Six on Saturday: 23.01.21 Cats, Compost, Garlic, Tumeric, Projects etc.

The temperatures this week are back to ‘winter’ normal so I can pack away my thermal underwear and stand down from fire duty. Remembering to feed the fire with logs all day to keep us warm, is a time-consuming and a labour of love.

1. Cats %&G&$$, CATS! – How Do You Deter Them?

This week we spent hours preparing the raised vegetable area by digging in last year’s home-produced compost, organic processed horse manure and blood, fish and bonemeal. Today we noticed some of the earth had been scratched up into a neat pile to cover a poop dump. Apart from covering the complete area with plastic crates, or getting a dog, what else can we do to deter cats from using the area as a toilet?

2. Strawberry Bed Revamp – Complete!

A few months ago we removed all the strawberry plants, cleaned the roots, removed dead leaves and stalks and repotted in individual pots while we revamped the strawberry bed. Normally I would go to the market and buy new plants, but this year, thanks to COVID restrictions, it was not an option.

We removed lots of roots (no idea where they came from), turned over the soil and fertilized with processed horse manure and blood fish and bonemeal. The area was then covered with a membrane before replanting the strawberries and installing an independent drip irrigation system. (apparently, you should not use spray irrigation on strawberries as it encourages strawberry blight) Let’s hope we are rewarded with lots of strawberries this year.

The rocks hold the pipe down until we can get to the shop to buy some more pegs.

3. Growing Garlic in Containers

Sprouting Garlic Cloves

Once again I had to be creative and use normal garlic instead of seed garlic. Fortunately, this garlic is organic and grown locally so they should be fine.

As an experiment, I planted garlic on the 5th January, in a large pot between the leeks. Both take about six months before ready for harvesting so they should make good bed companions. We will see.

I also planted these this week in a platic crate.

4. Compost?

When I looked at The Propagators blog and Twitter feed, I noticed he also utilizes packing boxes as a ‘brown layer’. I had considered this but I am concerned the ‘glue’ holding the corrugated layer is not bio-friendly. Am I being over-cautious?

Compoating green waste.

My Gnome made me this three bin composter from old pallets. It even has removable sections at the front for ease of access.

Compost bin made from pallets

5. Carrots

Carrot seelings in January

I planted these Zanahoria carrot seeds on the Jan 5th. It said on the packet sow from February but to be honest, our January temperatures probably equals March/April in the UK, so I took the view one size, in this case: one does not fit all.

I did cover with a plastic cloche.

6. Growing Tumeric – Advice Please

A friend bought me a piece of fresh turmeric root back in April and I completely forgot about it until I discovered it lurking in an old shopping bag. It was sprouting, I planted it a pot on 25th July.

Tumeric roots

By October 23rd

tumeric leaves

Jan 23rd. I think it fell victim to the frost …

I dug down into the pot and found these?

I’ve never grown Tumeric before so I am not sure if I should let them dry out and they are now edible, or dry out and replant as they are not fully developed? Any advice, appreciated, thanks.

Fellow Blogger FrogendDweller gave me the heads-up re a Good Housekeeping article: How to Grow Tumeric

I now know the tumeric rhizomes takes ten months to grow so I should be replanting in February, in small pots in a warm position. Don’t repot in veg area until the spring.

That’s my Six on Saturday for this week. Now I am off to Mr P’s blog to check out other Six on Saturday bloggers.

27 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 23.01.21 Cats, Compost, Garlic, Tumeric, Projects etc.

Add yours

  1. That looks like a great haul of turmeric. I grew sprouting shop-bought turmeric a couple of years ago. I harvested the crop after the leaves went brown and discovered nothing much had happened below ground in spite of the vigorous leaves all summer/autumn. So I put them back in the pot and enjoyed a second summer of architectural leaves last year. Funnily enough I haven’t bother to check for a crop yet, but I would have been overjoyed to see your results. You can use them immediately and they keep for ~6 months. Here is a good article on growing and cropping turmeric from Good Housekeeping: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/a20706465/how-to-grow-turmeric/ .
    I have enjoyed reading the responses to your cat problem and plan to use a few of these ideas myself. Many thanks!

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    1. that’s a great article, thanks. I had no idea the rhizomes took tne months to develop, that explains why I failed. They were also in the shade for at least half the day as the sun was burning the leaves.
      Yes, there were some great tips to overcome the cat problem. I think I will be ordering the sonic cat deterrant. Hopefully, it will also deter the resident mongoose.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi There.
    I had the same problem with cats.
    Tried everything.
    Moth balls,strong oils etc.
    Nothing worked.
    Then i stuck a lot of plastic forks in the beds.
    It worked.
    Also, if you spray the cats with water they learn pretty quickly!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We have a cat problem too. I laid some wire netting over the favourite spot, but if I plant seeds or seedlings I usually lay down some old branches until things grow enough for the cats to not be able to find a clear spot to dig. I was interested to read Fred’s idea about peel. I think I’ll try that too. A nice organic solution!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. For the cats, scatter orange or lemon peels: it’s ugly but they hate the smell
    I think you will succeed with your compost bin.
    I had planned to start my carrot and parsnip seedlings from tomorrow Sunday and of course under cover, indoors… The weather is capricious and they announce -3° and snow .So I will wait the weekend after because the mild weather is forecasted.
    Last thing, the tumeric, I have some also but inside the house in a pot and since December the leaves were withering. I stopped watering it completely and put it at 15°C. It recovers slowly. We will see in the spring to put it back in the sun and the light that may be what it lacks.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great idea re orange peel. We like to juice oranges and only put a limited amount of peel on the compost heap as it is too acidic.

      I can’t move the main pot (it’s way too big) but I could replant the ‘tubers’? I’ve lifted and put undercover on the terrace. Maybe the frost and wet killed off the leaves. We will see,

      Good luck with the carrot planting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. To keep cats off my veg patch I use part chicken wire (made into tunnels which can be covered with fleece to make mini poly tunnels), part prunings from large woody shrubs like forsythia, just chuck them in them remove as plants get out in. The cats move on to more accessible veg patches nearby!

    Liked by 2 people

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