Latest posts by Katiejane

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Gardener come.....

Posted: 05/02/2014 at 09:51

A lot of people look worried when I tell them what I do, I use to work in a very large double glazing company, My hubby is a recruitment consultant, I joined him when we set up our own agency 15 years ago.

On a whole people don't like double glazing / estate agents or recruitment consultants - until they need us of course.



I would like to add that I am very nice really.

My Blackcurrants taste like chicken

Posted: 12/07/2013 at 11:47

Woo raspberries are wonderful with white rum, not done balckberries will try that one.


Not made cordial either, might try that, I have pounds of blackcurrants coming this year the bushes have gone mad with a bumper crop.



My Blackcurrants taste like chicken

Posted: 12/07/2013 at 10:47

3 pounds of blackcurrants, 1 pound sugar and a bottle of vodka/gin or white rum, leave to steap until October/November then strain - yummy for christmas


Changing soil with chilli plants

Posted: 12/07/2013 at 10:43

Morning Tina

You are rather late to grow chillies outside this year mind are already growing nice green buds.  That said, I usually bring mind in late summer and stand them on the landing infront of a patio door (onto a balcony), its south facing and the chillies love it.  this way I am picking fresh chillies into the new year.  Do you have a heating tray you can give them a good start with,



Pickling / Conserving Radish

Posted: 02/07/2013 at 09:23

Do these help you - they are all good

Do Chua (Mooli and Carrot Pickle)

1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into thick matchsticks 500g mooli (daikno), each no larger than 5cm in diameter, peeled and sliced into thick matchsticks 1 tsp salt 110g sugar 60ml distilled malt vinegar 250ml lukewarm water
Combine the mooli and carrot pieces in a bowl and sprinkle over the salt and 2 tsp of the sugar. Use your hands to toss the vegetables then knead with your fingers for 3 minutes, pressing to extract as much water from the vegetables as possible. The vegetables are ready when there is a large pool of liquid in the base of the bowl and you can bend a piece of the mooli so that the ends touch without breaking. Drain the vegetables in a colander then drain under plenty of cold, running, water. Gently press the vegetables to remove any further excess liquid. Return the vegetables to the bowl and set aside. For the brine, combine the remaining sugar, the vinegar and the water in a bowl. Stir until the sugar has dissolved then pour over the vegetables. The liquid should completely cover the vegetables. Cover and set aside to marinate for at least 1 hour before eating. If you make this in a jar, then they will keep for up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator.

Mooli ka Achar (Radish Pickle)

  • Radish -300 gms
  • Crushed fennel  seeds-1.5 tbls
  • Mustard seeds – 3tbls
  • Chilli powder-1.5 tsp
  • Turmeric 1/2 tsp
  • Salt-1.5 tsp
  • Refined oil-1/2 cup
  • Peel and chop radish into medium thick rounds
  • Add salt,  turmeric and mustard. cover and keep aside for 8 hours or over night at room temperature.
  • Next day add chilli powder,fennel seeds and oil.
  • Cover with a muslin cloth and let it mature for at least 4-5 days at room temperature
  • Keep mixing in between start using after 4-5 days (or when it become sour). keep refrigerated


    2 carrots
    1 large Chinese white radish
    1 large cucumber
    1 red pepper and 1 green pepper
    4 sticks celery
    4” piece ginger’
    8 shallots


    2¼ cups sugar
    2¼ cups white vinegar (distilled malt)
    1 teaspoon salt
    1¼ cups water

    Combine all pickling liquid ingredients in a saucepan, stir over a low heat until sugar dissolves; bring to boil. Remove from heat and cool.

    Wash all veg. Peel carrots and Chinese radish, cut into thin strips. Cut cucumber lengthwise, remove seeds, cut into strips. Wash and seed peppers, cut into strips. Slice celery diagonally. Peel ginger, slice thinly. Slice shallots diagonally.

    Put a large saucepan of water on to boil, bring to fast boil. Add prepared vegetables, then remove from heat immediately. Leave veg in water for two minutes.

    Strain veg, spread on absorbent paper over wire rack for several hours to dry.

    Pack veg firmly into preserving jars. Pour on cold liquid into jar, making sure vegetables are completely covered. Stand one week before using

    What's the weather like in your area?

    Posted: 28/06/2013 at 12:01

    Its raining !!! lots of lovely rain , my waterbutts are filling up and the allotment is getting watered - I am soooooooooooo happy

    jam maker

    Posted: 28/06/2013 at 11:56

    I make pounds of jam every year with 3 teenagers i need to !!!.  Soften the fruit first ( you may need to add a LITTLE water, then add same weight in sugar on low heat stir until there are no more grains - this is very important or your jam will crystal, add lemon juice ( needed for the pectin - jam sugar has this added ) then bring to a rolling boil, stir to stop catching on the bottom.  Do the finger test - I put the plates in the fridge to get cold drop a tsp of jam on to the saucer if a skin forms on the top its done.  As mention - get people to save jars - plastic top ones are better than metal.

    Its great making jam - so easy yet eaveryone thinks you are so clever , I haven't bought jam or marmalade for years


    pics of my garden at mo

    Posted: 27/06/2013 at 11:03

    There is no way I am posting my photos, not now , that is stunning, so neat and tidy, mine is always, well not tidy , I tell everyone I go for the "unkempt look", or the "wild garden".  I keep trying to get the cottage garden effect but it allways seems to be a work in progress, still I suppose thats gardening ........

    What are you sowing now?

    Posted: 27/06/2013 at 10:47

    I find to start plants in the greenhouse then move them up to the allotment rather than sow seeds direct up there ( other than carrots and parsnips ), anyway in the nursery i have just start some more beetroot, baby leeks, and tenderstem broc.


    Your pets in the garden

    Posted: 27/06/2013 at 10:35

    Khan is lovely, and so good with the chickens


    We have 2 guinee pigs - Timba and Benji ( and yes the poo is great in the compost )

    8 Chickens - Herriet, Poppy, Dorothy, Mabel, all three yrs old and Fudge, skittles, sherbet, and Rolo all new this summer

    One dog - Jilly a golden lab, 5 yrs this summer, we have had her for 3, from WoodGreen, she had been very badly treated and is still very shy and will only eat food I cook for her ( sensative tummy ) we still have to make a show of giving her the food even though its in her own bowl, she wouldn't eat otherwise you can leave anything on the floor even a biscuit and she wouldn't touch it.  Shes a pain with the chickens though we can only let them out if she is in the house .

    We use to have a cat - Boffin, he lived to 22 !!, sadly we lost him 4 yrs ago.


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