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allium ursinum.. eh…? allium triquetrum

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This is wild garlic. It is the ultimate in free food. You’ll find it in most hedgegrows and damp woodlands. Go and grab yourself a little clump… a *little* clump I said! Plant it in and around the base of some hedges, near a ditch or a damp patch.

Around this time it is a simple blanket of white flowers. And so very pretty. You’ll know it because the beautiful waft that will come your direction…. will let you know.

Here’s the low-down so I don’t bore you to absolute botanical tears

  • it’s related to this little beauty, the Allium rosenbachianum 😯
  • it’s also related to supermarket garlic clove, the Allium sativum
  • the difference here is the leaf is used for the flava’.
  • because of that you can crop away to your hearts content, forever!
  • it tastes a lot milder
  • great substitute for garlic & spring onions & you won’t be ‘stinky breath’ 😆

Unknowns to most all of the photos above look the same… maybe? What you have is two brothers than can do the same job. Because for thr purest, there are two types of plant in those 6 images. The wider leafed single flower is the Ramsons or Allium ursinum….. images number 4,5 & 6. While the ‘3 cornenerd leek or the Allium triquetrum is more grass like in leaf and the flowers come in little clusters [rather than in singles] – see images 1,2 & 3.

A little ode to Calvin for reminding me all about this… funny how he managed to do so… 🙂

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grow your own, cheaper than B & Q

I was on the phone to my good pal Thomas yesterday. Tom was doing some garden chores and wanted advice… he was in B & Q. The conversation turned to the grown your own kits that were on sale being sold there…

They’re how much Tommy?!!

That’s flamin’ mental….

So I’ve taken one example I have done myself. [The last 3 photographs are not from the B& Q kit by the way…. 🙂 ]I called it how to grow [your own] seeds [click here]. It cost me 10 cents…

But let me do a quick break down analysis [versus] what you get for €6.99.

Compost

  • i’ll assume a jam jar is the same size as a can of coke. 330 ml. Lets call it 500ml [mililitres].
  • In a bag of multi-purpose compost there is generally 75 litres [75 l].
  • 1,000 ml = 1 litre therefore 75 l = 75,000 ml.
  • Divide 75,000 by 500 and that’s 150 jam jars. [you still there…. ]
  • At no more than €7.50 a bag of compost [€7.50 divided by 150 jars] thats’s 5 cents for your compost.

Jam Jar or pot

  • one jam jar = free

Seeds

  • i’ll use lettuce for this example. B & Q’s lettuce seeds.
  • [I went here entered lettuce in the search bar and got this by the way]
  • They say there’s 1,000 seeds in a packet and they cost in sterling €2.10. I’ll call it €10.00 just for the sake of easy maths.
  • So 5 seeds should cost…. 5 cents.

This means a homemade ‘grow your own’ kit should cost you 10 cents. [takes a quick look at the photographs price tags again….

That’s serious spondula’s…. my question now is what’s the difference between the two ? gardening as I knew it when I was 5 years old was compost-less. It was a handful of muck, sieved and at the back of it all just good craic…. However you grow your bits and bobs – enjoy 🙂

how to grow seeds…

i had written about a way in which i grow seeds last year – click here. But sometimes, for which I apologise, I forget my head 🙄 so to speak and advance to a next level assuming everyone is on my planet, horticulturally speaking….

I’m gonna do this seed planting piece – easy styleee. This is the groovy way, the Jamie Oliver bish, bash, bosh way of gardening. On a balcony, on a window sill – you have no complaints now. You’ll have to have a ‘grow’after this… [such bad humour] 😆

plastic tray to grow seedsseedssown seeds in tray

the three photographs above are how I grow my ‘easy’ seeds. The two types I picked were mustard and cress. Reason I did it this way [for these seeds] is because they are to be cropped when they reach about 1″ in height for salads. How do you do it?

  • first get your container. ‘Her indoors’ had this plastic one hidden ‘somewhere’.
  • fill with compost a little below the rim and press slightly to even it all out
  • water the compost carefully and gently and let the water settle
  • scatter the seeds on top as evenly as possible and label
  • done 🙂

I also put some wil rocket and lettuce seeds in the jam jars and an old ice bucket I found hidden in the shed. In the bottom of the ice bucket I threw in some old broken tiles – to get rid of them and to aid drainage.

seeds sown in ice bucketseeds sown in jam jarseeds sown from packet

For the larger leafed lettuce and some turnips [the salad bowl type] I grew them in the plug trays – click here. I wanted the plants to be a little stronger and the fact is whilst they are in the glasshouse for the moment they will go into the window boxes in a few weeks time. This can of course be done on your window ledge very easily. Here, the same rules apply.

  • fill the container [plug tray with compost
  • water first so as the seeds don’t get dispersed everywhere
  • flick one or two seedling into each plug
  • done!

plug trays for seedscompost in plug traysseeds sown in plug trays

Now all you need to do is make sure they don’t dry out and wait for nature to take it’s course 😆

the only self sufficiency book

It is time to cut out what we do not need so we can live more simply and happily. Good food, comfortable clothes, servicable housing and true culture – these are the things that matter.

now a legend...

now a legend...

I absolutely love this book. I love the ‘classic guide for realists and dreamers’ for which I am probably both 😆 Funnily, it was first written in 1975. Now, a little moreso it is considered ‘the’ bible.

Is it because of changing times? Is it because we are going full circle back to the days of old? Even the quotes from John are inspiring… but also how it should be…?

The thing about this book… is it tells you what to do with the fruits of your labour. Be it cooking, storing, growing –  a small garden or an acre… It explains it so anyone can understand. It is about having a go, taking it easy and enjoying the great outdoors. It is the reason why John is considered the ‘Godfather of Self Sufficiency’.

The reason why I haven’t reviewed this book until now? It’s because it was being used and it was in the house 🙂 I paid €29.90 for it – some time ago.

Nothing should be wasted on the self sufficient holding. The dustman should never have to call

growing pumpkins from seed

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I hear you… it’s only mid July. No matter. You need them for October – but they have to grow! If you ever want to know when to start growing anything the easiest [cheaters tip!] advice is to check your garden centre once a month – when they’re available by seed – that’s when to start. Easy!

This is from the Johnsons range. I actually thought they’d be difficult to grow? no – easy peezy. really! There’s the packet [left] and the seed just below. I just bought them in my local garden centre.

How? who? what? Take a tray or a small plant pot about the size of a tea cup; fill with clean compost; soak first with water [from the bottom up is better – ie. sit in a basin of water and let in take up the moisture until the compost goes from dry brown to damp black] and then push the seed [it looks like a leprechauns surf board] sideways a little [half an inch] below the height of the compost until you can see it no more.

Jack O lantern [cucurbita pepo] is the more common or the ‘typical’ pumpkin as we know it and the plants will need to be planted about one metre apart outdoors when the roots fill out the tray. As you can see mine [after just two weeks! – click here] have a just little more to go before I allow them into unprotected typical irish weather.

Books and catalogues generally base sowing times on an average/ mean temperatures and as long as I understand what the plant needs to grow then I can work away and pretty much garden away as I please.

The ‘book’ tells me I’m a little late sowing – but the book obviously hasn’t seen the barbados like weather that’s been coming to North Dublin recently!!

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UPDATE:

here are my plants as of 28th of August as promised:

UPDATE: A Real Pumpkin Farm