Showing posts from May, 2009

Nearly There

This will be a short(ish)post as I have lots to do but if I don't post tonight it will be Tuesday before I am back on the computer.I went out to the plot twice today so Kathryn is on watering duties for the weekend as the weather is supposed to pick up and I am off to Robert's Cove for a break.The new plot is nearly in shape, only 2 beds to plant up and they are earmarked for leeks and calabrese and maybe a few winter cabbages.I collected 2 bags of compost from our municipal composter which I only found out about recently even though it is very near me!All green waste can be taken there and the finished compost is free to take away. it is fairly strong stuff and they recommend it to be dug into the soil rather than used for mulch. I dug it onto the celery bed and planted the self blanching celery into it.
The herb bed has been finished for a few days but owing to the camera problems I have not posted it before.
To the right is the new rhubarb bed, lots of horse manure and I took…

Slug pubs in place

The Runner beans which I replaced this morning,well most of them. The first lot fell to a late frost,the slugs and snails got most of the second lot and this is the most recent( I won't say last) sowing.They are the small greener ones,they have been well hardened off outside for the last few days and do look tougher than any of the others that went out.I bought really cheap beer in cans (paintstripper) and filled about 6 empty yogurt cartons and sunk them into the ground, they can hardly be seen in the photo. I have about 3 spare plants in case of any further disasters.There are lettuce and Calendula interplanted on the bed also.
A close up of the Spinach and the Beetroot and of course the weeds! The dwarf beans can just be seen at the top of the photo.The parsnips and carrots are very slow to come on, it must be the weather as it is still getting very cold at night, some nights it has been back down to 5 or 6 degrees.I am going to replant some more of these seeds to fill any gaps …

Pumpkin Trilogy

Kevin came out to the allotment today with the girls after school.They showed him where the pumpkins were planted and he put his one in near theirs,they also took him up to see the hens.They spent some time practising their hen calls as the hens did not take too much notice of them!
I only took one photo! The second plot is now dug over completely and set into beds ready for planting out.I put in 2 courgette plants and one outdoor cucumber into the old cold frame which had been filled with horse manure a few weeks ago. I watered the corn some of which is still a bit sorry looking.I also put out 4 squash plants which were in the greenhouse as some of the ones already out had died off in the cold of the past few weeks.
I bought 2 cans of cheap beer in one of the discount retailers for the slug pubs but forgot to take out the containers, the slugs are very much in evidence for the last few days so they have free rein until tomorrow.

Pumpkin Planting

Saturday dawned wet so we did not know if the planned pumpkin planting could go ahead but by 2 pm it was dry and sunny so off we went.Kevin had a busy social weekend with parties so his one will have to go in during the week.I took lots of photos so this is actually 2 posts ,one for the pumpkins and one for the hens.Zwena digging out the first hole on the muck ( dung) heap.
Sinead's pumpkin is safely in.
Dad was roped in to dig the second hole for Aoife but obviously did not know he was going to be standing on a dung heap!
The two pumpkins with name tags settled in, we also planted out some nasturtiums to provide some colour while the pumpkins are growing . More families arrived later so there were more plants and seeds put in.Zwena intends to have a pumpkin competition again this year. The adults planted theirs on the big muck heap but as this would be too dangerous for the children she got the ever obliging Scotty to construct a much smaller one for the kiddies pumpkins and has als…

Hens are in !

The hens have arrived in the allotment!The girls were taken down to visit after planting their pumpkins.They have settled into their new home and Zwena says they will start laying in about 2 weeks.
Aoife filling the food hopper, Zwena fixed up water and food hoppers to feed the hens automatically.
Some of the baby chicks in their enclosure, they were in a cage but Zwena thought they were not happy and set up this long area which is wired off and they have lots of freedom but seem to like huddling together.
Julie, one of our new plotters has done trojan work in a very short time but is waging war on rabbits and slugs!

Waitng in Line

Its a waiting game now with stuff to go out to the plot.We have had so much rain and more forecast for today and tomorrow that the ground is sodden and it is impossible to even put a spade into it, its just muck.The courgettes and Marketmore outdoor cucumbers are in the tomato house with the pumpkins in there also.The tomato house is getting crowded so I will have to do some serious culling and donating of plants. I will probably have enough room for two of each variety when they are repotted into the next size pot
Blossom on the Tigerella tomatoes, I will pinch out the tops of all of them at 4 trusses to help growth and not to have them growing up too high .
Mini greenhouse, most of this stuff should be in the ground by now but is still sitting here. I open up the fronts of them every day as none of these actually need the heat inside, they would just grow long and spindly.
The second mini greenhouse more of the same just waiting. Between the two of them are,basil and sage,parsley,dill,…


We had another day of wind and rain, we are probably having the wettest May in living memory!I took some photos of the flowers coming into bloom in the back garden last week and as it was too wet to do anything else I am posting these.The red flower is Granny's Bonnet it has a latin name but I never remember these, behind is a Hosta which the slugs never seem to take much notice of and behind that is an old fashioned Peony Rose just coming into bud now.
The planter filling out a little, the sweet peas are slow growing probably from the effects of the cold weather, night time temps are back down to 6 or 7 degrees Fahrenheit. There are also lettuce and spring onions in here.
Blues in the raised stone bed.The one behind is a low growing shrub again I have forgotten the name. The one in the foreground is a descendant of a packet of seeds I bought about 5 or 6 years ago, all I remember is Peruvian was in the name.They grew huge and dwarfed everything else in the flower bed and the only o…

