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.
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.