366 Days of Gardening! [E2 – W4]

A Guy Called Bloke Feature 366 Days of Gardening JPEG

366 Days of Gardening!

366 Days of Gardening Directory

Episode 2 – Week 4

Flower Pot Men

As a toddler of around the 3 – 4 year old mark and living in Australia, l used to love watching this television show with Bill and Ben and good ol’ Weeed!’

This has been one of the wettest winters l have known for a good many years not just here in Kent where l live now, but also the year in the Isle of Wight where l was in 2015 and even in the fens of Lincolnshire where l lived from 1994 – 2015 – it is an unavoidable fact that our British winters are indeed getting wetter!

I had plans of getting out into the garden this morning and start to tackle some of the pre-season tasks that need doing – here l sit typing now, togged up to the nines for gardening. Just as l was about to go outside to start the shift, the heavens opened up. So from 8.45am to now it’s still hammering it down. The weather centre tells me l have a window of opportunity between 1pm – 2pm.

So, l hope that is true as there are things l need to be doing….

Ideally for me, January and February are the months when l can get the quirksome irksome as l call them,  jobs started – the tasks that set you up ready for the year ahead. It is to be a busier rota this year for starters. I will be planting my first waves of seeds into modules in about two weeks from today and will continue to plant seedling waves for a good month.

All going well and to plan l should therefore be transplanting first wave seedlings some where towards mid to end March if not into the beds then most assuredly they will be in the new upright coldframes aclimatising to the weather. “Should be….”

So by April, ‘all going well’, l should be at the start of a good vegetable, herb and fruit growing period. However between then and now, l have a lot of jobs that need doing .. prepatory jobs to make the season flow smoothly…

I started cleaning the outside of greenhouse last week – l still have the inside algae to take care of. I can’t get it spotless, it’s an extremely old glasshouse that is held together by rain and spit and dare l say it, but probably algae! I want to get a new one, but we rent here, and it would mean leaving it – l could get a polytunnel and site it on the same location … but it would still mean putting the old greenhouse back in situ and l don’t think it has the ability to be deconstructed and reconstructed in one piece so to speak – it would probably die!

This was how it looked last episode: 366 Days of Gardening! [E1-W3]

This is how it looked after the first phase of cleaning last week – slowly getting there!

But l did manage to clean the back of the garden behind the sheds pretty well, so l am pleased at that! This now makes it easier to break these pallets down and take them to the tip and really reclaim this space.

I have found over the years to break all the main jobs into bite size pieces and that way, they get done quicker which results in way less procrastination.


Of the jobs l have planned in for this week including this weekend, providing it stops raining long enough  are all fairly sizable – the weed mat needs to be sited for the ornamental garden beds. You will recall perhaps, l wrote about buying in a ton of organic wood chips – l have opted against that and instead am trialing out a new product by the name of Strulch – which is a mineralised straw mulch. That is being delivered tomorrow. 

It has a lot going for it, a bit more expensive that the wood chips, but way less than a ton. But this should do the job marvelously and leave enough to be able to use some on the containers. But to have a firmer grip on the weeds this year would be a blessing.

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I have to clean out the old shredder and make it ready for sale, so that l use the big one l have bought as replacement for tougher work as l really need to tackle this lot…ready for garden use. The old shredder just wasn’t able to cope with branches above 25mm in diametre so a bigger model had to be purchased.

The shed, loft and greenhouse not in that order all need sorting out.  Rubbish or recycle identified and dealt with accordingly. But l have ordered 24 recycled plastic storage boxes so that we can pack items especially in places that are subjected to the elements into safer locations. These three jobs need to be done. I would love for the greenhouse to be done this weekend, as l need to empty the contents out in order to get clear access to the glass panels. We already have a dozen or so of these boxes, just knew we needed more. It also makes it much easier to move house if needs be over cardboard boxes which can break easily and rot away.

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I have to sort out the water butt situation – all this rain does now is remind me how very little water we are capturing for later use. I have three in the garden already and l need to increase it to six. But trying to find a suitable set up is proving very difficult, typically!

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Who knows when l am ever likely to get the horseradish done? Certainly not this fella!

I need to get Turn 7 carried out of the compost, but that’s only an hours worth of work, so that is easy to complete. But more importantly, l must try and get ‘Raised Beds 3 and 4’ emptied out and made into Bed 3 only and then resited to the season’s position for ideal sunlight.

Where the two beds are currently is not a great area for beds of this nature due to the neighbour’s tree blocking out most of our afternoon sun. We are a south facing garden and should enjoy maximum sun each day during summer – but the 60 foot brute next door, takes away around six hours of afternoon sun from us! I think l am going to have to speak to them this year.

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The ideal location for them this year is to the left of the tree in this image.

