Showing posts from April, 2010

Moon planting and Mojitos

I got a couple of slips of mint which I have potted up, I will keep them in pots as it is very invasive sending out shoots into adjoining plants and beds, which is how I got these two slips.There are 2 pots, one for at home and one for the mobile home not that I intend doing any gourmet cooking down there but mint is an essential ingredient for Mojitos to which we are all a little partial.GYO cocktails could be a whole new off shoot from GYO veg!
The power and water was turned on yesterday in the caravan park so I will spend some time there over the weekend turning out the mobile home and airing it after the winter.I thought there may have been frost damage to the pipes after the long cold winter but everything is Ok.
Some slips of sage potted up, I have it growing on the herb bed on the allotment but have often needed it at home so this pot is for here.
The sweetcorn, cucumbers and courgettes are growing and will be potted up between Sun and Tues according to the moon planting guide.The…

An Open Invitation

Catherine has a book launch on Sat 8th May in an actual book store!The book Mousetrapped has been selling very well online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites.Friends and family have been bribed or otherwise cajoled into attending but she would like a few passing strangers to pop in just to add a little novelty to the proceedings.I am only joking Catherine, we are all delighted to attend!
It could be described as a travel book,or a handbook for any J1 visa holders or gap year students contemplating travelling and working in the US. I think it is the only
book available about working in the Disney resort in Florida, and is also a very good read both funny and informative (especially for unsuspecting parents who may wonder how their offspring spend their time away from the parental raised eyebrows)
Catherine's website
Anyone in the vicinity of Douglas Cork on May 8th around 12.30 ish is invited to pop in.

We are getting greener!

Yesterdays rain has brought about a big transformation in the garden at home and on the allotment. It was badly needed and even though we were supposed to have showers today we just had one heavy shower this morning and the sun has been shining all afternoon.
According to the moon planting guide today was the last day for flowering plants for nearly a week so I took the cauliflower, broccoli and marigolds out to the plot, I can only hope I am reading it right! The cauliflower and calabrese (Broccoli) are in the brassica bed netted from pigeons and rabbits.I firmed down the soil first by doing a bit of 'surfing' with a board to compact the soil as brassicas like a firm soil.They are planted up to the bottom set of leaves but I was careful not to bury any of the leaves in the soil, no point in giving the slugs a taste!I will put collars around them during the week also, another rainy day job cutting out the circles from some old black plastic like weed membrane.I held back some o…

A Week of Reflection

I have not posted for a whole week so had to try to sit at the computer this afternoon.On Tues we got the news that my daughter's best friends husband had died, he had been battling leukaemia for some time.He had a bone marrow transplant back in January and we thought it was only a matter of time before he would be in remission but problem after problem arose which they dealt with bravely but it was not to be.The week took on a sombre note as we came to terms with the terrible news and thought of how sad a blow it was for his brave young wife and two small children, he should have celebrated his 37th birthday next week.
It puts the small things we worry about in perspective. I did spend some time on the plot and was very glad that each day I was the only one there and it was ideal to reflect and spend some quiet time alone
The weather continued dry and warm up to yesterday which was overcast and cloudy and at last today we got some much needed rain, not heavy just a gentle light rai…

Row by Row....

The yard long beans lost no time in coming up and seem to grow before my eyes.I have not grown these before in fact never even heard of them!I received them in my gardening by letter project, where we sent a garden related card with some garden related bits and pieces inside.
The brassicas are hardening off, they were repotted into these larger pots again adding a handfull of lime to the compost mix.Their next step is to be transplanted into their permanent bed on the allotment in a week or two.I was very single minded and only used the strongest plants and discarded any that were undersized.I have sown seeds of summer cabbage at home , I used Derby Day which I had last year and it was a firm favourite and good performer on the plot.
Today was a beautiful warm sunny day so D.Aisling and Kevin and Scott accompanied me to the plot for the afternoon.Aisling getting stuck in with a fork, she did volunteer and I accepted! Kevin and Mom dug and cleared another bed.
Scott had barely arrived whe…

Enjoying the Sunshine

We are enjoying days of glorious sunshine and temps in the high teens!We have had beautiful April days before that promised beautiful summers which never materialised so we are making the best of what we are getting at the moment.I have been on the allotment every day and there is Trojan work being done on all of the plots as everyone is busy.
The strawberry plants have blossoms on 9 of the 20 second year plants, the first year ones can just be seen in the background but none have blossoms so far.
The lettuce in the greenhouse is coming on , the strange upside down bottles are Kathryn's idea to seep water to the roots of the plants. Fill a bottle with water with the cap screwed tight and punch some holes around the neck, bury the neck of the bottle in the soil and the water seeps out slowly to the plant but I think one near each plant would be better.The milk bottles crunch in as they empty but the drinks one stays in shape and seeps slower.
I dug over the new brassica bed yesterday,…

The Last of the Blackcurrants

Today is a beautiful sunny day and warm to boot!I did not go out to the plot as had to catch up at home.I had 1 kg of blackcurrants left since last year in the freezer so made about 6 lbs of jam using the easy method. Simmer the fruit gently adding some water, heat the sugar in the oven, I used 1 1/2 Kgs to 1 kg of fruit.Add sugar to fruit bring to one boil and test,it is usually ready and pour into jars.The smell of jam making in the kitchen was reminiscent of summer evenings!
I had frozen some blanched pears last year and defrosted a packet to make this pear sponge. I would usually make it with apples but decided to try the pears. It smells devine but has not been tested as I write!The sponge topping is a basic queen cake mixture of 4 ozs marge, 4 ozs Sugar,2 eggs and 6 ozs SR flour.I will serve it with custard after dinner.
The tomatoes are growing and show no sign of wilting after their shift out to the greenhouse, I still have them covered with a propagator cover at night.
The snap …


Kevin spent most of yesterday with me on the plot.We went out early at 11.00am meaning to come home early but as usual it was nearly 5.00pm when we returned.I widened the pathways a little and will move the 3 beds for the kids this year. Kevin got his going early , here he is shaking the soil from the sods as we were digging over his bed.There are still lots of couch grass roots and he diligently removed them as he saw them, I also got a running commentary on the worms he came across!
The patio in front of the shed, I edged it with wine bottles, not all mine I hasten to add most of them were donated!I need as many more to edge the other side but I am sure I will have no problem there getting them in a couple of weeks.
Kevin with his bed planted up, he sowed carrots, parsnips and I gave him enough onions to plant 2 rows, last year he had better onions than I had!He also moved his strawberry plants and has some mange tout peas and insisted on leaving some space for flowers!
I dug over a be…

First Harvest 2010!

Yesterday I went out to the plot just after lunch as the sun came out. I was the only one there for a while then others ventured out. A lot of the small plastic cold frames had blown away in the storms.Fleece and plastic covering had been blown around also, rocks were holding down the corners so they had blown off the plants but were twisted into some weird shapes by the strong winds.I finally pulled the last of the over wintering leeks, last year we staggered the sowing of leeks and have had leeks since about last Oct.I was reading Matron's blog and she had pulled some of her rhubarb,If you are reading this Matron I remembered to twist and pull from the base and only took 5 stalks from the oldest 2 plants. There are lots more coming on, on these two plants. The crowns I planted this year are growing but again following Matron's advice we won't pull any stalks from these this year, allowing them to grow and strengthen the crowns.
I took the bull by the horns and took out th…