'A Reluctant Gardener' - a personal project - Part 2

by Iain Philpott

copyright : Iain Philpott

27.04.2020 - Starting to plant out


Petit Pois


Battling the weeds - the hoe becomes my new best friend...

The best gardening tool ever!

17.05.20 - Upcycle an old shower rack

A lack of posts the last few weeks partly due to not such great weather to shoot but also nothing has been growing particularly well aside from the potatoes. My tomato plants seem to have a little bit of disease but can't work out what disease. I have a sneaky feeling it could be over watering. I've also been busy with my day job and the spare time left trying to get all the video I've shot of this project so far into some kind of edit. I'm debating whether to do 'one film so far' or to break it up into mini episodes?

Since lockdown I'm no longer able to collect our dogs food. Paleo Ridge, our raw food supplier, has closed the shop in Waterlooville (while Corona is here) and only deliver. Paleo's food is fantastic and I've been really impressed by their delivery. Another plus is all of their packaging is recyclable. They use a wool barrier to stop the food from defrosting. It's from a company called Woolcool - check them out. They are inviting people to show everyone how they are repurposing the packaging and I had an old galvanised shower rack which I thought would be perfect to plant a couple of tumbler tomato plants in. Works a treat. Top one is 'Tumbling Tom Red (Cherry)' and the bottom one is 'Tumbler F1 (Cherry)'.

25.05.2020 - More best friends

Egg Shells

My post earlier about the hoe being my new best friend got me thinking about my other best friends in the garden. I've thought of another three. My first is crushed egg shells! Slugs, slugs and more slugs. Did I mention slugs? I started patrolling to remove slugs in the evenings but needed to find a better solution. I didn't want to use poison, pellets etc. I wanted to use something much more environmentally friendly. A friend suggested broken egg shells so I investigated further. The result was we now save our egg shells, wait until we are cooking something in the oven and bake them at 180c for about 15-20 mins which apparently makes the edges 'sharper' when you crush them. I have to say so far it seems to be working. It's not 100% slug proof but it has definitely improved the situation. I just keep them in a jar and sprinkle around the plant when needed.

My next best friend is the book by Dr D G Hessayon 'The Vegetable & Herb Expert'. I find it's a really quick reference book, veg and herbs listed alphabetically. Can't recommend it enough. Perfect for me as a total newbie! I believe, due to the upsurge in gardening through Covid19, it's quite hard to get hold of so it might be worth checking out used copies.

Last but by no means least it's Starsky our dog, as in Starsky & Hutch. For those of you who do not know or do not remember the TV show click here to see the shows opening. You will see quite quickly why he's called Starsky - it's all in the hair!  He is a 'double' Doodle. Father is a cross between Standard Poodle and Golden Retriever and his mum Standard Poodle and Labrador. He can be such a pain. He attacks the hosepipe when watering, he has no spatial awareness. He can't comprehend why he can't stand in the veg patch and he permanently drops his ball or 'kong' at your feet to throw for him. But he's gorgeous and we love him. He is the best friend in the world.

26.05.2020 - Fruit


We have an apple tree that partially overhangs the veg patch. The blossom has all gone and the apples are starting to grow. I have no idea what type of apple it is? And our only other fruit is strawberries which were here before we were. I have never tasted them as in the past it has always seemed they are gone before they turn red. Possibly the birds? This year I'm hoping to taste them as I've bought some bamboo hoops and netting. Both bought from our local garden centre Squires.

Strawberry and apple

Netting to protect the strawberries


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email : iainphilpott@mac.com

instagram : @iainphilpott

tel : +44 (0)7836 578254

I've never tasted a spring onion so fresh!

Mr Fothergillis, Spring Onion, White Lisbon, Winter hardy
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