Digging of Weeds ~Grow Your Own~

Strawberry Bed full of weeds

Strawberries have always been my favourite fruit. there is nothing nicer than a bowl of fresh strawberries and some ice-cream, or fresh cream.

We didn’t get all that many Strawberries off our plants last year, I think we’ve neglected the strawberry beds for the last couple of years letting them spill over and get clogged up with weeds..

So my task this weekend when I went to see what needed doing in the allotment was to set too anStrawberry Bed half weededd start to weed them ..

I guess I didn’t realise what a task I had set myself, these beds run nearly the length of the width of the allotment which is 45 ft. And because the grass was so well rooted it was impossible not to disturb the plants,, So I decided to try and dig up and get as much twitch roots of grass out as I could, and then replant the new fresh shoots of plants back in..  I only managed about Half of the first square before my muscles protested. So Hubby took over,

I then replanted the strawberry runners which should produce, even though maybe not as many Strawberries for this first year. The other strawberry bed above it will get the same treatment later in the week… .

Shallots and Onions

In the mean time while Hubby took over the heavy weeding I planted 3 rows of Onions and 2 rows of Shallots..

We often bottle the shallots in vinegar which is boiled and spiced as pickled onions. Which make a nice little gift to add to our bottled beetroot in any Christmas Hamper. And they are lovely used as roasted vegetables or in Hotpots or stews.

For anyone wanting a recipe of how to bottle Picked Onions .. here’s the recipe I use..

Pickled Onion Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb (1.4 kg) pickling onions or shallots
  • 1 lb (450 g) salt
  • 2½ pints (1.4 litres) water
  • Approx 1 pint (570 ml) Spiced Vinegar (See recipe for Quick Spiced Vinegar)

Method:

  1. Make a brine by boiling the water and salt together in a pan until all the salt has dissolved. Leave until quite cold before using.
  2. Peel the onions and soak in the brine for 24 hours, using a plate or something similar to keep the onions below the surface of the brine.
  3. Rinse well.
  4. Pack into clean, sterilized jars and cover with cold spiced vinegar.
  5. Cover and label with contents and date.

Note: Leave for a couple of months before using.  If you want a sweeter pickled onion, add a teaspoon of sugar to each jar of onions.

Quick Spiced Vinegar Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 in (50mm) stick of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2 pints (1.1 litres) vinegar

Method:

  1. Place the vinegar and the spices (tied in a muslin bag) in a heatproof basin and stand the basin over a saucepan of water.
  2. Cover the basin with a plate or the flavour will be lost.
  3. Bring the water in the pan to the boil and then remove it from the heat.
  4. Set aside for 2 – 3 hours to allow the spices to steep in the warm vinegar.
  5. Strain the vinegar and cool.

I hope you enjoyed the day with me in the Allotment?~ Sunday I think is a day of REST Smile .. ~Sue Dreamwalker

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51 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Visionkeeper
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 10:26:37

    Wow DW….You had your work cut out for you huh…..Weeding out grass takes some elbow grease. It looks like good rich soil…It is always so much fun to plant then watch it grow not to mention reaping the rewards….Enjoy! Thanks for the recipes…I’ll give it a go….VK 🙂

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Apr 15, 2012 @ 20:18:06

      Hi VK, Yes it was tougher than it looked and my Muscles did protest, and a little sore today, But well worth it when Im tucking into my Strawberries 🙂 in the Summer. Hope you do give the Pickled Onions a go… really ver good.. 🙂 DW

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  2. giselzitrone
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 10:30:52

    Wünsche dir einen schönen Sonntag Erdbeeren esse ich auch sehr gerne bald ist ja auch wieder die Zeit Mm lecker.Hab noch einen schönen Tag und guten Wochenstart Grüsse dich Herzlich Gislinde.

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  3. davidtenn
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 11:00:58

    Hi Sue, Great post. I’d like to think Sunday a day of rest too, but as we are expecting prospective buyers this afternoon I’ve just mowed all the green bits that took 2 hours on a tractor mower, while Eugene cleaned the house. Thanks for the recipes. Love David.

