New video: hot composting - how to make compost in 4-6 weeks. Watch by following the link in my profile (click the logo).
The biggest advantage of hot composting is how quickly it makes compost compared to a normal compost pile, and how easy it is do. My hot compost can be ready in 4 to 6 weeks, giving me a plentiful supply of compost to use around my garden and allotment. Some of my uses for hot compost include: using as soil conditioner by mixing it together with old compost from pots, or soil in my beds; providing a rich mulch for fruit bushes; and adding to the planting hole of crops that love a rich soil, like courgettes and other squashes.
New video: how to make an iced fruit smoothie. Watch by following the link in my profile (click the logo). Iced fruit smoothies are one of my favourite ways to enjoy a surplus of homegrown fruit. They taste great, are packed full of vitamins, and take less than 5 minutes to make. By preparing the fruit in advance, it avoids any valuable homegrown or shop bought fruit going to waste.
New video: how to build a steel walk in fruit cage. Watch by following the link in my profile (click the logo). Before this year, my fruit bushes fed the wildlife, whether it was squirrels, or rats, or birds, I don't know exactly, maybe a combination of all of them. But this year, the first year of having the fruit cage, I am enjoying what my fruit tastes like again. Its been three years since I've eaten gooseberries!
The video shows my DIY solution to how to build a walk in fruit cage. It is a durable walk in fruit cage made from galvanised steel and joined together using the Kee clamp system, that hopefully will last for many years.
New video added: courgette omelette recipe. Watch on YouTube by following the link in my profile (find by clicking the logo). Courgette omelette is a combination of ingredients that works surprisingly well, with the lightness of the courgette complementing the richness of the eggs. The courgettes need pre-cooking before making the omelette, but it is time well spent.
The courgettes are cooked slowly to stew in their own juices, reducing in size and maximising their flavour.
The cooked courgette is then combined with eggs and baked in the oven to create a wonderful light tasting omelette, which is delicious served with crusty bread.
New video added: how to train tomatoes. Watch on YouTube by following the link in my profile (find by clicking the logo). Training tomatoes brings an earlier harvest, and will lead to a bigger crop of tomatoes over the growing season. It avoids the problem of big bushy plants covered in leaves with small green tomatoes that never ripen.
Strawberry mousse recipe - watch on YouTube by following the profile link (click the allotment book logo to find the link). Strawberry mousse is a light and refreshing dessert. It is quick and easy to make, but does need at least an hour in the fridge to chill and thicken.
The recipe uses pasteurised powdered egg white rather than fresh eggs. Typically, mousse uses uncooked egg white, so switching to powder provides extra safety if anyone at your meal table has a concern about eating raw eggs.
Prefer another fruit? Simply swap out the strawberries for a fruit of your choice.
New video - taking tomato cuttings to get new plants. You can watch on YouTube by following the link in my profile. A step by step video on how to take tomato cuttings from side shoots, from initial cutting to transplanting the new plants to their final pots. It is an easy and fast way to get more tomato plants from existing plants.
For the first time this year I have experimented with taking tomato cuttings, and I’ve been really surprised at how easy it is. My experiment has been so successful I may even sow less seed next year, knowing that I can rely on taking cuttings to boost the number of plants. All four cuttings I made successfully formed roots, and are now mini-plants - significantly more advanced than if I had sown more seed.
I like to grow squash plants large before planting out. I think this helps lessen the damage of slug and snail attack. The weather seems warm enough now too. The variety is Crown Prince, which hopefully will produce winter squash the size of a football.
The first rocket harvest of the year - later enjoyed in a sandwich! For the photos, I removed the butterfly netting that has been protecting the plants. I am hoping that by regular picking the plants will stay good for many weeks.
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