3rd week in June

This past week I started lifting the Epicurian First early potatoes planted outdoor at home on Tuesday the 25th of March. First earlies are ready from about 12 weeks after planting outddoors so are now in weeks 13 /14.I was quite pleased with the yield. The plan is to lift as needed as they are best stored in the ground. Good eating in these, best to boil the bejasus out of them.

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Before planting these I topped up the bed with homemade compost from the waste of a local Organic veg shop and pet shop with added  coffee grounds and seaweed dust. When the bed is cleared of potatoes another crop will be transplanted. At no time are any beds left with bare soil for weeds to take hold.

While the space is available I’m placing little piles of compost in many of the beds. Doing this allows the soil life to start incorporating the material into the bed and helps increase surface area  breaking it down even further. .

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This bed is beneath a tree and at this time of year gets little direct light during the day. The overwintering onions grew well from a shallower sun angle in the winter and spring before the foliage created deep shade so at this stage are not going to get much bigger. Traditionally the time for lifting onions is from june/july but it really depends on variety time of planting and what the weather has been doing so every situation is different. Some of the onions have sent up a flower spike which will draw on the bulb so should be used first once a bulge is seen.These will then be followed by the rest and be used up by the time the storage onions are ready. The garlic is still in the ground for now but will have to be checked regularly so that the bulb does,nt split. Lifting should be done in July at the latest.

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Again the bed gets a generous top up with compost etc and will be planted with Brassicas whose larger leaves will tollerate some shading and as they mature benefit from a shallower sun angle and loss of tree foliage in the autumn.. By no means is this an ideal situation for growing but its intersting to try and satisfactory results can be achieved making the effort worth while. I don’t dig the beds as it’s unnecessary work and over time ruins soils structure. Digging is something I do very little with reluctance and not through lazyness (though I aspire to this) and it really only gets a turning when the potatoes are being removed to ensure nothing remains that can regrow in the follow on crop. It might be a good enough reason not to grow potatoes in the future. The soil here is 65 % sand so any digging will just encourage leeching and reduce fertility. Instead the plan is to develope an increased stable humic content in the soil which has the effect of retaining moisture and nutients and increasing the CEC. This is a slow process and will continue to improve for many years. The worms and soil life draw down bits of material creating pathways where air and moisture can travel and so they do the digging. Also any mycorrhizal fungi and networks that may be in the soil are destroyed by digging. This is especially true in the tunnel where there is always lots of mycelium evident . The fungi are helping to break down the compost which becomes plant available and like arbuscular mycorrhizal ( with trees) Paul Stamets has shown some to work symbiotically with vegetables ( Fungi Perfecti http://www.fungi.com/). The fungi are already there they just need to be looked after.

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By comparison some of the onions we harvested today at work are much larger. They enjoy a sunny position with no trees competing for root space and shading. They were planted in the autumn and will be used first before those planted in March.

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Some are nearly too big for a single meal.

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We moved them into the polytunnel to dry along with some garlic. The beds can now start to be prepared for Autumn / Winter Brassicas.

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This is Gus harvesting some broadbeans. These will soon be cleared.

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The pumpkins in the tunnel are growing well. There are several varieties including Uchiki Kuri. The size of the pumpkin is based on the number allowed to mature and the fetility etc. Once 4 to 6 have set per plant we will bury the growing tips and manage the side shoots more carefully to direct the energies to the pumkins. There are many many schools of taught on growing pumpkins and so as this is my first experience with actually growing them I’m more interested in having a bit of fun watching what happens.  As yet the male flowers have not opened but when they do we will hand pollinate. Like cucumbers the plant produces a side shoot, leaf, tendril and male/flower flowers. I will bury the plant at a few nodes to increase the root system. A piece of string or  cane is useful to help know where to focus the watering.

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This small swelling behind the female flower is a developing pumpkin. The plant can be carefully handled to allow space for this to develope in this location by placing a piece of board, tile or slate to keep it up of the soil. Doing this may bring problems of slugs so monitoring is key.

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This is one of the growing tips making its way into the neighbouring bed of salads. Will let this keep going and root it in a few places. I’ve heard of pumpkins growing for up to 65 feet. The soil fertility is evidently quite good where these are planted. We will start feeding these with a strong nettle tea weekly.

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This courgette was starting to get a bit big before it was removed. Note the pointed tip.

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Courgettes should be checked regularly every 2 days minimum and picked when 6 to 8 inches long.

