Showing posts from 2014

Between the Showers

There was nothing done on the plot since Friday due to the worsening weather over the weekend.The greenhouse needed watering so I went out this evening. I intended pulling the remainder of the beetroot and the carrots and clearing the bed for the winter.The carrots had been very slow germinating and I thought not a great return from them, until I removed the Enviromesh which has sheltered them all summer.
The beetroot has been fantastic  all year, all from one sowing ,I have been using the thinnings as baby beetroot in Balsamic vinegar but they have now grown tennis ball size, I think they like being under the mesh the same as the carrots.
 I had pulled some carrots  to thin them out and I didn't think they were doing at all well, did I get a shock?!
 I began pulling them but then found that some were in bunches and it would be better to thin them out and leave the others grow on a bit longer.There is a bunch of baby carrots, a bunch of full grown carrots and a bunch of the purpl…

Getting a Headstart on Next Year!

We have finally dug out the last corner of the plot, its been sitting under plastic sheeting for months to break down the high grass.The plastic was removed and the dead grass could be easily pulled away making it possible for a fellow plotter to come in with a rotavator to break up the ground.
 We then dug it over thoroughly and removed the scutch grass roots and the stones.
 I went on a road trip near Kinsale on Mon and brought back 4 bags of seaweed in the boot of the car!
Wellie boots are compulsory for this task. I did'nt want to get seaweed from the harbour area as it is possibly polluted with diesel from boats and various other unmentionables.
The seaweed was not loose at the waters edge so it meant  collecting it at low tide, and taking conservation into account. I took a large scissors and  cut approx half of each plant leaving the roots still attached to the rocks.The 4 bags only covered about 1/3 of the proposed potato patch for next year so at least 2 more  foraging t…

Summer on the Plot

I have been on holidays abroad, enjoying the summer sunshine here at home, spending days on the plot  and while taking some photos did not turn on the computer to upload so, not to bore anyone, collages are the way to go.
Various harvests, you will notice courgettes feature in all of them, but getting more colourful as the season progresses!
Beetroot,carrots, courgettes,cucumber, chillis,Kale,lettuce,Mange Tout,onions,sweet peppers,sweetcorn and potatoes, not bad for such a late start on a new plot!

The onions drying in the sunshine.Chilli peppers (our first attempt ever at growing these)!Tomatoes reddening on the vines at last, our first red pepper is in there too! I love how colourful the harvest gets as the season unfolds.
The  story of our pumpkins. they were started off in pots at home and repotted as needed, they were  finally planted out on the plot in early June.Clockwise from top left is their progress, it was slow until we got some heavy downpours of rain and then they just…

Pumpkins & Pests

The Pumpkin patch after the recent heavy rains. There are 4 plants here and at the moment romping all over 'their' patch.I have usually planted pumpkins where I would have dug up the first early potatoes but this year we didn't have any earlies so seconds and main crop are still in the ground and the pumpkins needed their space out of the pots.
This is a patch which was under plastic to kill off the overgrown grass, it has just been roughly dug to loosen the earth and some compost from the Municipal site put down.
Some of the grass is beginning to come through again but hopefully the pumpkin foliage will keep most of it down.
They are stretching out at least 4 to 5 feet now from where they were planted with loads of flowers and small pumpkins along their length.
This is the largest at the moment, about tennis ball size, the rest are less than golf ball size. We are now wondering how many to leave on the stalk to mature and will we cut the stalks at a manageable length?

Green, Irish and Organic

The best thing about garden shows is you can see any new developments and ask questions, these are some I saw while browsing around the Mallow Garden festival.They are also interesting as 2 of them are completely Irish made and even further recommendation is they are based in Cork!
     The first one is Wormcast,  I have not  used but intend to use it soon.It is 100% pure wormcast and a natural organic fertiliser.It is also child and pet safe, very important if you are using it around the garden at home.
 They are on Facebook (who isn't these days)?!
Their website for more info is

I have mentioned this before and have also used it, its a bit pricey but I have to say an excellent product. it was also available at Mallow at a special show price but it is also in all good garden centres. I was not aware this was manufactured in Cork and is owned by a cooperative of about 30 farming families in West Cork, based in Bantry.It is a probi…

Mallow Homes & Gardens Show 2014

Mallow is unique as a show as it has 25 permanent gardens since the very first show back in 1999 and they have been maintained and improved each year as different  companies take over a garden for the show but the basic structure remains intact.
 My moan which I may as well get out of the way now is the almost complete lack of vegetables on show or on sale throughout the show!

