Last Post 1144 days 14 hours ago
31 March 2010 23:12:31
Comfrey,[Symphytum officinale]showing well in bottom bed.
On a day that has been cold,and to leave things worse some more snow showers, and a visit from hailstones.A neighbour of mine cleaned down the greenhouse roof for me of snow,to let in a return of much needed light.Headed to the garden around 2pm to see about cleaning up some of the mess.With the help of Christopher my nephew,we removed all the snow that had fallen from the sides of the tunnel.The veg,beds are looking back to normal after been white for a while.Plans to do some more work on the canes in the tunnel were put on hold today.Not the best of a morning to enter the vegetable garden.Took a walk around the beds checking out for any damage from heavy snow on young plants.Bitter cold this evening.
Comfrey [Symphytum officinale] will need some nitrogen,so helps to give it regular organic matter.Will reach a height of about 1.5 mts.Once in place,it will look after itself.Drought tolerant,but will need regular watering to help it doing well with flowers and leaves.Comfrey gives off app Nit,3 Phos,0 and k,10.
31 March 2010 09:38:02
Yellow daffodil snow we want.
This morning has started off on a bright note,with some lovely bright sunshine.Still on the cool side but not noticed.The place is in a mess,bringing back memories of not to long ago.Earlier on this morning around 8 am i checked the dull greenhouse.Noe that all snow has been removed [thanks to my neighbour] all is nice and bright again.Temperature then back to 0 deg,but will improve.The vegetable garden looks a right mess,and even worse when the full thaw comes.All work will be done in the seed room today,and hope to tidy up the place.
Second earlie potatoes will be into the vegetable garden between earlie and mid April at the latest.Hope to have some light lawn cuttings to use on the drills in two ways,1 for helping some of the way again potato scab,2 to act as a sort of green manure.
30 March 2010 09:37:03
Not a lovely site,this time round.
Yet again the weather is up to its tricks.This morning had snow,and now plenty of sleet and a touch of been bitter cold.Plans on hold up in the greenhouse and tunnel.Now that the start of April draws near,later in the week normally gardeners would feel a lovely touch of Spring weather.A little different now,at least for the earlier part of the month.Growing plans is more like those for September this minute.Now that the weather is upsetting plans i have to be careful not to sow to much tender crops to soon.Ample protection needed against cold winds that probably will decide to pay a visit,and also night frosts.
29 March 2010 12:24:04
My little Pets,Petunia [Confetti Mixed F2]
Quite the opposite to yesterday and other days gone by.Today is damp,cold,and more garden plans upset.Spent a short while in the tunnel with no bending and even there,it feels more like late autumn that early summer.Readings from both there and greenhouse were not to far above a poor 3-4 deg.Some trays have been returned to the seed room over the last while.Quite strange to have to do so,and we in summer.Visitors like Grey Mould [Botrytis cinerea] that thrive in cool,damp,weather is waiting in the wings,and would love to pay a visit to the garden.A little chancy to enter in and out of the tunnel to much, with this spell of weather so plans are a little upset.On the upper side it is good to see some of the seedling trays doing well.Some will need moving on [pricking out]during the week.Now that plans are a little different with the tunnel and greenhouse,that might happen sooner than expected.Off for a local check up in the afternoon,with no problems,apart from the sight of the annoyihg poor and off-putting spell of weather.Petunia tray,[Confetti Mixed F2] coming on well.
28 March 2010 21:44:38
Sunflowers to single pots.[Details in diary]
Now that the evenings stay brighter and allow more gardening work to be done in the outer beds,hopefully some light sowings etc will get moving.Today was a bright day with spells of sunshine and no problem with weather.Missed out on another great get-together at Belvedere House.Not much was done today in the veg garden apart from walking around and checking plans.Spent an hour in the greenhouse moving on [pricking out] some Sunflowers,to single pots.All time after lunch was spent with visitors.This evening around 6.30 i had another walk around the vegetable garden and will spend time in the tunnel as planned this coming week working on the canes etc.No more other plans yet,except to spend time in the greenhouse also,as much as possible.Weather seems to be going to upset plans and time will tell.
