Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June in the Garden - Gathering Gooseberries and feeding with Nettle Stew

Gathering Gooseberries


We put a very small gooseberry bush in last year and it is putting down runners and spreading quite well. It has been attacked by aphids, and got at by snails, so not had the best year.  But it has given us a crop which has more than covered the outlay of buying the bush.  I have been sending hubby out on an evening to catch the snails, and surrounding my plants with crushed eggshells, which does seem to be deterring them at last.  I continued to spray the aphids with soapnut liquid which seemed to keep them down a bit.  Then I started spotting ladybirds - the aphids' natural predator - and the aphid population very quickly declined.  (See my post from last month regarding the soapnuts - May in the Garden - Apple blossom, Aphids, and soapnuts )


Now into the kitchen to use those gooseberries - see my recipe here Coconut gooseberry crumble - gluten and dairy free

Earthing up Potatoes


I have only planted a few potatoes as myself and daughter cannot eat them - so these are for the boys. Due to health problems, and a long wet spring, I haven't been looking after them at all really. Earthing up - drawing soil up around the stems to encourage them to grow more underground stems and therefore more spuds should have been done some time ago and repeated by now. Ah well I gave it a bit of a go today and will see how they do.


Weed and Feed - Nettle Stew.


Apart from that it's been a case of weeding - lots of weeding. The wet weather has certainly agreed with the weeds.

 And feeding. Nettle leaves make for an excellent liquid fertiliser.  The nettle leaves need to be chopped up. If you have a lot, you can lay them out on the grass and run over them with a mower to do it.  You need to put them in  a large bucket or similar container and cover them with water and let them 'stew' for 3 or 4 weeks. Then you can add the liquid (which may be a tad smelly but the plants will love it) to water - about 1 part nettle stew to 10 parts water and use to feed your plants. Much cheaper than buying liquid fertiliser and 100% organic. You can achieve similar results using comfrey leaves and / or seaweed.  With any of your 'stews' you can keep adding more leaves and water to the brew once you have got it started.






19 comments:

  1. I'd love to try growing my own fruit and vegetables, nice to see that yours are doing well despite the lady birds and snails wanting to eat the fruit x

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    1. I'm very much a learner but it feels so good to eat something you have grown yourself!

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  2. I didn't realise nettle leaves made good fertiliser, that's so cool!! I absolutise hate weeding, it is so much work and takes so long;p but I do like picking berries etc :) x
    |Life as a Petite || Fashion, Crafts & Lifestyle Blog|

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    1. I agree regarding weeding - most hated chore.

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  3. I hate weeding, I'm so lazy with it if there was a way round it I'd be the happiest person ever. I'm well jell of your gooseberries I put gooseberries in last year but haven't had much luck with them :-)

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    1. Aww, that's a shame. Hope you get some next year. I swear weeds pop up as fast as you blink lol.

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  4. Such nice feeling when you are eating food from your garden! We just planted aubergine and sunflower and strawberry. Will not yeild anything yet but next year I am sure we will have something for summer =) #MMWBH

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    1. Ooh, I know nothing about growing aubergines - how exciting. I have done sunflowers and strawberries before. Lovely.

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  5. Go you! I'd love to grow lots of food but am rubbish at it... must try harder next year ;-) #MMWBH

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    1. I'm only just learning and I make plenty of mistakes but I am enjoying it.

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  6. Weeding it my least favourite thing to do.
    All our fruit and veg has grown so much over the last couple of days. It's so exciting!

    Hungry Healthy Happy

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    1. It gets me excited every time I see something pop up or ripen. I haven't seen anyone say they love weeding yet lol.

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  7. I would love to grow my own food. We have a big allotment opposite us and I love watching what people are doing.

    Thank you for linking up with the #WeekendBlogHop

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    1. Oh, I would love an allotment. Thank you for dropping in with #WeekendBlogHop

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  8. you are doing well at growing fruit, I would love to grow my own food.

    Sophie
    xx
    www.pocockins.co.uk

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  9. ooh we've got gooseberries in the garden but I never know what to do with them - will check out your recipe #MMWBH

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    1. Hope you enjoy, thanks for popping in #MMWBH

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  10. Wow you are great at growing your own things. Something I have always wanted to do but just never had the guts to start {I can barely keep a plant alive!} but maybe next year? haha. Thanks so much for linking up with #MMWBH xx

    http://www.superbusymum.net

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  11. Nettle brew - thanks for the reminder. I must make some very soon :)

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