Friday, 8 May 2015

A Frugal Gardening find and a silly mistake ... !

I checked out one charity shop yesterday, and saw this.  I picked it up for 10p, I had a use in mind.  Any ideas ?  It's an old shoe rack.

I washed it, then placed some pots in the bottom, these are courgette plants just put there so you can see how useful it will be.  The bars at the sides, front and back will be great for tying in climbing plants.

I found a large sized plastic bag to cover it, and it's turned into a mini-greenhouse.  This is what I had in mind originally.
Just enough space at the bottom for ventilation.  I'm pleased with that.
I always said I wouldn't buy or try to grow tree fruit because I can forage for it locally, but I couldn't resist these,  just look at the price - £5.99 each, one plum and one pear.
They were from Poundstretcher, and the pots from the £ shop.  I soaked them for 48 hours because they were very dry, now they're potted up I can see one or two buds swelling so I'm sure they will be fine.  (I will clean up the spilled compost - it started to rain !)
I always think the compost around trees in large pots is wasted, so I usually sprinkle some seeds around, lettuce, lambs lettuce, turnips for greens etc., they can be harvested without hurting the trees, you can get 2/3 fast harvests doing this.  I covered the seeds with upturned plastic bottles to help germination, if it's too cold, I have some growing indoors that I can transplant.  I use a hearting red lettuce mostly for outdoor growing, I've had great success with this type, I've left them outdoors all winter in the past, and they've not only survived, but grown and been edible too.
So, what do you find under your gooseberry bushes then ?  baby gooseberry plants of course.  Before they get smothered, I uproot a few and replant them in pots to increase the fruit stock, here are some 2nd year 'babies'
Here are some baby redcurrants that I lifted from the base of a large bush and replanted them around a tree in a pot.  When they are well rooted, they will be put into individual pots.  I think I should have protected these with plastic bottles, I'll add some as and when they become available I think, the cold weather isn't over  yet, and I'd hate to lose them.
The potted strawberries are looking good and promise a large harvest.
So what's the 'silly mistake' ... ?  well I never thought it was possible to sow seeds upside down - I've never even given it any consideration before, I just drop seeds in a hole and leave them to it.  Well this morning I checked a pot of runner bean seeds and saw that they were sprouting 'roots' - ! like a white web on top of the compost.  I dug them out with a spoon and saw the growing tip heading south !  I replanted them the right way up, put a plastic bottle on top and am hoping for the best !  (forgot to photograph them).
Doris says 'hello' ... !


  1. Do you help pollinate your strawberry flowers? I read somewhere that this is necessary so last year went around the flowers with a paintbrush but crop was not good. What do you do?

    1. Hi Julia, no I don't do anything, except keep them tidy by cutting off dead leaves.
      Some say you are supposed to dispose of plants after three years, I don't, mine seem to keep on fruiting, and even if they don't, they will produce more runners.
      The only thing I do is to pot them up into bigger pots when they need it.
      Thanks for visiting.

    2. Thanks for that! Will leave well alone! Our plants started off in pots but are now in the ground and going strong 4 years down the line. Love your blog, by the way - inspirational.

    3. Thank you again Julia, good luck with the strawberries.

  2. Great think batman, a great find and put to good use :-)

    1. last of the big spenders Dawn, that's me !

  3. 10p what a bargain, all your plants are looking great.



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