28 March 2010 12:52:49
Grow Your Own.
Grow your own available in Lidl on Thursday 1/4/10 range from Rhubarb
[Rehum rhaponticum] Onion
[Allium cepa] Lettuce
[Brassica oleracea,]Selection of fruits and herbs.
28 March 2010 10:30:34
Have a great get together all.
27 March 2010 21:34:03
Keeping our garden trays warm in the tunnel.
Rather disappointing the outcome of the weather this evening.Back to a cold spell.Some touches of sunshine earlier,with an odd visit of light showers.Spent some time bringing out trays earlier,and this even giving them another walk.Spent some time in the tunnel at the canes for the Fruits,and needed to do some watering on the vegetable tubs that are developing well.[Pictures added at a later stage] Some time was also spent walking aroung the top section of the vegetable beds and taking some more notes about the coming months for vegetable growing there.Visitors calling tomorrow afternoon [Family] that did not get to see me since my hospital visit some weeks back,and need some advice on container growing veg.Sadly i will miss the get-together in Belvedere House tomorrow,but another time.
The weather reminded me about a short while back with the cold spell.Back to covering up again.Looks strange,but anything done to keep them safe.
26 March 2010 21:48:20
No work will be done in the vegetable garden for another while except regular visits to the tunnel and a walk aroung the outer beds.Some more notes will be taken.Hopefully the weather will be on the gardeners sides tomorrow.Reading reports it does not sound to bright for next week with snow on the way.Some of the trays left out in the sun earlier have been taken back to the seed room around 4 o clock.Those on the hardy side such as Broad beans [Vicia faba,] and some Peas [Pisum sativum,] will stay in the greenhouse.Now that the off putting weather is on the cards,coverings for trays will be arranged tomorrow to have all in place when called upon.All canes are in place in the tunnel and will be given the final touches next week.[Pictures will be added]
26 March 2010 10:34:52
On a wonderful day with good weather some seed trays will be moved out to the greenhouse and tunnel to spend a few hours there.Now that the nights have picked up a little,some vegetable trays will be left out there until ready for outer plantings.Hopefully this spell will hold on for another while.We dont want signs of warm damp weather bringing back reminders of Potato blight [Phytophthora infestans] later in the year.
Carrot Fly [Psila rosae].
Our enemy the carrot flies will be warming up for battle stations attack on the likes of carrots,parsnips.They have two generations during summer.Damage from June to July,and from August to November.The maggots of them are thin,orange white larve about .5 of an inch long.They are quite an annoying pest.1 Netting can be used or fleece. 2 Only thin your carrots on a damp day.This will help keep scent under control some of the way.3 Make sure to bury any foliage you remove in the middle of your compost heap.If the thinnings are left on top the carrot flies will scent them and invade for attack..4 Try to have the carrots grown in an open sight.The flies prefer under cover a little if possible.Carrots and onions will help defend each other.The scent of the carrots will help again onion fly and in return the scent of onions will help again carrot fly.
Slugs,will be paying a visit but hand picking them in the evening is a good way again them.Keep eyes peeled in around areas you choose,as they are fond of going back to the same spot if not already been captured.
25 March 2010 08:45:27
Sun was a winner yesterday for all the gardeners.Weather was perfect to do outdoor work.[Damp weather today].Nothing was touched here in the veg garden,tunnel,or greenhouse,on return from surgery check up,apart from some reading and casting an eye in the seed room.Any lifting is still on hold for another while,but apart from that no problem.Picked up some more seeds while shopping around and a book from Easons on Vegetable Growing by John Harrison.No plans for today except do some light tunnel work with maybe setting up a few more canes for the tubs.Notes will be added on organic ways of treating carrot flies to my next journal.
23 March 2010 09:37:53
Chinese cabbage 2009.
If you have never grown summer cabbages or cauliflowers etc,try sowing them thinly in pots,or modules.You will find them easier to care for and there is less seed wastage.Fill pots with compost,tamp down level with another pot,water well with a rose on the can.[wont let to much water out at the one time] sow the seed,then just cover with more compost.You should have no more worry about watering there again until after they have emerged.