Television on the allotment

Some of the flower plants hardening off on the patio table this morning. They are nasturtiums and anthirrinum (snapdragons). The morning was warm and sunny if a little windy so I put them out for some fresh air. I decided to go out to the allotment as the weather held and was out there for around 11.00am.I straightened the potato drills of the main crop, British Queens and Golden Wonders, as some of them are pushing through now.I had a bag of hedge clippings which I put down between the drills and a bag of grass cuttings which I put on the drills which will hopefully cut down on some of the weeds.I put hay under the strawberry plants some of which have good size strawberries already and did a lot of just general tidying up and weeding. The rain arrived about 1.30 pm heavy and persistent so I did not hang around to take anymore photos!
One I had taken earlier, before the rain and weeding the fruit bed. This is the blackcurrant bush which has a fine crop of fruit in evidence.The raspberr…

Garlic Rust, update

The garlic problem hopefully addressed, it will be a trial anyway to see if the rust can be contained or cured. It was reading Cazaux's blog that I found out there even was such a thing as garlic rust. I visited Stewart in my veggie garden down under as he has been doing garlic trials and told him of the problem and asked for advice which he duly delivered in the comments of the post which I have copied and posted here in case anyone else should need it.
there is several things you can do.
First is remove the infected leaves.
Second is apply sulphate of potash at a rate of 20/25g per sq/mtr, this helps harden tissues and improves resistance.
I can't tell how close your plants are from your photos, but they need to be at least 20cm apart so you may need to thin them out a bit.
next you can spray your plants and the surrounding soil with a sulphur based fungicide or zineb every two weeks or after rain.
Last, spread a fine dryish mulch over your soil to help stop any rust spores reinfe…

Bird Scarers

A view inside the Tomato Condo as Keewee called it.Most of them have been repotted apart from the Golden Sunrise which were re planted into trays a few weeks ago after getting spindly left as seedlings too long. They will now have to be repotted during the week as they are nearly catching up on the others!When they get bigger there wont be room to move in there!
Have you ever wondered what to do with all those free Cds that come in the Sunday papers? I decided to make them into bird scarers ( read about it somewhere). The first day I only put one hole in each Cd which did not allow them to 'spin'.I found by putting in two holes and tying in very thin wire, I am sure string would do as well, they spin around furiously especially in the wind we have been having. I think the bird scaring idea is that they reflect flashes of sunlight(?)as they spin.
I heated a bradawl on the ring of the gas cooker...
With a chopping board underneath it punched holes through very easily...
The scarecr…

Garlic Rust?

The garlic bed has worried us now for a few weeks.I thought it was due to the wet weather and it would perk up once early summer weather arrived.The outer leaves are yellow for the past few weeks I thought they were dying off prematurely but on closer inspection and after reading Cazaux Food farm blog I think there are what looks like rust spots on the leaves they are not just uniformly yellow.Cazaux has researched the causes and cures?!
I pulled one of the plants today to check what was underneath, they look like large spring onions that smell of garlic, the bulb has no sign of producing a clump of bulbs and is quite soft.
A close up of one of the leaves with the rust spots on it.Has anyone any ideas if it is garlic rust?The outer leaves on each plant is like this and the other leaves are not the healthy green of some of the garlic growing on other plots.We planted garlic last year and put it in in April which was way too late and it died off before developing into bulbs.We had white t…


There were gale force winds forecast for today in the south so I went out to the allotment for a quick look to make sure everything was secured as were others who braved the elements to go out. I returned home and went out the back to make sure everything was OK and found one of my mini greenhouses had blown over!I had removed the bag of compost from the bottom one day when I needed to use it and as it looked like summer was here I did not think of replacing it and paid the price today.It had not completely blown down as it fell against the patio table which kept it at almost a 45% angle I had not opened the front which I normally do in the morning to let some air in and stop too much heat building up.When I righted it, it did not look too bad,some things were still in pots and trays and the ones that had keeled over had not suffered any damage so I repotted them.The pumpkins were on the bottom shelf so had remained potted even if at an angle.
Upright and repotted,the marjoram herbs on…

Surprise Post!

I am just in from town (Cork City)where I only go when I have to as I am allergic to shopping! I could see the two very interesting and lumpy parcels before I opened the door when I returned. I knew immediately who they were from as both very good blog friends had told me they were on the way but for both to arrive together made for double the surprise and excitement when opening.
Ann who writes Calico and Cards blog had kindly sent me one of her beautiful handmade tote bags.I love the loop fastening Ann, and as I am starting a little sewing item for my swap in Anna of Flowergardengirl garden letters, my embroidery items (all of 2 at the moment!)which I am going to begin after many years lapse will have a very suitable home.
Lynda of Foodfunfarm blog in Tanzania in East Africa sent me a length of typical Kitenge cloth with a beautiful handpainted card. I have just the item begging for a makeover for quite some time and both of these items will be used for it. Thank you so much Lynda.If …

Weeding and Sowing

Even though today is part of the bank Holiday weekend, Kathryn myself and helpers spent most of the day on the allotments in the sunshine.Sinead,Aiofe and Kevin tended to their plots ,weeding and sowing spring onion plants. They have strawberries, onions,lettuce and the spring onions growing. They also have a gladioli and their Sunflowers are hardening off before planting out.Kathryn bought them 3 colourfull windmills to scare off the birds, fixing them took up a good part of their time.
The picnic is a most important part of the day. They look as if they are discussing something very serious! Maybe the price of veg?
Stephen doing his usual back breaking with the pick axe.This is the last of the new plot to be done so he can relax from his arduous duties.The sod has been broken now on all of the new plot so we can dig it over the next couple of weeks. It looks so much cleaner and orderly, the carpet we have been using to cover grass etc can now be retired to the compost heap.
Some of the…