a few of my fellow allotmenteers will bury a banana peel among the roots of roses, sweet peas or any other potassium hungry plant. The peel’s potassium will give the plant a nutritional boost and should help it resist disease.
Throw a few old nails into a bucket of water. Leave for a while (a little rust goes a long way!) Water your camellias, blueberries, in fact any iron-loving plants, with the solution. Apparently the plants will love it!
Place a few unused matches a few inches below your pepper plant roots and they will reward you with a wonderful crop.
According to allotment folklore pepper (and chillies) love a bit of sulphur!
Milk diluted (skimmed is best) with water will help fight off powdery mildew. Spray the leaves daily until the battle has been won!
I’m in a constant battle with weeds between the cracks in the pathways on my allotment. This year I’m going to be using Thyme for ground cover. Hopefully, it will be happy to grow in the cracks and ‘crowd out’ those pesky weeds!
Give your garden a calcium boost by grinding up egg shells and sprinkling the powder over the garden. Calcium is essential for all plants, but the following are especially responsive: apples, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, grapes, lettuce, peaches, pears, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes.
Just took another look out of the window…still raining! Ah well, I think I’ll stay warm and take a browse through the wonderful gardening blogs and my collection of December gardening magazines.