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Checking a pumpkin male flower for pollen.

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The maran chickens having a dust bath in the tunnel. Its proving very difficult to keep the tunnel moist especially around the tomatoes. Will have to try thin applications of grass clipings after heavy watering to try minimise evaporative losses. In an ideal world the beds would be on drip irrigation in a North South Orientation as this is a large tunnel at 60 feet to be watering by hand. I,m about reducing work load through good design as there are many other more interesting tasks to be done rather than spending hours watering.

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Here Ben is Multi sowing a tray of salads using the folded paper method. The seeds are placed within the fold and then pushed to the edge using a pencil or similar. Modular sowing is a good way to reduce waste and avoids thining as seed is expensive.

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This sowing run included Perpetual Spinach, Lolla Rossa lettuce, Bulb Fennel (Di Firenze), Swede (Best of all), Rocket, Leaf beet. The trays must be watered lightly every day perhaps even twice a day if very warm. They are outside to the North of the polytunnel and benefit for shading. This is essential for germination at this time of year as the compost dries out very quickly.

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A sowing run at home recently  14/06/14 included the following:

1. Kale Nero Di Toscana 2x 6 in 3 inch pots

2. Brussel Sprouts Groninger 2×6 in six pack

3. Purple Sprouting 2x 6 in six pack

4. Ragged jack kale 2x 4 in 3 inch pots ( saved seed)

5. Leaf Beet five colours 1×10 module

6. Coriander 5/6 seeds in 4 inch pots,4 no.

7. Red Basil 2X6 in modules

8. Green Basil 1×12 in modules.

9 Borage 1×7 in 3 inch pots

10. Lovage 2 x4 in 3 inch pots

11. WIld Evening Primrose multi in 3 inch pots

12. Parsley Multi sown in 3 inch pots.

13. Calendula 1×6 in 3 inch pots

14. Scorzonera Russian Giant 1×24

15. 1×24 tray of swede western perfection.

16. Alfalfa Sprouts 1 tray

17. Cress sprouts 1 tray

18. Pea sprouts 1 tray

Some of these will be potted on and uses as living gifts for a mates wedding guests in August.

Below are some buckets of weeds that are being rotted under water for a few weeks before being adding to the compost heap. I do this for Bindweed ,small potatoes, mint etc that might re grow in the heap. The resultant black gunk is a bit smelly but can be safely added to the heap.

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On the right a bucket of nettles under water makes a great liquid feed in about 2 weeks. This can be used neat on heavy feeders or diluted 10:1 (water: mix)

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Sadly the ducks at home were all killed a few days ago when the fox got into the dome over night. The chicken wire worked ok for about 18 months but they managed to force their way in two places. Would use a heavy guage of wire in future.

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Spot the deer near glendo hiking on the weekend.

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A healthy dose of Perspective.

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Mid June

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The hungry gap is now well and truly over and there is now plenty to nibble on out in the garden. The beetroot in the tunnel is swelling nicely and the larger ones starting to be lifted and used. The tops can also be used in salads.

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The ducks are producing 21 eggs a week so we are supplying family with eggs as well  as finding creative ways to use them up in omlettes and baking. Thankfully Laura is into baking.

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The first of the Goldrush courgettes have been cut in the past week or so. They are still quite small as there are many small female flowers and fruit but as yet not so many male flowers to polinate them. Cut and use up the first lot while small as this will encourage more.This will change as the season progresses with more male flowers being produced. The male flower does,nt have a swelling     (courgette) below the flower head. Last year I used a small paint brush kept in the soil becide the plant to hand pollinate by gently touching the brush against the anthers of the male flowers and transfering the pollen to the stigmas of the female flowers. It had a dramatic effect with much large courgettes so would recommend doing this if it’s on a small scale for home use.This should be done in the morning for best effect. Keep the plant tidy by remove any rotten flowerheads and leaves regularly. The flower heads can be eaten in salads or deep fried in batter.  A generous deep watering also helps. At the moment I am watering inside and out every second day as the garden is well mulched with compost etc.