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  4. Tom (Aquatom1968)
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 11:06:49

    Enjoy your day of rest, Sue! And I like the sound of those spiced pickled onions… I may just have to give that a go sometime! 😀

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  5. aussieian2011
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 12:31:16

    Sounds like you have it all under control Sue
    You must have some great offshoots from the strawberries
    Leaving the soil idle for a while maybe was a good idea apart from the weeds
    Happy strawberry picking season Sue
    Ian

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Apr 15, 2012 @ 20:29:45

      Yes we have some good off shoots which I planted on, I went to a local Garden Centre this afternoon on my way home from my travels, and they were selling similar sized plants for -95p each,, So just shows you, I didnt count how many I planted, but the other bed will roughly have the same in when finished.. My relatives love coming as they usually go away with a load of Summer fruits … as there are far too many for two,, The Neighbours too dont miss out.. 🙂 Pity you didnt live a bit nearer Ian,, LOL… 😉

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  6. Raymond Alexander Kukkee
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 13:26:01

    Sue, it sounds to me like you enjoy the finer arts of gardening. Nothing is better for the soul, being one with Mother Nature. We shall enjoy your recipes too! “:)

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Apr 15, 2012 @ 20:59:44

      Thanks Raymond, yes once upon a time I used to get stuck in with the digging, but I keep to lighter duties wherever possible, LOL.. 😉 mainly because I suffered from Fibromyalgia around 10 yrs ago with an almighty flare up which at that time left me with Chronic Pain in my muscles and fatigue.. Which led to me changing my career paths.. I then set about self healing and alternative holistic healing etc.. And found having Acupuncture every 2 to 3 weeks helped along with Qigong exercises.. this took me from hardly being able to walk to walking far – now my best is an 8 mile round trip… ( Mind over Matter ) can achieve anything… But I do get still sore when I overdo muscles that havent been used in a while.. I also discovered too why my body decided to bring its lessons as my own thought process had contributed to it in the past.. Once we learn to let go of that which we no serves us, we find many healings of many levels in both Body and Mind… Painting and Gardening are very therapeutic and being out in Nature adds her own Healing energies every time my friend..:-).. Thank you again for adding your thoughts here… ~Sue

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  7. prenin
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 13:59:30

    My grandmother had quarter of an acre of kitchen garden which was well manured (she lived on a farm) and just about anything grew!!! 🙂

    We used to say she could grow a stick of wood she was so good!!! 🙂

    I was banned from gardening after I nailed my foot to the floor with a gardening fork! LoL!!! 🙂

    Hope you get to enjoy your strawberries! 😛

    Love and hugs!

    Prenin.

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Apr 15, 2012 @ 21:03:04

      You CAN grow a stick of Wood too Prenin.. :-)… so long as its a live one.. 🙂
      Your Gran sounded to have been one of those ladies who knew how to grow her own and Make the best out of the land and what she had around her..
      That sounded a painful experience Prenin.. Ouch!..
      And thank you, I will enjoy the strawberries, always one of my favourite parts of gardening ~Picking the Produce
      ~Sue 🙂

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  8. Cat Forsley
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 19:38:54

    JUST HAPPY TO KNOW YOU ARE DOING ALL THIS .
    YOU ARE INCREDIBLE …..
    I SAW SOME SEEDS WHISLT SHOPPING YESTERDAY – YOU KNOW HOW THEY SELL THEM IN LITTLE PACKETS ? 🙂
    WELL – IMMEDIATELY THOUGHT –
    WHERE COULD I PLANT !!!!!!!! LOL
    IN THE SUMMER – I AM GOINNA TRY AND DO SOMETHING ON MY BALCONY –
    TRY !!! OPERATIVE WORD 🙂
    I LIVE IN A HIGH RISE FACING NORTH ,,, SO WILL HAVE TO RESEARCH WHAT TO PLANT – I HAVE NOOOOO GREEN THUMB ….LOL
    U R SO AWESOME …
    MAKES ME WISH I COULD BE THERE TO HELP OUT …..:)
    LOVE ALWAYS XO
    C

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Apr 15, 2012 @ 21:23:01

      Hi Cat.. I have two lovely Friends called CAT! ..:-) Yes to grow on balconies thats fine, big pots full of good compost.. either flowers, or you too could grow Strawberries, Tomatoes, Green beans, or peppers.. just remember to keep well watered every other day especially if south facing with lots of sun.. As Im sure the breeze would soon dry them out.. But give them a go.. Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained.. 🙂

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      • Cat Forsley
        Apr 15, 2012 @ 21:25:02

