The Idiot Gardener

WARNING: This site contains information on gardening, brewing, curing meat,

building shit and hunting, all done in a piss-poor manner. It is not suitable for the

feeble-minded, the weak and lame, those of a nervous disposition, vegans and

vegetarians (and those other ones that only eat fish and the occasional bacon

sandwich - I think they're called 'hypocrites'), those who practice any

manner of folk singing or dancing, people named Colin or fans of Barry Gibb.

In the Gutter

No, the post title is not a reference to where my sense of humour often heads, nor is it alluding towards where I end up after a night out with the lads. It’s not even relating to my aged Mother’s prediction of what would happen to me if I insisted on marrying ‘that cheap whore’. It is actually a reference to guttering, plain and simple. Guttering, I might add, which I am now more in love with than I have ever been! What am I waffling about this time? You’ll have to wait and see (or just figure it out now and read no further).

Now, I appreciate that there’s no such a thing as an original idea. Everything has been done by someone else, even if you think up the idea on the spur of the moment. I had an idea; well , we had an idea, and I think it’s a good one. That said, having read the rest of the post, many of you might shrug your shoulders and mutter: “Tell us something we don’t already know, you Idiot”. In fact, most of you might do that, but for the one person that doesn’t, here goes!

My beans have spent the last few weeks outside during the day and in a cold shed at night. I have delayed planting them out until the weather turns for the better. Sunday was that day. The plants have grown to various heights between 1 and 2 feet (if you prefer metric measures, please feel free to work it out by yourself). They have resided in plastic pots with small sticks to support them.

My problem was how to move them from the pots to the real soil in the Beanage without either snapping the plants or breaking the roots or flinging the things into the air in utter desperation. That’s where the gutter came in. I searched in the undergrowth near Dogleg Junction and discovered a length of guttering, from which I sawed a 3 foot section. I then gently laid each plant sideways, into the gutter, and teased off the pot. If the compost broke up, I gently formed it back into a lump.

Once this was done and the hole was dug, I simply lifted the gutter and let the plant slide into the hole. All were completed in a few minutes with no stem damage at all.

Now, I’ve never read or heard of such an approach, but it is SO obvious I daresay it’s as common as a gypsy girl with a basket of heather was during the great “lucky heather” shortage of 1996. If you, like me, were unaware of this tactic (the gutter, not the lucky heather), then trust me when I say it’s a doddle!

Not only that, it was 100 per cent my idea (once Mrs IG suggested it).


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15 thoughts on “In the Gutter

  1. Kyna

    I’m always one to applaud innovation…so I’m clapping for Mrs IG! 🙂 Finding the easiest and most unconventional way to do things is always the way to go…glad your beans survived the slide!

  2. Curbstone Valley Farm

    So wonderful you listened to Mrs. IG’s suggestion, instead of just doing things your way. She certainly had a most brilliant idea. I’m sure your beans will thrive for the extra care and attention.

  3. Carolyn

    Well done, but make sure you protect against frosts at night – they may still happen even though yesterday was warm. I haven’t even started to sow my beans yet (apart from broad beans).

  4. Meredith

    Fantastic news, IG, that you managed to transplant your well-loved seedlings with no damage done. And bravo to the Missus for her brilliant idea!

    What in the world is a basket of lucky heather good for in 1996? I suppose I should look it up… except I have a sneaking suspicion it’s hogwash. 😉

  5. Jo

    I’ve heard of peas being sown in guttering and then being slid into the ground, but this is a new one on me, and it’s genius.

  6. walk2write

    It sounds like a dandy idea to me. Congratulate Mrs. IG for her creative thinking. Would she stand a chance of climbing up a notch or two in your mother’s estimation now?

  7. roundrockgarden

    good ideas are ones that works, so kudos to you! i really prefer paper pots so that i can just plop the whole thing in without disturbing the roots and avoid the “tilt the plant on its side and struggle to get the roots out of the pot” endeavor.

    your last comment reminded me of a song:

    “such a classic girl, gives her man a great idea. hears you tell your friends, hey man, why don’cha listen to my great idea!” ~ Jane’s Addiction (a great tune!)

  8. Carol

    Very clever Mr. IG! You and the Ms. should get a patent! Create your own spiffy design and give it a good gardening tag… who knows. I always enjoy your writing style! Your beans look happily transplanted. ;>)


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