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Showing posts from June, 2014

Mallow Homes & Gardens Show 2014

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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

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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

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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…

Blight?!

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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

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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…