You can sow them in a seed bed.What a seed bed is an area of ground which will have been dug over,all stones removed,weeds similar,and a final raking to have a fine tilth of your soil structure.You will have the soil fine.Make a drill about 1cm deep by running your hoe along a garden line.The line will have the hoe straight for you.When seed sown then pull the soil back over the seed with a rake.[Dont over cover the seed.]
22 March 2010 10:00:27
No damp warm weather any more,sunshine we need.
Plans for the afternoon yesterday changed a little after spending a few hours in a neighbours garden talking about growing vegetables.It was another great day with weather.Plans for today will be for the tunnel on return from a check up.
Earth up plants when stems are app 20cm tall and preferably do a second earthing up when plants are about 30-45cm high.You can use the soil as a mulching material,but try to pack this a tightly as you can around stems.Blight is caused by spores washing down through the soil.The deeper the tubers are,the less chance there is of viable spores reaching them.Blight love damp warm weather.A porous mulch will not prevent spores from being washed onto the tubers.Should you notice blight [brown blotches on leaves] pick off any first leaves that have brown blotches.The sooner the better.Any of the stalks of blight effected tubers here are destroyed.The spores will keep active in your compost if aloud do so.If not too badly effected you could always bury they in the very center of the heap but also very,very, chancy,as they must decompose in the compost heap to destroy the spores.Here they are always destroyed and annoying doing so,but better be on the safe side.Enough trouble will be caused by them without allowing the spores do more damage the following year.Blight will also effect your tomatoes and unless protected it will pass from potatoes to tom,rapid.Potato blight is caused by the fungus called Phytophthora infestans.
21 March 2010 11:42:00
Despite been on the cool side in the evenings and the season is behind time,the sunny days banish them.Today for a short while some more trays will be moved out from the seed room to the greenhouse and tunnel but under cover at night time.Parts of the seed room will be cleaned over for new tray visitors.
Before moving on seedlings i water trays first and this means less damage to roots especially at dividing for individual plants.Damp compost allows the roots be removed sooner than from dry compost.On such a wonderful day,time will be spent for a few hours in the afternoon walking around the area looking through neighbouring gardens and watching out for new growth.Maybe take some pictures.No plans for next week in the garden apart from some light work like setting up canes in the tunnel.
20 March 2010 19:29:05
Looking forward to summer days.
On a glorious day for garden,this is the type of weather all gardeners need.Some light weeding,hoeing,and moving out some trays from the seed room to the greenhouse was done.All trays have been covered up in the last half hour.Hopefully the weather tomorrow will be similar.
Off to dinner in a short while so no garden study until another time.No matter how late on return a quick visit will be given to the tunnel and greenhouse to check on all.
20 March 2010 10:39:45
Some trays moved on [pricked out]
After a spell of wet weather during the night today is different,with sun shining and the growing temperature well up.The tunnel just after 9 am gave a reading of +15 so that is what gardeners need.Weekend jobs for the veg area will be doing some light hoeing and to give the main garden a tidy up.
Inside in the tunnel canes will be erected over the coming week for some veg and fruit stalks.All these canes will be in place before planting anything in tubs etc,so as to make sure no damage will be done to young roots.Pushing the canes into place after the roots are in place will be to late because the tender roots will be pierced by them when doing the job.All cane ends have been given a final dipping earlier in the year and tops protected.[Pictures will be added in a few weeks].Any outdoor digging is still on hold and will have to wait a little longer,but managed to get the remainder of the Allium [Onions,shallots] plantings in place to raised beds.[nothing strenuous].
Over the weekend some trays from the seed room will be moved out to both greenhouse and tunnel,and will be covered at night until the coast is clear from frosts.
19 March 2010 14:31:59
Early Rhubarb.[Rheum rhaponticum] for 2010.
When harvesting your rhubarb,simply ease your fingers right down to the base of a stem and sharply twist it off away from the crown of the plant.What this does is encourage more stems to develop.Dont break off the stems or you will encourage setbacks to them.Always cut away the leaves as they are poisonous.To encourage further stem production,always keep the plants well watered and leave some mulch or compost around the crowns.This will hold in moisture,and will also add a boost of nutrients to the soil.