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But l do need the rains to stop! It’s now 1.15pm, and the so called window of opportunity has not presented itself. Bugger! How about you, how are your preparations for the gardening season coming along? What jobs do you have to start and finish before you commence seed sowing? Let me know below, and if l don’t hear from you l’ll catch you next episode.

A Guy Called Bloke Feature 366 Days of Gardening JPEG

20 thoughts on “366 Days of Gardening! [E2 – W4]

  1. I’d gladly send you some of our annual “Primavera Falsa” weather. The week or so of sunny, mid-high 70s before the rains & chill of February set in.

    My Ben isn’t a flowerpot man. He’s more like Godzilla 😱

  2. I don’t garden anymore, but I do so enjoy hearing of your progress as you move along, Rory! And the information you share is quite interesting, too.
    Thanks for sharing the little video today. Brought back memories. We got our first TV in ’53 and also my baby brother was born – on my birthday! Best present I ever got – the brother, that is. 😊
    We didn’t get “The Flower Pot Men” here in the states, but did get a lot of the old black and white cartoons from the ’30’s on our local TV station – Felix the Cat, Betty Boop, PopEye, Mickey Mouse (who looked like a rat in those early days!), to name a few.

    1. Hey Betty, oh my l know and knew them all. In Australia in the 60’s we caught all the reruns!

      I was discussing with Suze only this afternoon, that l am going to run a series starting this weekend called ‘Classic Children’s TV Shows of the 5060’s!!’ It will bring into play all of our favourites – as they say ‘ you need to tune into that 🙂

  3. Been drowning like rats over here on the west US also. The greenhouse looks good!
    Last time I was gardening for myself, I was getting into aquaponics. I’m hoping I get to deploy my kit again this year. Just can’t decide what to grow. Strawberries? Not too exciting. Maybe some annual herbs? We go through seasonings like crazy. Shallots and bunching onions would love such a setup.
    Oh, the thumbs are itchy though!

      1. Well, probably the best way to start is with a beta fish. I’ve seen beta gardens before, done up all crafty with fancy rocks and what not. So, my taking clones and having a beta sitting on the table was just asking for it. I was blown away at how fast and successful it was. Then, I went for a windowsill setup, and had herbs covering the whole window fed by minnows.
        I started a project to make a proper cabinet, but it fell off the priority list. Someone not far from me has a 20′ greenhouse powered by coy, and I’m maybe just a little envious!

  4. Hi Rory. What is the issue you are having with the water barrels? When we use to use similar barrels we put a spigot near the bottom. it was threaded so we could attach a garden hose to it. The barrels were placed up on cement blocks and we had gravity fed running water. We still use a similar system -our holding tanks are larger now.

    1. Hey Ruth, same here, same system. The problem is just getting hold of water butts, most of them over here are now tied into much larger systems. It’s been a bind literally finding single water butts, but today not long after writing this post earlier, l finally found someone looking to sell single water butts 🙂

  5. Oh my Bill and Ben Bill and Ben BillandBen BillandBenflower pot men, littleweee,,ed. Oh my your photograph took me back and the black and white era…two channels only and they did not start until school came out for many years..lol

    I would love to send you the 40dC day we just had here in the Huon Valley Rory, my poor dogs are wanting to go out side but it is so hot out side they come right back in..warm enough without a fur coat.

    My garden survived the heat and wind today, I fed pots yesterday and watered all well and then watered again this morning as it was windy over night and mild. So far everything is looking happy still. Warm 22dC here tonight but only going to 25dC tomorrow supposedly.

    My tomatoes are finally beginning to ripen, and I am doubtful I will get any pumpkins as they are only flowering now! sigh. I did not think I had planted late but I must have. Oh well.

    I always love it when you feel the sap rising…you just want to get plantingplanting…

    Babap Ickle Weed.

    1. Hey Tazzie, yes Bill and Ben and ickle weed were part of my staple television in Australia for a good many years. I still remember Humphrey Bear too on Channel 9, and Get Smart and Thunderbirds on Channel 7 🙂

      1. Humphrey Bear was not on in my rural area, we only had two channels. I did watch Get Smart and my brother loved Thunderbirds. They scared me.

        1. Hey Tazzie, good morning to your evening 🙂

          I think later 60’s /very early 70’s when l was around 6-7 yo, we had three working channels that l can remember clearly, although l am sure there was a fourth … but l remember Channel 0, 7 and 9 when l was living in Springvale South, Vic.

          In the mid 60’s living in the likes of Boronia, Melb Vic we only had Bill and Ben l can’t remember what channel that was on.

          Strange, l used to watch Thunderbirds when l was 10, [1973] and my sister was 5 and she was terrified of Thunderbirds as well 🙂

          1. I can not imagine teenagers today coping with just two TV stations and nothing else! LOL I actually I am really happy to have lived with so little so that I can entertain myself.

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