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Mummy Muddy Paws

Latest posts by Mummy Muddy Paws

Golden courgette

Posted: 01/05/2013 at 19:21

Coir pellets are dead easy.  Put some in the bottom of your windowsill propogator, dimple side up, add some tepid water, they swell to 3-4 times their size, then shove the seeds in and off you go.  The pumpkin and courgette seeds I sowed last weekend are already up and have a great root system, the tomatoes I started in ordinary seed compost are only just showing through.  Not sure if tomatoes are slower to germinate than courgettes and pumpkin, but I'm really impressed with the pellets, and won't bother buying seed compost again.  I originally bought the windowsill propogator with 18 pellets in from Amazon, but the postage is as much as the item, so if you can find them in your local GC, that might be cheaper, they are also on ebay, and the postage isn't quite as much (and only another 50p if you want more than one of them).  Green Gardener sell replacement pellets, apparently they're just right for germinating seeds as the air/water balance is right, and as the structure is so open they stay quite warm (if in a warm room).  Don't know how they'll get on when the roots hanging out of the bottom get plonked in some chilly compost, I will let you know if they have a hissy fit.

Much less mess than compost and vermiculite, important if you're nesh like me and do a lot of sowing in the kitchen.  Keep hoping for a small lotto win so I can buy a shed and go and hide in there!

Getting into horticulture professionally

Posted: 01/05/2013 at 18:56

Try the Grow website.  There is a list of horticultural professions, what they do, qualifications required, and where to go for more information.  There is everything under the sun there relating to Horticulture, from things as simple as under-gardener to research scientist for seed companies or even the Government!

If you are still at school or college, is there any chance you could get a saturday or part-time job at a Garden Centre?  Colleges and Universities will look for things like this when deciding who to offer a place to, sometimes what you do outside of school is just as important as the grades you achieve in exams.

MOB rants

Posted: 01/05/2013 at 18:35

Thanks chaps.  Mega stressed, just had a job interview, not a particularly edifying job, but one I can do from home, only trouble is it's shifts, and at least one will be 2 am till 8am, so not sure I will be gutted if I don't get it, but we're skint and we need the money!  Will be writing to the school for bad boys & girls to see if I can get a job in the garden there.  Was talking to my sister in law, we've worked out that I was getting the same money for 3 days work in London as I will get for a whole month (18 hours a week) in Rotherham.  I don't want to leave my little ones and go away to work, but might have to soon, it's getting to the stage where we're having to decide to pay the mortgage or eat!!

Anyone want an Oracle/SQL/Business Objects programmer part-time?  Services offered very cheap if I can work from home!!



Posted: 30/04/2013 at 16:07

It's good as a green manure, too.  When it's finished flowering, dig it in and it will help to improve your soil.

MOB rants

Posted: 30/04/2013 at 16:02

My fuel costs 15p a litre, OH makes it from waste veg oil from a school that would otherwise go to landfill.  Otherwise I couldn't afford to run a land rover!  He's also an engineer, so if anything goes wrong, he gets to fix it.  He loves it when the sun's shining, but when it gets temperamental during winter, there's a lot of swearing.  First lot is from me when I've told him X times something's wrong, the rest of it from him as he fixes it.  I did, however, rebuild the axle on the off-roader when we needed it, under his direction - before we had children, and before I had ME.  I used to be able to swap all 4 wheels on it in 20 minutes, road-biased tyres to get where we were going, and knobbly bobbly tyres for playing in the mud.

My ME is playing up the past couple of weeks, thought I was getting better (I am MUCH better than I was), trouble is, you do too much and it comes back and bites you in the bum.  I guess I'm just feeling a bit sorry for myself, I will feel better when I can get out and potter around on my own, instead of having a grumpy 2 year old and off-colour 4 year old fighting with each other and screeching like banshees.

MOB rants

Posted: 30/04/2013 at 14:15

I was salivating over a red cedar victorian style greenhouse in a GC, the price tag was over £7000.  I didn't pay that for my land rover!!  One of my problems is isolation, I live in a small village and everyone knows everyone else (apart from me and one or two new comers), I hate taking my son to school and picking him up, as all the other Mums have formed cliques (just think Stepford wives and you'll be halfway there!).  Only the Dads will talk to me (wonder if thats why the Mums won't?), and they don't know a lot of the stuff that I've picked up garden-wise over the years from my Mum, like putting plants for bees near his plum tree, and using grease bands so he doesn't have to spray against codling moth.  I think, from some of the cars I see, that a lot of folk have more money than they know what to do with, and are bored, and turn to bitching instead of doing something worthwhile (One of them has a crush on the guy that comes in to do her gardening for heavens' sake).

My garden is slowly taking shape, but I'm the sort of person who likes to do it myself to make sure it's done right, then it won't have to be done twice.  I really need a shed (rotovator I saved up for is in the garage next to OH's pride & joy, so won't go in there by myself in case I scratch the blinking thing getting rotovator out.  Mind you, I've a lot of manual digging to get rid of brambles before I think about touching that.