19 March 2010 10:21:57
Last of the Allium,for veg garden and containers.
Good to have heard some good weather forecast earlier on the 7.30 am news.Quite a wet,and windy day yesterday.Despite been just below 8 deg,last night around 10 pm it felt a lot cooler.Seedlings coming on well,along with chitted seed potatoes on trays of second earlies and maincrop.First earlies [Orla] have been in the tunnel from the 15/2/10.
Over the weekend the remainder of Allium trays will be put down in the vegetable garden.Not much bending needed with the raised beds so hopefully all will go as planned.
Broad beans due another successional cropping and will be added to the legume area if at all possible.Good to have the sun shining for all the gardeners.
18 March 2010 08:59:42
Nettles used here for liquid feed.
Today started damp,with a slight touch of of wind on the cool side.Some very light work will be done in the vegetable garden later.All notes will be taken with the final markers for some more different types of seed potatoes.They have all been chitted up inside.Four selections will have been used overall.First earlies,second earlies,maincrop,and container types of seed potatoes.
When starting a vegetable plot,do it right first time and your new plot will soon be producing plenty of healthy homegrown vegetables.Before you start really into action there take a photograph of your new plot.Plenty have been started already but still in the earlie stages.Always remember to look at it from time to time over the following weeks,months,and years.This will remind yourself of how much you have achieved over time.
17 March 2010 08:17:48
St Patricks Day greetings.
Just wishing all gardeners a happy St Patricks Day.
16 March 2010 09:32:30
Hopefully in full demand this summer.
Today is starting off cool at just above +3 deg,but hopefully will brighten into a nicer day.This week in the veg garden i intended to continue with outdoor sowings of a number of hardy veg,like broad beans,parsnips,summer spinach,and are best sown as soon as possible.Shallots can still be planted too.If you want to get a good start with radishes,lettuces,or early cabbages,sow them now,but will need to provide protection with either cold frames,or cloches for a few weeks just yet.Continue to make sowings of early,second early,or main crop varieties of peas.Plant earlie potatoes.A slow process but along with a little help hopefully the jobs will be done over the next few days.Time for some garden reading.
15 March 2010 09:33:10
Gardeners want the green colour back.
Into a lovely dry week we all hope for getting some more gardening jobs worked on.Just one slight shower yesterday,but apart from that it was a nich day.This weeks plans will be to move out some more seed trays to the tunnel and greenhouse,but undercovering at nighttime.Some more will be started off in the seed room along with others needing moving on [pricking out].Outdoor jobs in the garden are still on hold for this week at least,apart from having a walk around the vegetable garden and taking some notes.
14 March 2010 10:33:13
Today has a real touch of spring like weather.The sun shines and we will all be in for a lovely day.Some more seed trays will be left down to the tunnel and maybe an hour or there abouts will be used looking through plans for some more earlie sowings in the vegetable garden.Family members will be calling to see Mother in the afternoon for a short while and maybe around evening time i will go for a Sunday walk to throw a quick glance at neighbouring gardens.
13 March 2010 20:18:04
Ground work back in place.
Done as planned today in the seed room earlier on and now trays,pots,etc have been left in place at the lower end of the room.[Pictures added from there another time].]All potato trays [chitting] moved to the front room.
Spent an hour looking on at the work on the filling in of the clay etc from the area dug for the supply to the tunnel.All coming on well now.[Picture album of the job to be added early in the coming week].Back to study.
13 March 2010 09:31:18
Tables being prepared.
No frost this morning and looking like a cloudy dull day.Could be worse.Looks good weather for gardening.In an hour or two i hope to see about moving the trays of seed potatoes to another room.All trays are chitting well.Room will be needed at the lower end of the seed room in a short while [next few days] to allow some more of the seedling trays be moved on [pricked out] when the time comes.Some time will also be spent in the tunnel doing some light jobs like giving the table a tidy up etc.Not much more will happen out in the vegetable garden today after that.Garden study from then on in the house.
12 March 2010 12:58:47
No sign of frost earlier while taking a walk down the garden.Temperature on the plus side,the sun out and getting ready for another nice day.This is the type of weather the gardeners need.During the morning for about an hour i moved on [pricked out] another vegetable tray to single pots.In a few hours i will be back there for another short while.