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Also on the menu this week are rasberries (Rubus idaeus)

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The strawberry bed is producing well every day now with about a punnet a day. I keep removing all the runners and ripe fruit every 2 or 3 days to encourage continued fruiting as well as watering and feeding with nettle teas etc.. Place a little straw beneath the plants to keep the fruit clean

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In the little tunnel the cucumber marketmore is starting to climb well and is being trained up a string. I made a mistake using natural cord this year and the fibers rotted away at ground level needing replacing with canes and other types of cordage. Perhaps bamboo canes or hazel rods are better if one is tyring to avoid using synthetic materials. I would,nt bother with strawberries in smaller pots again, too much watering for little return. They are doing far better outside.

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I have been hard pruning the grape vine just allowing 4 or 5 bunches of grapes to develope cutting two leaves beyond the bunch and only allowing the main stem from which side branching is encouraged to advance along the roof of the tunnel.

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Tomatoes ,sideshooting is essential.

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A bed of mix brassicas with some tasty rocket , pak choi, Kale etc.

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Some pears developing

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Inside the tunnel. The nantes salad carrots are now being eaten. Some nice coriander, Marjoram, basil and mix leaves for eating. I suppose the main harvest will be the tomatoes and squash later in the summer/autumn.

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This borage is getting a bit out of hand but wonderful also. It’s planted in a bed with Oca, tomatoes , and a courgette.

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The first earlies outdoors are now ready for eating and the broadbeans have given way to the peas.

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The ducks doing their bit eating slugs.

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The rear of the garden is a battle for light and bindweed control from the neighbouring gardens.

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Some cress pea and alfalfa sprouts. Successional sowing continues generally.

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Nasturtiams are very tasty in salads

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We had some friends visit with their 5 year old daughter yesterday. It was lovely to see the excitement at pulling up a carrot or an onion and just generally walking about tasting stuff. The rocket was a big hit.

 

Nature walks in Wicklow etc

I had to smile when last Thursday opposite the entrance to the Tallaght N.C.T. test centre there stood a small Walnut ( Juglnas regia). I had been looking for an example recently and eventually got to examine one at the Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin. Its funny because even in an industrial area like this there is plenty of interest,loads to learn about what is growing where and with what else it is growing.

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On a waste patch of ground nearby some Meadow Vetchling ( Lathyrus pratensis) growing with some Winter Heliotrope ( petasites fragrans) and Cleavers ( Galium aparine). The Winter heliotrope has kidney shaped leaves and can be confused with Butterbur or perhaps colts foot. We have this in work.This was in flower over the winter up to about March and it is growing all along the river dodder beneath trees and shrubs.

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Other plants included Creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens), willow herbs, and ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) seen in foreground 

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Over the weekend we visited the Glenmalure valley and walked from the Hostel up table track and Lug returning by the zig-zags.

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Along the road in the valley some Rhododendron Ponticum an invasive alien that destroys habitat and reduces biodiversity.

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The flower of R. ponticum may appear beautiful. It has destoyed parts of Killarney national park and West Cork among other places. It’s a hardwood that burns well green so can be utilised as a source of fuel as a control method.

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Native bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) under hazel. The flowers tend to hang to one side.

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This is a Bilberry ( Vaccinium myrtillus) also know locally as Frochan. The fruits provide a tasty snack and can be picked in July and August. The Fraughan rock glen used to access lug gets its name from these.

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The plant  behind the gorse bush is Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) with uppermost leaves under flowers not fused around stem.

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Some Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria holostea) growing on the roadside

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Broom (Cytisus scoparius) once used to make brooms. The flower buds can be eaten in salads.

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Sheeps sorrel ( Rumex acetosella) with stalked upper leaves and narrow basal lobes. This can be used like wood sorrel with fish and has a zesty taste.

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This is Burdock (Arctium spp) and inspired the inventing of Velcro by George de mistral. This plant was seen on a nature walk at  Carrig Dulra Glenealy led by Wendy and Richard Nairn.

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Other plants seen on the walk whose common names included, speedwell (Veronica spp) , woodrush (Luzula spp) Hazel, Rowan, Japanese Larch, Broom the larch bolete ,spotted Orchid and a froghopper nymph.  .We walked through a large plantation of Eucalyptus on coillte land on the East of Carrig mountain. The Eucalyptus trees currently standing at Ballymanus were planted in 1935 and are now over 30metres height. A number of species were grow to test which would be most suited to the Irish climate for commercial use. Cofords published a document entitled Eucalyptus as a potential biomass species for Ireland which is an interesting read and includes info regarding the species at Carrig mountain planted in both 1934 and 1935. There seems to be issues with frost hardiness below about -12 celcius. 

