Any gardeners? Allotment owners?

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Any gardeners? Allotment owners?

Post by redrach on Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:02 am

We've taken on an allotment.
The rats are happy at the thought of all the tasty food awaiting them Wink
Apart from Rhubarb (poisonous leaves) is there any leaves they can't have?
I.e. we're going to be growing root vegetables, fruits and herbs. I'm assuming the leaves of such plants are okay for them to eat too?
There's also dandelions and nettles which I know are okay, though I always blanche the nettles (is this actually necessary?).
Are docking leaves okay? What about grass? etc etc?
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Re: Any gardeners? Allotment owners?

Post by Zoundz on Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:27 pm

Something I know very little about! Katherine knows her nutrition stuff, so hopefully she'll reply to this one! But well done you - we do a very small bit of growing, but we are hopeless!

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Re: Any gardeners? Allotment owners?

Post by katherine on Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:27 pm

Ooh I dunno Tongue The blanching thing I hadn't thought of, I don't know if they would sting through their fur or not - they might well sting their little hands though. Grasses I should imagine are fine as long as they're not sprayed with anything, they'll either eat them or they wont - putting grass in the cage in a tub, soil and all I imagine will go down a treat. Herbs they can eat the leaves of no problem, will be very good for them. I may be imagining it but I think potato leaves should be avoided.

Sounds really cool anyway Smile

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Re: Any gardeners? Allotment owners?

Post by redrach on Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:26 am

Thanks Katherine.
Yeah, I'm fairly sure I read somewhere you should blanche nettles. I've given them a few times and they loved them but I'd worry they' get stung otherwise. I'll avoid potato leaves.
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Re: Any gardeners? Allotment owners?

Post by ashlingm on Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:47 am

I read somewhere of people just going to the pound shop picking up a few trays and buying a big bag of birdseed (in ours a BIG bag is 3 euro!) and just throwing it in with a bit of damp compost. The bird seed will grow different types of grasses so when you go to feed it to them they have a bit of choice and variety. And at that price its a bargain! And you could have a few growing at a time so they can have a new one each week (while the old one is recovering and regrowing). I plan on giving this a go and seeing how I get on Smile

I got a "grow your own" mint set in the pound shop the other day and thats currently on the windowsill growing ... I'm all for feeding herbs and homegrown things so hopefully they'll appreciate it! Smile They had other "grow your own" kits with chives, basil etc so I might get a few more of them ... sure if they're a bargain I may aswell! And I can always use them for myself if they do turn their noses up at it Tongue

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Re: Any gardeners? Allotment owners?

Post by Datoria on Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:59 pm

Ooh, I only grow my own herbs and I always give the rats some when I'm pinching them back, or stopping them from flowering. They loved basil flowers last I checked :}

I looked this up years ago because I had house plants where my rats could get to them and ready everywhere that people try using mint to keep rats away from compost heaps and bins. Rubbish advice though, my girls devoured my mint plant O_O
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Re: Any gardeners? Allotment owners?

Post by redrach on Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:05 am

Our lot normally get a lot of herbs and veg anyway, I tend to go to tesco in the evenings when everything's reduced and get bags of fresh herbs and veg for 10p each. I really don't know why they reduce some of the things, I've had some herbs sitting in the fridge a week now and they look and taste the exact same! Anyway, it suits me getting the stuff cheap and the rats love the variety. I tend to buy soup mixes and stir fry mixes reduce too which is awesome.

They haven't tried much from the allotment yet since nothings really growing yet. They have had celeriac and beetroot which was grown last year and left behind. And they've had chives, but that's all so far.
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Re: Any gardeners? Allotment owners?

Post by Dangerousbeans on Mon May 14, 2012 2:16 am

You can plant spinach for baby leaves up until mid June or July, I have some growing and the rats love it, pack of seed was €1.29 (we love it too so hope it grows fast Wink )
Also trying some baby leaf salad mix, carrots, and peas (which I hope the dogs won't steal this year, bloody veggie mad hounds Roll Eyes )
Just wondered about flowers, I know some are ok for people to eat, but what about rats?

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Re: Any gardeners? Allotment owners?

Post by redrach on Tue May 22, 2012 8:21 am

I'd guess if they're okay for humans they're usually okay for rats.
We have spinach and all sorts of other lettuce-type things growing (:
This week was our first mini-harvest so they had pak choi and beetroot. They LOVED the pak choi.
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Re: Any gardeners? Allotment owners?

Post by Dangerousbeans on Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:18 am

Just setting up cold frame and planning what to grow.
Anyone else try veggie greens?
What with building work and stuff going on, we didn't have much success last year, broccoli was a disaster but rats ate it, peas were devoured and it was funny when they first opened the pods and found the peas!
Spinach is always a hit, as are dandelions, must try the trays of grass. Carrot tops were ignored mostly, blackberries from ditch were a hit but worried about giving too much fruit what with the apples, odd strawberry and damsons.
So any advice welcome, looking at squashes, not sure if greens are safe, but they love a bit of squash.

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Re: Any gardeners? Allotment owners?

Post by Diggerdawg on Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:02 am

My boys love sweetcorn, peas, broad beans, pak choi, gem lettuce, herbs, cooked carrot, beans/pulses eg kidney, butter bean etc. unfortunately I don't grow my own but might give you some ideas.

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Re: Any gardeners? Allotment owners?

Post by Dangerousbeans on Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:18 am

Thanks, I was thinking of trying some butter beans, and may try the pak choi. Will see how I get on, still lots to do, cleared a ditch of briars yesterday and I am very sore, may not be doing any more for couple of days!
Starting it all from scratch as last year used pots because of building work, garden needs a lot of work.

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