Gardening column

Silas Silage
A large green lizard comes in and sits beside me.

Our resident gardening expert SILAS SILAGE writes on the importance of weed control as spring gets underway.
Spring is roaring ahead, with nature’s vandals trying to get a foothold in your garden before the lawn and the flowers awake from their winter slumbers to delight us with their colours and gentle scents.

The rapacious fallopia convolvulus, the wily  cardamine corymbosa, the menacing  Nostoc commune, the invasive ranucnculus ficara, the lawn-scarring taraacum officinale, agropyrum repens and anthriscus sylvestris,  not to forget the insidious myosotis scorpiodes and its flighty cousin myosotis arvensis are just some of the invaders who can shatter the rural idyll with their choking tentacles of doom. (Oh, for God’s sake –Ed)

I firmly believe that total war is the only solution, and that means strong chemicals. None of that over-priced diluted rubbish from the supermarket for me. Thanks to trusted friends and colleagues at Porton Down, Hinkley Point and Aldermaston, I can normally obtain “The right stuff” in sufficient quantities to make up a killer dose which will see off any unwelcome botanic guests, and animal ones too, for good measure.

In my shed I have a large array of my home made” brews”, as I call them. It is very important to label them carefully and rack them in order of firepower, so you have everything ready and at your fingertips when the battle starts.

But what’s this? An old bottle, labelled ‘Home Made Damson Vodka 2009’. And there’s still some in there! A quick nip, and then to work.

I sit in the old armchair after a couple of swigs. A large green Lizard comes in and sits beside me. And I mean large! It fills the whole shed. It’s menacing red eyes are hypnotizing me. Oh dear, I’m not feeling too good. Oh dear me. The room starts twirling and I think I’m going to …
(To be continued –Ed)

“Three Peas” are the key to perfect vegetables

 Our resident garden guru Silas Silage advises on how to achieve vegetable heaven
Silas Silage - Horsington Blog
"There's performance for you -straight through the hedge"

There’s nothing more delightful than picking your own fruit and veg on a summers evening and sitting down to a healthy meal twaddling with vitamins and goodness, straight from Mother Earth, with a little help from the April showers, May’s dazzling sunlight, high summer’s heat -plus careful weeding and hoeing by yours truly. Savoy cabbage, Cos lettuce, King Edward potatoes, cauliflower, beetroot, carrots, peas, parsnips, turnips, broccoli -the list is endless (You bet it is –Ed)

When it comes to growing vegetables successfully, it’s all down to what I call my “three peas” – Preparation, Preparation and Preparation.

These frosty days in early March are ideal for preparing your vegetable patch and getting it into prime condition to receive bounteous  nature’s fertile seeds (I’ve warned you- Ed)

 This week I’m trying out my new TinyTurbo  Bonka Stompa® rotavational tool which I got on e-Bay for only £39.00 +p+p. This little miracle of Asian (N Korea, I think) engineering has all the bells and whistles you’ expect, and I’ve made few modifications to improve its performance way into the next price bracket and beyond.

 I’ve bolted on the twin turbo booster thrusters from my old Trubshawe Troubabour Groundmaster®, and retro-fitted a carburetor pre-warmer and supercharger which I adapted from an old Primus stove.

Just top up the pre-warmer with meths, adjust the choke, light it, wait five, pull the handle and…the beast roars into life. My, it’s quite a noise.

Slip the clutch, and we’re off. The triple action “Bonkas” are whirling around, and getting down to really rip the ground apart, scattering stones and debris, and cutting a satisfying trench.

I must say it’s a bit fast, and I’m having to walk very quickly to keep up with it. May have overdone the twin turbos a bit. The revs are still building and it’s going even  faster, with the” Bonkas” going berserk, and it’s going to be quite tricky to turn it round at the end of the garden.

Well there’s performance for you! Straight through the back hedge and onto my neighbour’s lawn. He’ll get a free makeover and no mistake.  I’m now having to run quite hard, and we’re out of my neighbour’s front gate and into the lane, with the tarmacadam flying off in all directions.

The trees are whizzing past and I’m not sure if I can….. (To be continued –Ed)

Our new gardening column – introducing Silas Silage

Horsington Blog - Silas Silage
Silas Silage

 Spring is a-comin’ in, writes Silas Silage, our very own gardening expert, who believes planning is the key to gardening success.

With the evenings lengthening and old cock robin a’ busy in the hedgerows while Mr Worm starts his perennial task of digging out from his hibernation hideaway, spring is in the air and  it’s time to think about the garden. The edge of the lawn is a carpet of snowdrops and bluebells, and the crocuses and daffodils delight the eye, waving in the gentle spring breeze while aloft, tits, pigeons and song thrushes start their mating rituals. (Get on with it –Ed)

There are so many things to do in the garden at this time of year, so I always starts with a list.

I go down to the shed and unlock it after the long winter, teasing the hinges with a drop of 3 in-one.

Then I sits down in the old armchair, roll a cigarette of Old Shagger’s Knotweed Vanilla Gold, pour a measure of sloe gin and gets out me notepad.

First on the list is a pencil sharpener, and a new pencil too for good measure. This one is down to the last……..
(To be continued – Ed)