        YOU ARE SO RIGHT 🙂
        I AM NORTH FACING BUT I WILL DEFINITELY GET SOME STRAWBERRY ONES THIS WEEK AND GET A NEW PROJECT ON THE BALCONY GOING 🙂 THANKS FOR INSPIRING ME – TO ENJOY/ LIVE MY LIFE ………. QUOTING YOU FOREVER – BECAUSE THOSE WORDS HAVE TOUCHED MORE THAN YOU KNOW XO

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        • Sue Dreamwalker
          Apr 15, 2012 @ 21:30:29

          Bless you Cat… But remember my dear friend.. YOU are the one Living it.. 🙂 and YOU are the One who is making your Life the Joy it is.. Because you are LIVING!~ Like ALL of us should.
          In the NOW… Keep living in the NOW Cat and All any of us can be is the BEST we can be Right NOW. xox 🙂

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  9. cat.
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 20:27:17

    Will try your recipes for sure, my friend … it’s not quite growing season for anything here in Alberta … in fact we had some new snow … I’m looking at the seed catalogues that came in the mail … dreaming of green and colours of every kind … but especially of green … (uhm, what does green look like … I don’t remember 🙂

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Apr 15, 2012 @ 21:27:17

      Green Runner Beans give off great green leaves and red floweres .. Yes I bet you are waiting for the Spring to burst forth… Won’t be long now Cat. Winter months that drag on can seem to take an age when we want to see that greenery back on our trees etc and in our gardens… But it always comes… and when it does, im always amazed at the wonder it still brings with it.. 🙂
      Hope you find something Good in that Catalogue.. 🙂 Hugs.. Sue

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  10. CMSmith
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 00:56:04

    This looks like hard work. Hopefully your results will be great.

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Apr 16, 2012 @ 21:36:44

      Its the only part which really needs a good weed Christine, so not that bad.. You should have seen the whole plot when we took it over in the begining it was just like a field.. 🙂 Now that was Hard Work..

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  11. becca givens
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 04:33:16

    Fresh grown strawberries — YUM YUM … I have never tried to grow them before. Now weeds — I have a bumper crop … I am still pulling and digging in my yard. 9 trash cans and still more to go!! That’s what I get for neglecting the yard for a few years. 😀 Have a blessed week ~~

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  12. dogkisses
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 15:38:59

    Awesome Strawberry Beds!!! Wow! I must say I am wishing I had a strawberry bed too. I love them and have heard that eating non-organic ones have so many bad pesticides, so theyre expensive, but what a treat. Since I started eating organic ones, I can remember what they tasted like when we had them as kids, which wasn’t very often. They’re full of robust flavor.

    You have a nice long bed too. I hope the plants are able to make many many berries for you and your family, and I imagine, friends too 🙂

    My doggie is asking to go out, but I will come back to visit your garden again soon. Big hugs and Love,
    Your friend, Michelle xoxoxo

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Apr 16, 2012 @ 21:45:22

      Lots of vegatables etc have many things I think which must be within them, they have to with all the Pesticides used.. I avoid also radiated foods.. which they do alot to strawberries to stop them from going mouldy.. You can tell them apart as they last for ages without getting any mould upon them..
      Yes we give loads away as they come all at once and dont last.. .. I may have a go at making some Jam this year if we get enough.. Hugs to you Back my friend… Love ~Sue..

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  13. europasicewolf
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 00:01:40

    Grow my own weeds? lol!! Ohhh! Grow my own strawberries! Silly Wolfie 😉 I do love strawberries and homegrown anything tastes awesome. Much hard work has clearly been going on in Dreamwalker world and I do hope you get fantastic results 🙂

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Apr 17, 2012 @ 19:47:34

      🙂 Smiles Here WOlfie.. Yes good job I didnt put Grow your Own ~ Weeds.. Now isnt it 😀 .. Otherwise I may Have been well into Dream~Land! 🙂 Thank you for adding your Hoooowwwls… and happy a Wolfie enjoys her treats…. And Strawberries.. 🙂 xxxx

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  14. zendictive
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 00:05:00

    wow, your gardens a lot bigger than mine
    looks like my moms / step dads
    I love fresh / home grown veggies (~_~)

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Apr 17, 2012 @ 19:53:09

      Hi Art.. this allotment is rented within a Plot of other Gardens especially for the purpose of Growing your Own Veggies.. and is around 5 mins from where I live..I would say there is at least 200 Allotment holders upon the site.. and each allotment is approximately the size of ours.. so that gives you and Idea of how Large this Plot of land is which was donated especially for those who wish to grow their own vebetable.. You cannot beat eating Fresh Veggies 🙂 ..

