Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Optimistic Seed Sowing

Cauliflower & cabbage plants, these were bought and potted on into larger pots and will be repotted probably twice more before going out into their permanent plot.They have been netted against the birds which would love a taste of some nice green veg to vary their winter diet.
Our seed potatoes chitting in the shed, not a huge amount but space will be tight and it will be late by the time we get them in
 Our seed potatoes chitting in the shed, not a whole lot but we don't have a lot of space and it will be late by the time we get them in
 The rhubarb which I broke off  the big plants we had on the Hydro, I have one in the garden here which is growing fine these got 'a touch of frost' the other night and are looking a bit sorry for themselves
I set to on the seed box last night and discarded out of date seeds and opened packets.I had been tidying out one of the spare rooms and came across a gardening journal which I had started last year. I start one every year but then forget about it! I was amazed at the amount of seeds I had already sowed by this time of the year so we will have to get ourselves in gear pretty quickly!

I finished up with this nice tidy box! I sowed lettuce, crimson & white flowered broad beans, purple podded peas and blue sweet peas.They are all reposing on the 2 spare bedroom windowsills.
Today I sowed purple & white lisbon spring onions.I sowed them about 6 to a module and will pot them on  and plant them out like that. The idea being they grow in a bunch and you can pull a bunch at a time! We planted them like this for the past couple of years.
I also sowed 24 peat pots of Sweet Corn,I bought fresh seed which I do every year for sweetcorn. I should have taken pics of all of the above but have rather gotten out of the habit of whipping out the camera!

A makeshift greenhouse, someone gave me lots of plastic some time ago and I put it down in  the shed thinking it might come in handy some day.The hen house has been covered with it to keep some heat in for the 3 ladies these cold nights.I draped the rest over the onion seeds and the cabbage & cauliflower plants. Today was a lovely mild Spring day but they are forecasting more frost for tonight so better safe than sorry I just hope it s enough to protect them
My potter was brought in from the plot and is waiting poised for his new home to be ready on the new plot!

Monday, March 11, 2013

All Change!

I have been absent from the blog forever! I had a lot to weigh up before deciding which way to go .
We had been nearly 6 years on our plot in the Hydro Farm Allotments, 3 with one plot and then we even took on a second one, but things change and sometimes we have to change with them.
The recession means my trusty Grandson Stephen who has been with me since day one has had to emigrate,Grand daughter Gemma is now studying at Drama College and D. Kathryn and the 2 girls Sinead & Aoife are moving to the other side of the county and so are unable to continue on the allotment and therefore after much mind acrobatics and heart searching I  decided finally that neither could  I.
The kids grew up on the Hydro farm, Zwena always encouraged them.They learned about growing their own, they got to  know about hens etc, they grew pumpkins and giant sunflowers had BBQs and generally had fun. We got to know some fantastic people, grew and ate veg we had never considered before, had open days, celebrities & TV crews visiting, became  subjects for a book chapter, took part in Garden festivals and I won the RDS award for allotment gardening again encouraged by Zwena.
I considered just taking on one plot but I finally decided that a clean break was the hardest but the only option in the long run.
Pic of our first open day when we were still reclaiming over grown beds!
Kevin that first year!

I mentioned to one of my sons, Billy about giving up the plot and he said he would love to do it but Tower is too far away for him also and found there were allotments available much nearer to both of us.We met with the owner and made the decision to take on a plot at Rathcooney Fruit Farm about 5 minutes away from us. It is a bare site so I am taking my shed which regular readers might remember was a 60th birthday present to me from my family.Billy came out and we stripped it down and transported it to our new plot where it will be erected in due course (hopefully soon)!

The beginning of the end, the shed being stripped and dismantled.

 Our last view of our plots, even the scarecrow looks a little forlorn at being deserted. We had already said our goodbyes to our neighbouring plotters and Zwena will keep me on the newsletter email list and hopefully we will keep in contact and meet up again.
I also slipped some of our rhubarb into large pots, raspberry slips and strawberry runners so some of our Hydro plants will make the transition with us.
I have seed potatoes chitting and cabbage and cauliflower plants waiting........

 The dark patch in the foreground is our new plot, 'nuff said for the moment!