 

 

Early june

In recent weeks Elmer Koomans of Fruithill farm gave a talk and walk around the gardens. On of the things he asked was what N.P.K. levels we have on-site and what we are adding to the soil. We have been adding enrich compost and on some of the beds coffee grounds , seaweed sprays and nettle teas but thats about it. He recommended liquid feeding to swell the crops.

A bed of onions after weeding. Some are going to seed so these can be used first. We will string these up after drying on the flat in the tunnel.

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In the tunnel the Nantes carrots are ready. They are a nice small salad carrot we sowed in feb. Lift as required.

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The climbing french beans have been planted 3 to a 10 foot cane.

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A Courgette surrounded by sweetcorn.

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We are using Encarsia Formosa a paracitising wasp to try and control whitefly.

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A bed of purple top Milan turnips planted yesterday.

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Some potatoe beds. Earthing up helps with weed control and reduces risk of blight especially as some of the varietys have low resistance.

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The kale bed needs some feeding.

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The fruit canes that have been recently weeded and mulched.

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Visit to The National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin

On monday I headed up to the Bots in search of a Peruvian Walnut tree (juglans regia). It’s quite a difficult tree to find in Ireland. There is a 250 year old example, St Maelruan’s tree located at St Marys Priory out in Tallaght behind gates but unfortunately my  phone calls were not returned. In U.C.D. there was a small grove located near the engineering building but these are supposed to have been relocated to the grounds of the Nova building to facilitate building works. I was unable to locate these on the ground.  There are two walnuts located behind the great palm house at the Bots.

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The leaves are compound in opposite pairs usually 7 leaflets untoothed with the basal pair much smaller.

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Walnuts in 3’s forming.

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The bark of a young Juglans regia var. rubra with a diamond pattern in the Arboretum

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The bots has over 17000 species of plant so I spent the day taking a look at a few other plants. The pictures are of a teasel (Dipsacus spp) located at the back of the vegetabe garden.

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I had read recently in Usbornes pocket naturalist (a great little book) about how the varied mechanisms plants use to ensure the correct pollinators are allowed to access the flowers. Teasel has cupped leaves which trap water around its stem.This stops ants from climbing it and it was nice to see this feature.

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The vegetable garden is divided into 4 quadrants, incorporated within this are areas put to green manure. Below Phacelia tanacetifolia is being grown.

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The walled veg garden is managed using Organic principals and there is an abundance of flowers forming edges to beds. Sage (Salvia officinalis) is used widely at the corners of beds as well as Calendula spp.and Borago officinalis seen here.

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A take on the square foot gardening ideas of Mel B. using what looks about 18 inches.

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These legume support frames are movable when rotating crops. Climbing beans are being grown on this one. There may be some difficulty getting at the crop on the inside if peas are growing.

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The apples trees have been underplanted with borage, squash etc. Beneath the cane fruits flowers like naturtiams ramble to create a ground cover and supress weeds. Importantly no bare soil is left uncovered.

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Sunken into the ground beside this tree is a green cone digester. This will nourish the surrounding soil. There is a master composter demo area to the rear of the garden.

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This herb is feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) taken to prevent migraine.This can be grown in a pot for home use.

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This Verbascum has wonderfully soft and hairy leaves. It bleeds a black substance used for making inks,it is also used for making candles, and its leaves placed in a shoe act as insulation. The most common type is Great Mullein (V. thapsus) but this is more of a ‘weed’ as it spreads readily.We have a volunteer Verbascum growing out of gravel in the glasshouse.

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The distinct leaves of Liriodendron tulipifera. near the Tolka river.The wood can be used for cabinet making.The mature tree is a a bit tall for flower appreciation.

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The lovely poached egg plant limnanthes douglasii used beneath fruit such as gooseberries to bring in the pollinators.

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The recently constructed Teagasc college of Amenity Horticulture seen here with the vatican 2 church designed by Liam McCormick in the background. The met office round the corner is also by Liam. The church is designed with wonderful light behind the alter and the met office looks to the sky reflecting the use of the building. What does this building say to the Horticultural student about the relationship between man and nature?  For me as an Architect its talks about , heirarchy and student and teacher separation, modularity and  control and implies mastery over the environment. The funny thing is a few years ago I designed like this myself as this is how Architects are trained to design. The student Architect has hardly time to sleep or eat for the production based nature of the work never mind spend hours looking carefully at the world around us in which we design such that it might inform that process. It takes time to develope a genuine interest in the natural world as little emphasis is placed on it in our school systems.Many people will go through life with a deep unexplainable sadness that something is missing , yet not have the first clue as to where the roots of this sadness are buried. There is much to learn and Architects could be doing a lot more to help us reconnect.