There were 5 million plants on sale this year ( I wonder who counted)?! , the Show gardens, various garden furniture & landscaping companies, pets were well catered for with pet shows and retail outlets plus all the usual stalls.
 The best things are, the number of specialist plant nurseries who all bring along their plants, who are immensely knowledgeable and will advise and talk about their plants they are not just employed to stand there all day and sell.
 There are a number of free hour long talks by well known gardening experts, who live and grow here in the South and are fully conversant with any pro…

Pumpkins & Courgettes

A short post, we have had much needed rain for the past two days and the sun has come back out this evening. A visit to the plot was on the cards, while it was raining lightly when I went out , by the time I came home the sun was shining from a clear blue sky.
 The Courgette and salad bed is becoming a jungle as the plants jostle for space, the inter planted lettuce has come on as much as the lettuce planted in the polytunnel.
There are 5 courgette plants but so far this yellow one is the only one bearing fruit. This one is Parador F1, recommended as probably the best yellow courgette available, high yielding with a nutty flavour. Its a first for us so not sure how large they will grow or even how large to allow them to grow?
 The green courgettes plants are reliable Defender but no fruit or even flowers to report as yet despite the hot weather!
We have a Pumpkin patch! These 4 are Rouge Vif d'Etampes.Bright orange skin and can grow up to 10kgs and can be used for soups, pies etc…

Bits & Bobs

The weather has suddenly become glorious, sunny days with temps up in the late teens and forecasting early 20s! It brings its own problems  with watering young  plants, especially in the polytunnel or greenhouse. The tomatoes have found their permanent home at last, I think they are smaller than they should be for this time of the season, they are setting blossom and have only one truss to each plant?!
This Celtic Gold is being touted as the new wonder compost, guaranteeing stupendous growth !It has been enriched with worm cast, a bit pricey at €17 for 2 bags. I bought 2  at The Pavilion Garden centre in Ballygarvan and added it around the tomato plants and lettuce in the tunnel. I will be expecting a huge improvement immediately!
After the Blight scare of last week the potatoes actually have recovered and grown new foliage and there has been no further discolouring of the leaves. The Charlotte have sprouted  lovely lilac flowers so heres hoping it was just a scare.

Lettuce and Spina…


We had been warned of possible Blight conditions on last Sat and the optimum day for spraying was thurs but as we had a yellow weather alert for up to 30 mls of rain on fri that did not seem to be a good idea.
 I bought the mix for Bluestone, which is what is in the off the shelf spray Bordeaux mixture which is a recommended organic remedy.

Ravenscourt garden centre supplies the ingredients  ( Washing crystals & the blue Copper sulphate) and the mix ratio, it suited me as we only have a small amount of potatoes and of them only the Pink Fir Apple are not Blight resistant. The rain stopped on fri evening and I thought I would go out and spray as the weather had turned humid and misty, ideal blight conditions.
I was stopped in my tracks as soon as I reached the plot as the leaves on the Sarpo Axona were discoloured and seemed to be getting worse as I was looking at them! The worst affected were at the right hand side of the potato patch, a few were affected on the other rows and th…

Sweetcorn & Salads

Another photo to compare to the header pic, taken from roughly the same angle!there are now 4 raised beds completed and in use plus the potato section and the polytunnel.
 Son Billy made the bed for the sweetcorn on Sat morning and filled with compost. I have discovered an organic local compost supplier, our local City Council !`I took my own bags and you fill yourself and pay €2 per bag. It is composted completely from green waste brought to the recycling centre, still affectionately known as 'The Dump' on the outskirts of the city.
 I topped it up today with 2 bags of Farmyard manure  ( bought prepacked).
The Sweetcorn was sown in seed trays then potted  on into 3" pots then into 6" pots, if the bed had not been ready in the next few days then they would have been repotted into even larger pots.My rule of thumb for repotting is, if any of the roots are visible through the end of the pot then it is time to move on as it holds back the plant.
Sweetcorn is recommende…

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…