Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Mr Chilcot blasts my lupins of mass destruction

in my lady garden

Old Mr Chilcot next door has been kicking up a fuss. He said my plants had crossed his driveway obliterating his trailing lobelia. He called mine Lupins of Mass Destruction!

He wrote a madly-long letter to the parish council, labelling me a member of the Royal War-decultural Society. Anyone would think I had parked my tank on his lawn! He also took his trimmer to my hedge (Georgius Bushium).


Meanwhile I took myself off to the allotment to get away from all the fuss.

lupinsLupins of mass distraction (Photo: Simon Young)

Do you have a dirty old hoe in your shed? Many of my male readers would find one very handy.

A hoe is just the thing to get to all those little nooks and crannies and both my father and grandfather used them.

It is a small, sharpish rake thing and is one of the reasons we grow vegetables in neat rows. Hoe between the lines to gouge out weed seedlings before they get a grip on your crops.

A hand-hoe is one with a short handle.

dirty hoeWhat a filthy hoe

I don’t like bending down while hoeing so I prefer a nice long handle (Dutch hoe £6.75 from B & Q) and use it like a 1960s housewife with a Ewbank carpet sweeper to keep the dandelions at bay.

This is the time to harvest your herbs for drying. Use a rubber band to tie your lavender branches and hang upside down from a beam (the herbs that is, not you, unless you are a High Court judge in suspenders).

Rosemary, thyme and oregano can all be dried in bunches – and they only take up a thousand times more space than a little Lidl jar.

Some gardeners dry their herbs on kitchen roll in the microwave but I wouldn’t recommend it as it might burn your house down.

Many of my men friends have flies covering their carrots. The dreaded carrot fly can also infest parsnips, celery and celeriac and they are attracted by the smell.

rotten-carrotCarrot fly: beware of infection

Try Nemasys Fruit and Vegetable Protection (about £8 a pop from garden centres or Durex Ribbed and Dotted from Superdrug).

Alternatively, buy a bag of BOGOF carrots from Tesco, get your deckchair out, crack open a bottle and forget all about garden pests. Personally I have never seen a carrot fly any more than a pig but I have seen a pea shoot.

Jobs to do this week

* Pick off any Rosemary beetles and tread on them.
* Buy some mosquito repellent for balmy late night sessions.
* Pop some spring onions in and they’ll be ready to nibble with a pork pie and bottle of Adnams Prosecco between eight to 12 weeks, if you can wait that long for a drink.

Your questions answered

* Mr Gove of Glemsford: Oh, poor little you! It sounds as though all your turnips have bolted. There’s nothing you can do about it now, I’m afraid.

* Mrs J G from Finborough. Yes those little insects can bite. I’m sure Savlon will help where you got ants in your pants.

* Mandy from Stowmarket: If you are not sure the pods are ready for eating, try taking a pea in the vegetable plot before you pick the lot.

That’s it for this week!


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