The voucher hasn't actually been posted yet (how daft do I look?), so have that to look forward to, plus I've checked one of the survey sites I'm registered with, and have just made the £50 mark you need to get a cheque (although that will go towards paying the dentist!).  Should get another £5 Amazon voucher from the other survey site soon, so I will be able to get one or two things on my wish list.  I'm not greedy, but a small lottery win would come in very handy.    I get very wound up at times, as I didn't always have ME/CFS, and have had some very good jobs programming, which I could quite easily do from home, as I couldn't cope with the commute any more.  Trouble is, lots of companies want your bum on a seat where they can see you, it doesn't matter that you could work better from home.  Some of my best work-arounds have come when I was asleep or swimming!  I used to be very active, I was learning to ride, I used to swim a mile twice a week, and the other weekday I had spare I went to aerobics.  At the weekend I used to go mountain biking with my Husband and a group of his friends.

Just having a hissy fit at the life I used to lead, and didn't appreicate at the time.  I would happily lose an arm/leg/kidney if I could be well again.

KBO, eh?

Golden courgette

Posted: 30/04/2013 at 13:48

It better not be too late, as I've just recieved some seeds in another magazine I subscribe to!!

I planted some ordinary courgette seeds last weekend, in a windowsill propogator using jiffy 7 pellets.  They're already pushing the top off the propogator.  I put the top back on at night to keep them a bit warmer, as they're in the sunniest bedroom (my son's), so there are thermal blackout curtains up in there (otherwise he'd be up with the sun in the summer), so it can get cold at night on the windowsill.

I really need to pot them on very soon, the roots have raced through the nets, and are starting to look for more compost.  I'm gettiing very good results using the coir pellets, I don't think I will be going back to ordinary seed compost any time soon.  They don't take up loads of space, either, so will be buying these again.


Posted: 29/04/2013 at 23:07

I was just about to say there's an animal that says woof, likes to pee up lamp-posts and runs on bonios, long walks and love.  Depending on type, may do more damage than good.  Rescue greyhounds good, they'll chase the damn things away, and don't need much exercise (they're very lazy dogs, really), and never met a nasty greyhound yet.  And you don't trip over them like small yappy-type dogs.

My preference is a GSD.  Would love a newfoundland, but husband says NO because of the slobber, and I don't really have time to groom one.  Need to win the lotto so I can move husband out and a couple of hoofing great newfies in.

MOB rants

Posted: 29/04/2013 at 22:49

I think it was a tip about ordering items with friends & family, as sometimes you can buy x amount of plug plants for £10, but for an extra £2, you can have twice the amount - so instead of costing you £10, if you share with a gardening friend, you can both get the same amount for £6 each.  Plus you share the postage costs, so that makes it even better.  I've seen lots of catalogues and online offers recently where you can double up for only £xx amount, so if you have gardening friends nearby, you can save a small fortune.  This of course, all depends on you having gardening friends who live near enough to pop over with the plants, and have the same tastes as you - I love sweet william flowers, but someone posted recently that they weren't their cup of tea at all.

I have loads of money saving ideas, mainly because I hardly have any money to garden with, so lots of things are very much make do and mend!  Like saving packaging, some of it makes excellent seed trays, and the clear packing that things like strawberries come in can be used as a top, so basically you have a home-made propagator for free.  Most folks know about cutting squash bottles in half to make mini bell cloches.  The plastic trays that prawn toasts are packed in make excellent trays that will hold 6 square pots, ideal if you're using your windowsill to germinate plants, it protects your window ledge , and you can carry 6 at a time, plus you can water from the bottom to prevent damping off.  Buy some decent strawberry crowns and they will send out runners, so you can get a constant supply of new plants every year, so all you need to do is weed out those crowns that aren't producing as well.  Use old PC backup CD's as bird scarers (they don't like shiny things unless they're a member of the crow family!)  Cut up old milk cartons as plant markers.  Invest in some shuttle trays, they're great for carrying 20 plants at once (not really money saving but time and labour saving, which I have to watch as I have ME/CFS).  Use an old bottle brush for cleaning up plant pots when you've done with them and store out of sunlight (it deteriorates plastic and makes it brittle).  Use your clubcard tokens to buy plants or T&M vouchers, and keep checking every few months (whenever your statement comes out), as they change every so often (free toscana strawberries recently).

Not really garden related, but if you buy ANYTHING online, always go through topcashback (quidco may have a better % return, but they get to keep the first £5 every year), you can get a 5% top-up if you get your 'cash' as Amazon vouchers, Love to shop vouchers (minimum £10), or, interestingly, Tesco Clubcard points (bearing in mind you get an extra 5%, and some 'deals' are worth 4X the clubcard voucher value).

This will be the third voucher I've had for thrifty tips (if I ever get it!), I'm full of 'em!

MOB rants

Posted: 29/04/2013 at 18:47

My rant today is the thieving little Basket that stole my NGC voucher.  Another one of my thrifty tips was published in this month's magazine (it's one of the first things I read, as I'm gardening on next door to nothing), it's gone missing in the post (they normally post them in advance of the magazine going out), so there's a theiving little git somewhere in the post office, that's stealing MY vouchers.  I know a tenner's not very much to most people, but for me at the moment, that's a real windfall!  One of the reasons I enter so many competitions is so I can sell stuff (or give it away as birthday and Christmas presents and save money that way), as my budget really isn't very big.  All my seeds this year have either come from magazines, Aldi, or were bought with clubcard vouchers.

So I'm fuming that some light-fingered, green-fingered thieving post person has had it away on their toes with MY voucher.

There'll be an Ouch rather than voucher if I find it's one of my regular postmen that's pinched it!

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