Showing posts from June, 2010


With all the tooing and froing of the last couple of weeks I have forgotten to take photos of our take home harvest which has become a daily bounty now with the warm weather.
Our first earlies, Charlotte are being dug and are blight free and unmarked, anyone who has had them has been full of praise for their taste and of course the dry weather has kept them clean skinned.They are being sprayed for blight every week and so far so good.
We have had a bumper crop of strawberries and the raspberries are just beginning to redden, hence the fruit net being put up in a hurry.
Rhubarb is growing apace, the new plants seem to be catching up with the older ones.
We are getting very excited about the Sweet corn for once it has the correct temps and is almost growing while we are looking at it!
The salad bed is producing spring onions and lettuce, we have quite a bit of lettuce staggered around the plot even on the Asparagus bed which I had to put net around as we are being over run with rabbits!

Open Day & BBQ

We had a fabulous day for our open day and evening BBQ.Lots of family and friends turned up to see why we spend so much time out here!Zwena explaining the art of toasting marshmallows to the children,great credit is due to her for the excellent turn out and catering for the day.
Zwena also presented prizes for last years sunflower and pumpkin competitions and somehow managed to give prizes to nearly all of the children!
The courtyard painted and spruced up before the guests arrived.Aisling had painted all of the old farm machinery last week and Gemma had painted nice rustic looking signs,all of the painting of gates etc was done during the week by different people.Zwena likes bright colours!
The boys minding the small boys on our mini patio in front of the shed.
Some of the visitors chatting, it is also a chance for the plotters to visit each others plots and chat as we are all there at different times and may not have actually met each other for quite some time.
The hastily erected fruit …

I have Been AWOL!!

I have been so busy that I have not had time to turn on my computer or TV or even read newspaper for days! Why you may well ask,
Son Billy is getting married next Friday to his partner Janice.I have the dress and shoes but I must still find a hat and bag!!
Our allotment Open Day is tomorrow Sat and it has been manic getting the plots in order ,painting etc and I have to say it does not look just ship shape but stunning! Lots of pics of that over the weekend.
Zwena was invited to feature an allotment at the forthcoming Mallow Homes and Gardens festival which also takes place next weekend. We went out and planted up beds of veg and herbs for that.
In the midst of all that I was invited to attend the launch of Peter Dowdall's first book, I went along to that on Wed night with my sister Kathleen.
I would hesitate to say it is just another gardening book because it is a very good read also. Peter has battled against and overcome cancer not once but twice in his life.He kept a journal while…

Garlic Rust

The garlic continues to be plagued by rust,I have been cutting off the affected leaves and watering diligently as it is very dry and even though they don't like having their feet wet they do require watering in very dry spells and they are under enough stress at the moment!The new green leaves shoot up only to develop the tell tale rust spores after a few days.
I went back to last years rust episode and read the advice given then,do not give a nitrogen feed of any description, spread sulphate of potash to harden up the bulbs and spray with a sulphur based fungicide.I searched the garden centres here but no sulphur based spray to be had, due to the banning of quite a lot of gardening products. I did eventually find a sulphur based powder which is shaken on to the plants and they can be harvested safely after 10 days.I read the description on the bottle which says it is for use on edible and flowering plants, hardening bulbs for storage and preventing rot.They have been treated now s…


I was reading Matron's blog a couple of days ago when she warned about the gooseberry sawfly.We had a gooseberry bush the first two years on the allotment but the sawfly decimated it almost overnight and I dug it out thinking it was dead.We did not replace it last year but I put in a new one in the Spring of this year.Believe it or not I had not even thought of the sawfly until I read Matron's blog!On Sat I spent quite a few hours on the plot and thought of checking, at first glance it looked OK, green leaves in place and even a few berries.
It was only when I looked closer that I noticed all of the bottom branches were bare!I put on my glasses and discovered there were tiny green striped bugs crawling all over them, almost impossible to see against the bark.I spent ages picking every last one of them off and throwing them out on the hot gravel, hopefully to shrivel up and die.I got the hose and blasted the branches and dug out the top layer of soil to pick out a few that were …

Dunsland Walled Garden

I went to Dunsland garden centre yesterday for my Asparagus plants and returned this morning for 3 more and with my camera.I had seen the old walled kitchen garden yesterday and today asked for permission to take some photos.
Dunsland is a big garden centre on the eastern side of the city, it overlooks the harbour and is a big old rambling area. It is a great place to browse and look because no matter how many people are there it is never crowded and the owner Peter Dowdall is nearly always on hand with advice. I took lots of photos so they will have very short captions!
The entrance is through the shop.

The old walled kitchen garden is in the process of being restored and it is stunning even in the middle of construction!Old and new live side by side, this is an old cold frame which now houses the cucumbers, pumpkins etc.
Rhubarb makes a statement in raised beds as a border
Tiered beds with peas and salad crops against the old wall.
Caned archway between beds ( very copyable)!
Circular rai…

Plot Catch Up

Work has been ongoing on the plot with Kathryn & Gemma weeding and going up each evening to water the tomato plants in the greenhouse.
Harvest while not huge is getting more colourful!
Yesterday I brought home a garlic bulb, garlic rust is still appearing but I am religiously cutting infected leaves off and it continues to grow even though it looks like bamboo canes stuck into the soil with a topping of new green leaves.I have not used this yet but there is no sign of rust down the bulb.
Some mange tout and the strawberries are ripening fast, I had these in a carton of Greek yogurt. Some of the bunch sown spring onions and a handful of baby spinach leaves and chard for a salad.The last few of the radishes and for the moment I cannot find my packet of seed to grow more!
The dwarf beans took us by surprise as the flowers are still in bloom so I was not expecting to see beans as yet but they are growing up from the bottom of the plants.
I investigated the peas under the netting wondering …