Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Filling the Beds

The onions were moved out to a bed and were covered with plastic for a night or two but are now facing the elements but its not too bad as the weather has really  improved . We don't have a lot of onions this year as they were planted in modules awaiting a plot!I left a bed of autumn sown onions on the old allotment, I am sure the new owner will appreciate them.
Another bed up and running!The onions went into what was going to be the courgette bed but at Billy's suggestion we made yet another bed and popped in the courgettes, sugar snap peas and random lettuces as they were all in pots in the polytunnel and needed their own space.They are draped with fleece overnight and left to enjoy the sun for a few hours during the day.
They were planted out yesterday morning and this morning one of the peas was nibbled down despite the fleece and netting around the back of the bed, definitely rabbit damage!
There are 6 courgette plants, 3 green and 3 yellow. We did not have any luck with the yellow ones last year they just died off after producing a few  tiny fruits.
The base for another bed dug out, this one is for the sweetcorn as they are overdue to go out. Skutch grass is a nightmare and stones and more stones!This will be raised bed number 4 and that will  take the pressure off the polytunnel
We planted 24 Sweetcorn seeds of which only 17 have germinated, they were planted into seed trays and then into 3" pots and then into these larger pots. The remaining plants are strong and ready to be planted out. I put them out in the sunshine today measuring them up in their  bed. The seeds could have been planted directly into the 3" pots and saved on some of the work but at that stage the bedroom windowsill couldn't cope with any more pots!
The victim of all that skutch grass and stones! This is a very cheap fork bought for €5.99 in Woodies DIY, it has done trojan work, bending but not breaking, Billy can straighten it out again and it will live to dig another day.
 We are heading off on our annual visit to Bloom in Phoenix Park in Dublin, it begins tomorrow and runs until Monday.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Things are looking up!

A couple of hours spent on the plot today, yielded an onion bed or almost an onion bed.Digging out skutch grass is back breaking and time consuming, not to mention the stones! We have a lot of plants in pots waiting their turn to get a home but with our time constraints its slow going and time is running out for the plants.
 All of the potatoes are up and have now been earthed up twice, they may have been late going in but the recent combination of heat and rain has driven everything up.

The onions loved the polytunnel but today they have been put outside to harden off. They are in the shelter of the polytunnel as this new plot is a very windy spot.The modules have worked well and the onions will planted out with very little if any root disturbance.

This pic was taken last week when they were inside with the tomato plants and sweetcorn which by today had really put on a growth spurt.

 Lettuce was transplanted into the border and a row of Spinach was sown on the inside, I am actually enjoying the polytunnel and looking forward to seeing what we can grow in there.
The weather has reverted to cold and windy after the recent Thunder storms, we have not had very much rain here in the south but other parts of the country had.
Dublin and the east are on an orange weather alert for tomorrow when there will be hundreds of  kids heading up for the One Direction concerts!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Getting There

The allotment is beginning to take shape albeit very slowly, due to time constraints and the weather, but today the sun shone and I had time to spend there even though it was a bit wild and windy.The top third of the plot is now productive!

The carrot bed in the centre was remade as the boards of the previous one was nearly rotten so leaving the bed more or less intact, new boards were put in place around the sides.There seemed to be an awful lot of earth so most of that was shovelled over on top of the potato drills this morning.
I got 2 bags of sharp sand and a bag of compost from the home compost bin and dug it into the bed and removed what seemed like hundreds of stones from the bed.Carrots like light sandy soil which is loose and as stone free as possible, they are the divas of the vegetable world!
I planted 2 rows of 'Carrot Purple Haze' which has a purple hue to the skin, and 2 rows of Early Nantes from Quickcrop. I had space to plant 1 row of beetroot Pablo, the seeds are a bright green colour! they are  so easy to sow and space and any that are dropped are easily seen.The whole bed is covered with Enviromesh as I found both carrots and beetroot grown under it last year grew better.
All of the potatoes are up, some more than others. There are 5 different varieties in total.I used the excess soil from the carrot bed to cover them up as frost could still be a problem if we get high pressures. Raise the soil covering the potatoes, flatten the top of the drill or even make a slight depression in it so any rain soaks down to the potatoes not running off the drill.
In the polytunnel are, sweetcorn, tomatoes, courgettes, pumpkins and I started the onions in modules until their bed is ready.
On the bedroom window at home are Sugarsnap peas and lettuce so things are moving along nicely!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Getting Started

I took the weekend off so decided this evening once the rain had dried off to get some onions started. I know they should be in by now but the area earmarked for them is under a sheet of plastic until we get time to clear and dig it out for them!
I planted them into compost in module trays so they will not have their roots disturbed when planting out. The modules are in the empty tunnel for the moment, it may as well start earning its keep. The heat may bring them on as they are behind other onions I have seen planted already.
There is condensation in the tunnel each time we open it up which will create humidity which may or may not be a good thing?! Its our first time using a tunnel so this season is going to be a learning curve.
All of the seedlings on the windowsill are well up and will need repotting into separate pots now from the seed trays, more about that soon.