A little note on timing to avoid garden pests.Sowing times can be adjusted if at all possible when certain pests and diseases are at the most active stage.
The pea moth lays its eggs on pea flowers in early to mid summer.Peas sown early [late winter sowings] and late [late spring] should avoid damage from this pest as they will flower outside its period of activity.The carrot fly lays its eggs around seedling carrots in late spring to early summer.Sow in early to mid summer to avoid this generation of the pest.
11 March 2010 08:56:16
Every [veg] crop has a time when watering is especially beneficial.This is the critical watering period.For leafy salad veg,and brassicas [cabbages etc] the vital time for doing so is 10-21 days before maturity to allow them crop heavily.
For fruiting crops like cucumbers,courgettes,tomatoes peas,the critical watering time there is when the fruits and flowers are forming.Heavy watering done before this brings on leaf growth,and the expense of the fruits there.Dangerous risk areas with veg and fruits go with onions,beans,peas,cucumber,tomatoes and celery.They are important areas for water.
On another cracker of a day with weather,i will be able to walk down to the surgery for a check up due this morning,so the seed room wont be entered for a short while until later.
10 March 2010 19:17:32
Due a sweep out.
Done as planned earlier and spent time doing study with the vegetable gardening,and decided this evening to spend a while in the seed room.Some trays etc needed moving on [pricking out].Added a new folder to photo album from there and will also add more pictures,either later or at some stage tomorrow.Off tonight to play cards and should i be as lucky as the good weather we have had,then all will go well there.
10 March 2010 09:24:22
Red Duke Of York.[Solanum tuberosum.]
On a morning that has picked up a little weather wise we could be in for another great day.Took a short walk earlier to check around the veg garden.Inside in the tunnel the parsnips and carrots down a few weeks back are doing well.Hope to stay a little longer this afternoon to write up some garden notes.Watering is fine for today and if needed will be done for me tomorrow.
Checked on the seed potatoes that are chitting well and will add on some more Red Duke Of York,[Solanum tuberosum] [7kg-€12.50] at some stage today.[Collected for me yesterday]
09 March 2010 10:03:49
A little setback with plans.
Took a slow walk down the garden around 8 am to do some temperature readings in both tunnel and greenhouse.Up to -6 in the tunnel then and now +2 so picking up well.In for another fine day.
Last night for a short while i started some more Cauli,All The Year Round, Sweet Corn,Incredible F1. Lettuce,Salad Bowl [Purple] in modules..
No plans for today just reading and looking through some notes of years gone by in the garden.
08 March 2010 16:20:54
Some more reading.
Nothing done outside today in this lovely weather for gardening.Inside the house i moved on some Cabbage [Greyhound] to single pots.[nothing strenuous] Some of the trays need watering and will be done for me later.Threw an eye on the lettuce in the module tray.Normally they would be planted straight,but when in modules the roots will not be disturbed at planting time,so allowing this to work with them.
Collected my Grow It mag,earlier today.The magazine has 3 varieties of seed,Leek [Lyon 2 Prizetaker] Turnip [Purple Top Milan] Carrots, [Autumn King 2]
07 March 2010 22:02:32
A little different from bad weather damage.
The weather gave us a lovely day.Nothing done in the garden except reading,and pondering over the months ahead.The tunnel was up at 19 deg,and the greenhouse similar.Christopher [nephew] watered for me in both places where needed.When early summer arrives all watering will be done first thing in the mornings so that no damp areas will be there especially to encourage slugs when darkness falls.Unless the weather is to severe with heat and will then need a double dose of watering.
06 March 2010 13:12:16
After a setback for the last week,now it is back to the joys of gardening.Will be done in theory for a few weeks though.Missing out on some lovely weather to spend there,but will get back on track little by little.Enjoyed having a walk down to the veg garden earlier today.Though it be slow and just for a few minutes,the sun was out,so all was well.Some seeds need moving on [pricking out] but maybe later.Will spend an hour or so looking at the Irish Garden Mag,and The RHS Veg Book.