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April's issue of The Irish Garden








Johnplotman's Journal

Johnplotman's Journal

Last Post 7 days 3 hours ago

Monday [Bank holiday] in the vegetable garden.

04 May 2010 09:04:36
Potato beds,Solanum tuberosum [[fam solanaceae] covered.

Potato beds,Solanum tuberosum [[fam solanaceae] covered.

Apart from a slight touch of rain,yesterday held up well with just clouds and touches of sunshine.In the vegetable garden i worked in the brassica area for a few hours.More Cabbage and cauliflower plants were put down along with Turnip [rapa] seeds.After that i moved to the roots area and started more carrots,lettuce,and some spinach.All went well in the vegetable garden yesterday and was happy to be able to spend time getting down the Brassicas,Lettuces [satvia] Carrots [Daucus carota] Spinach [Spinacea oleracea inermis] and hope to return there this evening at some stage.Had the usual check on the tunnel and greenhouse.

One final step done with the potato beds around 9 o clock last night,and that was to cover all of them with newspapers.For the sake of about an hour,it is time well spent again the saving the baby stalks from getting damaged by ground frost.Those up about 30 cm maybe fine,but no chances taken.


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Diana Diana 04 May 2010 10:51:08

Hi John,  Did we actually have a frost last night as I didn't see any sign of one this morning.  

You also mentioned a nettle fertilizer in your post on Jacintas-nettles.  Could you tell me how to make it please. Or is there anywhere that I would be able to look it up?


LNolan LNolan 04 May 2010 14:58:46

Seems like you're well on top of things John. I never thought that sheets of newspaper like that would protect young plants from frost! I always thought that i'd need to have them well covered with sheets of plastic and protected from the outside. Nearly as to have them in a little mini tunnel.


HeadGardener HeadGardener 04 May 2010 18:44:10

John must remember to do that on my spuds if they come up before  frost is gone. thats a great idea.


Johnplotman Johnplotman 04 May 2010 21:37:19

Hope all is going well in the garden Diana.Dropped to just below +2 here last night.The tunnel gave a reading of 6 deg,this morning just before 7.30.Not enough to cause trouble,but any type of frost,be it small or else is a vital setback to very young potato stalks especially.Always be on the safe side.With the fert,i add 1lb of nettles to every gallon of water,and dilute the ratio of 1 part to 10 parts of water.


Johnplotman Johnplotman 04 May 2010 21:43:00

Trying to stay ahead of things here Liam, thanks.The papers wont work in the depth of winter when the temp,drops real low.The papers hold off the damage this time of year,in most cases.We are into May now,and the nights should be getting warmer,but with this type of weather anything is possible.


Johnplotman Johnplotman 04 May 2010 21:49:50

Thanks Bill.Hard to believe it is the summer we are in now,and we still fight off the frost attacks,from a touch of winter weather..


Diana Diana 04 May 2010 23:16:25

How long do you let it steep for John please.  It sound too easy to be true.  But then I haven't had the pleasure of stinging my hands to bits :-)  Tks for the instructions.  You are right about the weather  I covered everythin with bubble wrap, as I don't have any fleece as yet.  Thats another one for my list which is becoming endless (and expensive).  After watching over the seedlings like children I certainly didn't want to loose them.


Johnplotman Johnplotman 05 May 2010 09:42:02

Diana they are left about 2-3 weeks steeping.I found it very easy when hearing it at first also,but a nettle bed has as much importance here as all the other beds now.Sorry about the stinging set-back.Imagine the sting we also give to the compost heaps,and a much needed sting there,to activate things on at composting.You will make it help 2 ways.For feed and then thrown for the compost heap with any touches of leaves etc having feed still in them.Quite annoying to lose young seedlings Diana.


Diana Diana 05 May 2010 21:08:33

John, thank you so much especially for the news that its will be a double sting, one for the plants and one for the compost bin.    First thing in the morning I am off with my rubber gloves and a black bin linner to collect as many nettles as I can, and I might even have enough left over for the soup ha-ha.  Thanks again.


Johnplotman Johnplotman 06 May 2010 09:12:08

Dont mind the strong smell off the good stuff Diana.When you start comfrey herb also for similar sometime,the smell from nettle juice will be like a drop in the ocean.[Both worth the goodness from them apart from that].Dont let it fall on the leaves Diana on a warm day,or it will burn them.Good luck with the liquid feed making.


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