Mummy Muddy Paws

Latest posts by Mummy Muddy Paws

It Is Not Spring Yet !!!

Posted: 22/02/2013 at 19:24

Was trying to snow here earlier (just south of Sheffield).  Very cold, I wouldn't be surprised if we have snow tomorrow, the weather forecast on the local news has said that we should get some over the weekend.

Just hope it goes by Monday, still haven't got snowshoes or skis for the pushchair - and biggest little one's school is uphill most of the way (makes for an interesting return journey!!).  Typical, we've not had much weather during the half-term holiday, it's getting ready to return when school re-opens.

Think I must've upset the weather gods somehow!

Help - Total Beginner

Posted: 20/02/2013 at 23:01

A good book to start veg growing is 'Growing veg month-by-month' by John Harrison, it's very reasonably priced.  I'm not related, or on commission, but I found it invaluable when I started out.  Another tip is buy a cheap diary and make a note of things like the weather (late frosts etc), any areas of the allotment that are particularly wet/dry, what varieties of fruit and veg you planted, and how well they did (if they all germinated, if they grew to the size stated on the packet, how much you harvested etc), as it will stop you making the same mistake twice.  And of course, there are folks on here that have YEARS of gardening advice, who'll tell you if they think you've made a mistake, and how to correct it.  We've all made mistakes, and don't mind sharing our mistakes if it stops someone else doing the same thing.  A top tip from me is to wait until march before sowing anything, as seedlings need light as well as warmth, patience is sometimes learnt the hard way, sowing lots now and being devastated when a hard frost undoes all of your hard work in a single night - think that was my biggest mistake.  If you're further south,  then you may be able to start a couple of weeks earlier, further north, it might be a few weeks later, I'm in Sheffield, so pretty much slap bang in the middle of our island.


Posted: 20/02/2013 at 22:41

To swop your points for vouchers, go to the Tesco's website, and log into your clubcard account - if you've not done this before you'll need your clubcard, and the EXACT address that's on your statements (so best to have your latest statement with you when you do it).

After you've logged in, go to 'rewards' and then 'home & garden'.  There are a lot of garden offers from T&M, like summer bulbs, an annuals collection, strawberries etc.  Hiding towards the bottom is a £15 T&M voucher, that costs £5 in clubcard vouchers.  The most you can spend in one order is £45 worth of redeemed vouchers (ie £15 of clubcard points), so you either need to stump up the delivery fee, or fork out another £15 of 'real' money to get the free delivery as your order would be over £60.

I've never tried the £15 voucher before, but I've had the 'buy in full' rewards which are always worth having, like an apple tree and some fragrant climbers.

The rewards seem to change every quarter, around the time the clubcard vouchers come out, so it's worth it to keep checking back & seeing what's on offer.  I sometimes do surveys for clubcard points, and it's a very useful way of racking up points without spending lots in Tesco.  My gardening budget is virtually nil, so I always use things like TopCashBack (gives you a % of whatever you spend on some online sites - T&M being one of them), and I do surveys in return for Amazon vouchers or PayPal, which I then convert into things I want/need, such as some gardening gloves, the next thing on my Amazon list is a compost stirrer.

I remember a time BK (before Kids) when my vouchers went on make-up and handbags!


Posted: 20/02/2013 at 20:35

Just thought I'd let everyone know about some bargains I managed to grab recently.

Two (two for the price of one) easy-fill hanging baskets for just short of £12 (including delivery) from Blooming Direct.  From the interweb so not recieved them yet, but if they are the real thing I will be a happy bunny.  Going to try one planted up with strawberries and one with trailing cherry tomatoes (just got to order the tomato seeds).

10 strawberry runners FREE.  Well, £4 worth of clubcard vouchers.

One rasberry 'tree', from the description it should fruit this year, the canes are about 6ft tall.  One bramley apple tree.  £3.99 each from Aldi.

Seeds, 39p each, couple of packets of stocks, Californian wonder peppers, marketmore cucumbers (REALLY hope that these are true outdoor cukes, as I only have a PVC growhouse).  These were the only veg seeds left that I was after that were left in stock.  Aldi again

Spring onions, 50p, ASDA.

Think I'm also going to go a bit mad and swop £5 worth of clubcard vouchers for a £15 T&M voucher so I can get the seeds I'm short of (peas, red & yellow tumbling toms, beetroot & resistafly/flyaway carrots, pumpkins).

Now I just need to get OH to drill some holes in a couple of old buckets so I can plant up the trees to protect the roots until I get rid of the brambles over the road, then they can go in with the fruit trees I already have (not so much of a bargain, but still not hugely expensive) from ideal world.

Just thought I'd share.  Daren't go near wilkos though, that would properly bankrupt me!

The Potting Shed.

Posted: 19/02/2013 at 15:58

I have a couple of fairies, a gargoyle and a Beckham.  The Beckham is a large metal Cockerel that is highly decorative but of no practical use at all.