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  15. Sabina Brave
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 09:51:08

    Thank you for the recipe 🙂 Home made things are the best. And own strawberries taste the best 🙂
    I don’t have my own vegetables… only flowers: roses, lilies of the valey, peonies, floxes, rhododendron and jasmine bushes and some other.
    Have a great day 🙂
    Hugs,
    xx

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Apr 17, 2012 @ 19:57:19

      Hi Sabina, Yes love home baking and home-made.. You sound to have some lovely flowers and shrubs in your garden.. Thank you for adding your thoughts here my friend…. hope you have a good evening.. Love and Hugs back.. ~Sue x

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  16. eddietwohawks
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 14:02:32

    Love stawberries; ours come in baskets from the store.
    You know the way; cool nights, deep rich soil, and hard work!
    seasonal fruit in Florida and not available all year…
    peace in our time, Eddie

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Apr 17, 2012 @ 20:01:24

      Yes Strawberries unfortunately dont last long .. I am very luck I know to be able to pick my own strawberries, Raspberries, and Goosberries.. Wishing you a Great Day.. Blessings Dreamwalker x

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  17. granbee
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 22:29:22

    Fabulous sharing here of your gardening work and your wonderful recipes. Allottments and community gardens (even in Manhattan, where my daughter lives) are just so very much needed. We MUST grow a LOT of our own and stop all this fuel-intensive transportation nonsense.

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Apr 17, 2012 @ 22:50:51

      Lovely to hear that you have similar sorts of Community gardening where your daughter lives.. excellent.. We will all I think have to touch base with Nature and Growing some of our own again very soon.. Granbee they have alternatives out there, and many have been shelved by those powers that be. Because of the Monopoly games being played .. Thank you my dear Granbee for dropping in this evening.. Late here.. but just wanted to finish a post before I call it a night.. 🙂

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  18. Jo Bryant
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 11:13:40

    that is one long strawberry bed…no wonder you’re body protested

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  19. Deb
    Apr 21, 2012 @ 16:26:09

    Wow! You had been doing some hard work! I’m glad hubby took over to give you a helping hand. The garden looks great, Sue!
    I’ve never had pickled onions before and will try a jar soon. If I like them, I will be back here to try your recipe.
    Keep up the good work, Sue!
    Love and Hugs, xx

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  20. Oceanwaves
    Apr 21, 2012 @ 21:10:19

    Woooow gorgeous pictures Sue. You both did an amazing job. It looks amazing.
    Pretty neat to plant and watch it grow then eat it, always tastes so much nicer than
    buying it in a shop.
    I use to have a neighbour who would grow onions..these were like massive things.
    Never seen the likes. They were the nicest onions I have ever tasted actually.
    Here in Holland you have many farm houses along the roads that sell fruit and veg
    in the summer time, I always drop by there.
    One address the strawberries look like grapes, so small, at first I was dissappointed
    but bought them anyway…until I got home and tasted them.. they were the sweetess
    strawberries I have ever tasted.. devine!

    Great recipes, I will take note of Sue
    Happy weekend to you hun
    Hugs Txx

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Apr 21, 2012 @ 22:06:52

      Yes the EEC rules that a banana should not be so bent, and a carrot straight, a tomato a certain size.. And there are that many pesticides upon the ground not a grub in site.. But when you buy the veggies from a supermarket, they have been in cold storage that long they don’t last five minutes and there is no taste what so ever.. Those small strawberries may only have been small, but they packed a punch of flavour.. This is what Growing you Own is all about.. and you can grow strawberries very easily on a patio in some pots.. or hanging basket.. give then a go.. just go and buy a few plants now… as they are in the garden centres right now.. Thank you for adding great comments.. 🙂 Sue xx

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  21. Unsungpoet
    Apr 21, 2012 @ 21:27:15

    Love it! Your hard work has inspired me…

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Apr 21, 2012 @ 22:14:28

      Well most of the Hard work was Hubbies lol.. but I was pleased with what I did manage.. Unfortunately the rain has been none stop so its been Green house work planting up the hanging baskets with Begonias … RAIN is what is needed though don’t get me wrong.. and we need more of it.. And look like we shall get some too 🙂 we have had thunder and hail.. a real mixture.. 🙂

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