Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Summary Justice in the Veggie Garden!

What a lovely Spring day here in London yesterday. I managed to get out and about and start digging up some of the nasty weeds which have just had a new lease of life! I decided this year to dispense some 'summary justice' and use some of the broad leaved pernicious weeds to form the basis of a nutritious liquid feed for the garden. Here you can see some nasty dandelions, stinging nettles and dock leaves and roots breathing their last gasp in a bucket. Weigh down these green leaves with a brick and fill with water and leave in a sunny corner for a few weeks. The plants will start to break down and form a really stinky brown tea. This will be used (a cupful to a gallon) as a liquid fertilizer!
Just a drop in the ocean in the neverending battle against the weeds down on the allotment, but just the thought of turning the tables at least once, gives me pleasure!
Now... hold on to your hats! I must make it clear... again.. "MATRON DOES NOT DO FLOWERS - YOU CAN'T EAT FLOWERS"....but; owing to exceptional circumstances in the natural environment I feel it is my horticultural duty to encourage beneficial insects to the garden in order that they might pollinate MY VEGETABLES! Nasturtiums act as a sacrifice plant - they attract the blackfly which seem to prefer it to my broad beans. I just nip off the infested tips and they keep growing. Tagetes, Marigolds - have a chemical compound in the leaves and in the roots which deter eelworms and whitefly. Limanthes, the poached egg plant - is adored by bees and hoverflies which in turn pollinate my veggies and eat aphids. And for the very last time... yes I know some strange people do eat flowers and survive... but I prefer veggies!
Stop press news.... The chicken holiday home has arrived. Tikka and Korma will be spending some time Down on the Allotment in the next few weeks. Watch this space....
P.S. What's happened to the 'profile views' counter on the blogger profile page? It has stopped counting! I was happily heading for 7000 readers! and it stopped!

18 Comments:

At 9:46 PM, Blogger Magic Cochin said...

Oh! I thought you were making soup for lunch. We've been feasting on nettle soup and nettle, hop-shoot and chive frittata - yummy :-)

Chicken visitors - what fun, hope they lay some eggs for you.

Celia

 
At 10:01 PM, Blogger Dan said...

Good idea with the weed tea, I think I might have to try that.

Can't wait to see the chickens. I wish I could have chickens but our fine city has a bylaw after the whole bird flu thing. Pretty stupid if you ask me because you can get bird flu from a crow just as easily as a chicken.

Not sure why the counter stopped working and I didn't even know it existed. Maybe put a question on blogger help:

http://groups.google.com/group/blogger-help-troubleshoot/topics

 
At 11:57 PM, Blogger marigold said...

I don't know what happened to the counter. Mine seems to have stopped on 480.

 
At 4:28 AM, Anonymous kitsapFG said...

Love the weed tea idea! Stellar idea and one I need to try out.

I'm with you on the flower thing... not interested in growing flowers, you can't eat them!

The chicken tractor is a thing of beauty! Purchased as built or was this a kit or a do it yourself project?

 
At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Rachael said...

I love flowers and put them in every available gap amongst the veggies. I know you can't eat most of them but the insects can and that's what it's all about - biodiversity! Besides, that big expanse of green can get a little...dare I say... boring??

 
At 12:17 PM, Blogger primrozie said...

I'm on the natural insect repellent trail myself. I've posted a Mother Earth News article on my other blog site and will also post it on my blogspot site.

It doesn't have any info on fertilizer, but I have a couple of pesky insects that wreak havoc on my squash and eggplant. I need a plan of attack!

I like the chicken cottage ;) Is it a tractor that gets moved about the yard/garden ? Very nice looking.

 
At 4:32 PM, Blogger RobD said...

Oh c'mon is no-one going to make a comment about the flowers! I do grow flowers, not just to attract pollinators but also for cut flowers for Mrs D - saves me a fortune ;>) So whilst I'm not eating them they're still productive in other ways. Glad to see you're now converted. You might also want to find a small patch for some phacelia and letting it flower, it's great for attracting bees - it's also a green manure if that helps you with your flower phobia!

 
At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Liz said...

I know you don't eat flowers but if you decided you wanted to give them a try the nasturtiums you are planting are a very good place to start... Delicious in salads!

 
At 6:56 PM, Blogger Greenmantle said...

I have to confess to planting some flxxxxs myself today... I came here to link you to my post of confession, to try and show why this would nornally be all wrong.....but what did I find!

Matron's done flowers!

I feel like a kid that just found out the truth about Father Christmas.

 
At 7:44 PM, Blogger Carla said...

Now, I had not thought of this! Smart post.

 
At 7:52 AM, Anonymous Soilman said...

It's OK, Matron, your dirty little secret is safe with us. I knew we'd turn you in the end...

 
At 8:47 AM, Blogger Libby said...

Thank you for the info on the nettles and weeds, I will give it a go!
Lucky you getting chickens, I miss mine!

 
At 2:43 AM, Blogger Becky said...

Perhaps I'm strange, but I love flowers and herbs in a salad. Those nasturtiums and their leaves are really spicy. Violets and Johnny Jump Ups are nice. Anise hyssop flowers are super. I don't recommend feeding flowers to children, It's not good for them to get the idea that all flowers are edible.

 
At 8:57 AM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

Well I'm a self-confessed florivore (unless I made that up!) Food in any form is acceptable on my plot!

Looking forward to pics of the holiday-making chickens. I just got my first yesterday.

 
At 7:22 PM, Anonymous Karen said...

I hope to convince you someday that edible flowers are worth growing for their beauty and tastiness as well as for their pollinating qualities. :) Nothing perks up a salad like a few daylily, nasturtium, and pansy blossoms. Really! OK, I will let go of your arm and stop twisting now. Chicken vacation home looks very cute! I've seen one like this (painted red and decorated by a kid) in our neighborhood. The "girls" look quite happy in it despite the small size.

 
At 6:15 PM, Anonymous rabbit hutch said...

Just bookmarked your site, thanks for sharing!

 
At 6:16 PM, Anonymous rabbit hutch said...

Very nice blog! Great! I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also.

 
At 5:34 AM, Blogger Natalie de Cent said...

I heard you can eat Dandelion leaves. Use them in salads ect and they are very good for you.

 

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