I wouldn't be bothered by a couple of gnomes, but some people go WAY over the top, each to their own.  It made for a good plot line on Corrie when one of the characters (I think it was Mavis, we're going back a few years here) had a gnome that went missing and started sending postcards back 'home' from their travels. 

Arm Protectors

Posted: 19/02/2013 at 15:24

I've just ordered some gauntlets from Amazon, I'll let you know how good they are, I'm still waging war on brambles, chopping them down then digging out as I clear the space above. so I don't get ripped to shreds.  I did try wearing a fleece, but got fed up with the thorns getting tangled on it.  When the gauntlets arrive I'll let you know if they are any good (or not, as the case may be).

advice regarding strawberries for newbie

Posted: 19/02/2013 at 13:54

If money is tight, and you have some clubcard points, you can order 10 strawberry runners for £4 worth of clubcard points, I'm thinking of ordering some and then bunging them in hanging baskets so biggest small child does not eat them as soon as they turn red.  He was a right b****r for that last year, if I put them in hanging baskets he won't be able to reach (evil mummy!!).

Blooming direct has got a buy one get one free on their website, if you go through the TopCashBack website you'll get 95p ish back, and they also have a 5% discount code (think it's blooming5), type that in at the checkout, and they work out at £5.50 ish (including delivery) per basket.  Type topcashback into google, and that will take you to the cashback site.  I'm a big fan, I do tend to buy a lot of stuff on the interweb, I've had just short of £100 back in a year, but you have to remember to go through the site.  Lots of gardening sites registered on there, T&M, blooming direct (crocus I think), others too, like debenhams, play, etc etc.  You can choose to have your 'cash' as Amazon vouchers and they give you an extra 5% on top, which is useful (especially when oldest small child has started getting invited to birthday parties and is required to turn up with a small gift).

I tend to spend all my clubcard vouchers on the offers, and never seem to save up enough for the £45 worth of T&M vouchers (so then you'd only need to spend £15 of actual money to get free delivery).  Heigh ho. 

It Is Not Spring Yet !!!

Posted: 18/02/2013 at 11:21

Totally agree.  Having to sit on my hands to stop me opening seed packets, but I'd sooner wait and have everything play catch-up, than to plant out and loose the lot overnight due to a hard frost.  I won't be putting my winter woolies away this year till the end of April, as I think we're still due some snow.  There are still some berries left on the lower branches of the big rowan at the end of the garden, the blackbirds and fieldfares have eaten most of the berries from the top of the tree.

I HATE snow, it's bloody hard work shoving a pushchair through the stuff.  Have asked hubby to work on some snow chains/wheels for the damn thing!

Really need some help, badly!!!!

Posted: 17/02/2013 at 19:22

Please don't be discouraged.  I'm on a very tight budget too, I got an amazing cold frame from Amazon for about £30 last year, and I find Aldi to be fab at gardening things.  They've got PVC 3 and 4 tier greenhouses in at the minute, and they had fruit trees a couple of weeks ago.  I don't know if your local Aldi will have any, but they had raised bed kits for a tenner.  They are very good if you can get there on a Sunday and Thursday when the 'special buys' come in.

Poundstretcher and Wilkos are also very good, but can be hit-and-miss as to what they have in.  I also save my Tesco clubcard points and use these on gardening offers.  They have an offer ATM for strawberry plants, something like £4 worth of points for 10 strawberry runners (delivered).  They also have fruit trees on offer, but they're about £12 worth of points (I never seem to accumulate that many).

I hope it's just a huge misunderstanding, hopefully the chap took all the stuff away thinking it was his Mum's, with any luck it will be sitting in his shed, and the police can get it back.

I keep trying freecycle to see if I can find a shed/greenhouse/chicken coop, no luck as yet!  I get emails every day, but it's mostly folks thinking Freecycle is like their own personal Argos - they even specify the colour of the leather sofas they want!!!

Chin up, hopefullly you'll make lots of friends with other allotment holders when they find out what's happened, and they can help you replace some of what you've lost.

B******* Magpies

Posted: 15/02/2013 at 12:18

Some birds are deterred by shiny things, so I would have thought painting the stainless steel feeder with a matt enamel paint would help.  I don't very often get tits or finches of any variety visiting the garden, but we do have a pair of nesting blackbirds in the rowan at the bottom of the garden (Who frequently tell me off for using my patio area!) and we have LOTS of sparrows nesting in the blackthorn hedge.  I had the luxury of seeing fieldfares in the rowan when we had snow, they really are beautiful birds.  I've had a spotted woodpecker trying to get into the garage(?), and we occasionally see a sparrowhawk, generally it's going too fast to get a good picture.  We had a lot of starlings last week, the male blackbird, bless him, tried to chase them away from HIS bird table, but there were too many of them for him to manage on his own.  I've also seen the after-effects of the sparrowhawk, in the form of the feathers from a collared dove (they really are spectacularly stupid birds, those doves).  I'd love to see some blue tits, coal tits and great tits, chaffinches etc, but I'll have to be satisfied with the sparrows, as apparently they are in decline - they raised at least two broods last year in my garden, and I'm always seeing them on the feeders, so I must be doing something right!

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