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Of stockings and strawberries


I am the proud possessor of a pair of stockings and the thought of what I am going to do with them makes me a little bit giddy with anticipation. Steady on, it’s not what you think.

You see my water butt cleaning duty didn’t come to anything, the water butt has gone all yucky again, but a solution may well be at hand from the oracle of all wisdom (my dad). He’s advised me to put some charcoal in a stocking into the waterbutt and it will act as a filter/purifier by attracting all the impurities. I knew about the wonderful properties of charcoal but hadn’t thought to put it in the waterbutt. So I shall do so and we’ll see what happens. Hang on you cry, that’s just one leg, what are you doing with the other one? That one is going to be rolled in a ball and put into the downpipe at the top to stop leaves and other assorted rubbish from falling into the butt. I’m also going to drill an overflow hole to allow the top of the water to drain off. I’ll let you know if that makes a difference. I don’t expect it to be immediate, but I’ll keep us all posted.

my new filter…

I must admit that after the excesses of the last weekend, there isn’t that much left to do, but it has been a busy Saturday, and even though the sun was belting down I kept my shirt on.

The pea canes are in with the peas so they now have support. I have high hopes for the mange tout and the peas. In previous years the peas have always provided me with a nice crop and enough to freeze for the year ahead. So I’ll keep a beady eye on them.

Sadly a few of my spinach plants are bolting, so they may not last much longer., but they have provided a decent amount of spinach so far, so I won’t miss them too much. I am tempted to sow some more, but I realise that I have lots of lettuce on the way, so there really is no point in having it as a salad veg. So I shall wait and plant some at the back end of the summer and see what we can get for the cold months.

This week I have been concentrating on protecting my strawberries. I’ve put in a good half dozen beer traps with some cunningly prepared lids to protect the beer from evaporation/dilution and animals that will want to slurp a free pint. Luckily for me my brother doesn’t live near here so they should be safe. In previous years I think I have suffered more from slug/snail damage than from birds, so I shall do what I can to keep them off. In one night the 4 traps caught about 40 slugs.

In case the birds decide that they want a light snack I have netted the strawberries as well. I pondered all sorts of structures to protect the strawberries, elaborate things with hinges, solid frames to lift on and off, but in the end the decision was made due to the amount of wood I had spare in the garage and the size of the bits of wood.

I had some nice bits of timber that when combined managed to reach the length of the strawberry bed, so what I did was create a number of ‘cups’ that the wood could sit in and not move around and positioned these along the sides of the strawberry bed where the pieces of timber reached. The cups were just a piece of plank with 2 raised sides and a stopper that was either in the middle of the sides (like an H) or at one end of the sides (like a U). Then I netted the side bits of timber and they slotted into the cups nicely. Like this, you can also see another slug trap…

In total the cost for the slug traps was ??? for the beer from Morrison’s (although other really cheap beer is available), and the cost for the frame was nothing. I had the wood and the screws lying around the garage/allotment and the netting already in the shed, so I was just really using the stuff I already had. In my mind that was a good way to spend a Saturday morning. Building things and re-using things. All that’s left now is to wait for the strawberries.

In a way that is what I like most of all about this time of year, it’s the anticipation of all the produce to come. I know that there is not much I can do apart from making sure that the plot is well watered.

There are also some broad bean pods setting too…

Now to enjoy the sunshine and relax …. Have fun all.

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hi Muddy

them beer traps of yours with lids and all , are they home made ? and if so could you tell me a bit more, as I to have a brother like yours hee hee just kidding I am interested in how you make the traps though.


31 May, 2009


I have learnt a lot from this blog Cheers

1 Jun, 2009


Ooooh, here's hoping you'll get lots of strawberries this year, well done! Very inventive on both the traps and netting cage!

1 Jun, 2009

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