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Growth

The rate of growth in the past week or so has been amazing.

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The peas are starting to climb the netting

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In the tunnel the first courgettes ‘Gold Rush’ are forming

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A pumpkin in need of some training and sideshooting

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The wild bit at the back of the neighbours.

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Inside the tunnel. Jobs include , feeding ,watering,and training.

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The remaining planting has been completed. Alliums are being grown in the shade.

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Peas near dripline

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Jerusalem Artichokes

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The little greenhouse with tomatoes, and cucurbita

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Spring Onions bunching

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Borage

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Planting up some containers

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Kale in Tunnel

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Mexican Midge Tomato outside with potatoes

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Beds at rear of garden

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Ragged Jack kale

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Celery

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Strawberry Bed

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Sweet Chestnut grown from nuts found in U.C.D.

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Carrots and Parsnips

This year the carrots and parsnip are following a crop of Broadbeans undersown with green manure. The bed was cleared recently and topped up with some compost lightly forked in. Once I was satisfied that the green manure was not going to regrow it was time to sow directly. Carrots and Parsnip should be sown directly into prepared ground as there fragile roots do not transplant well when grown in modules and planted out. Becides there is a lot of unnessary work involved if one goes that route. I have heard of carrot seeds being broadcast mixed with compost, sown stuck to strips of sticky paper and even piped into possition with pastes, it’s all good.

I,m sowing into an 8 x 4 foot raised bed and decided to sown half carrots and half parsnips. This is part of a rotation plan for the bed and they belong to the Umbel family which also includes celery. Remove any larger stones from the soil and level the surface. A stone is something the sort of size that you would not want it thrown at you. I use the golden gark rake/shovel/ sieve for this type of thing as well as hand picking.

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Carrots can be grown as close as 10mm apart or up to 3 to 4 cm apart depending on what you ready or who you read. The packet of Autum King from Brown Envelope says 10mm while the book say 3 to 4 inches apart after thinning. For now none of that matters much as one can decide for ones self after germination.

So I made the drills using the side of my hand to a depth which is slightly moist.

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Drills at 20cm spacings

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Parsnip seed in the drill. They are light so best sown on a calm day and thinly.

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Once sown cover in the drills using a rake or by hand and then using the back of the rake slightly firm. Its really important to mark the line of the drills with a bit of a twig or similar on both sides of the bed. This will help especially if there is a large seed bank in the soil and one has to figure out what is a seedling or a wild flower.

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Water in to ensure contact between soil and seed.

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It’s important with carrots to create a barrier that prevents the carrot root fly getting at the bed. The seedlings will grow beneath this. Here I am using a Environet which is also useful for Brassicas.

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Once the carrots germinate  in 14 to 21 days regular weeding is essential and then that decision regarding thining will have to be made. Try all the spacings, 10mm right the way up to 3 and 4 inches as testing is the key to learning.

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It’s really worth saying that regarding the spacing of vegetables the more space you give something the less competion for water/nutients, root space and light the plant will have and the more chance it will have at reaching its full potential. However I think in a small garden for personal or small family use a closer spacing works best as one might only need a little of something at a time rather than a monster veg harvested in one go with possible waste. It also spreads the eggs between a few baskets if taking a sink or swim approach.

It’s great fun to go for a daily forage in the garden for whatever looks good to eat and this can include a bit of weeding by eating with plants like chickweed, hairybitter cress (in salads) or  cleavers, nettles, plantains (boiled ) at the same time. Earlier today while ‘weeding’ a bed of onion in work I was struck by the weight and volume of edible plants being removed for composting that can be eaten. The edible ‘weeds’ over the growing period might actually provide more nutrition that the crop itself.  It’s purely a case of cultural perception and a small shift is all it would take to put these plants back on table. If our parents fed us plantain then this would be normal.

When harvesting I tend to take a few leaves from a few plants ( not all veg) rather that harvesting the whole thing. For example Kale will grow back again if one does this so in a way it’s like a minor setback much as a garden slug might inflict. Any damage cause by the ducks is worth it for their slugging services .

In magazines one often sees images of huge vegies but it worth questioning how these  were produced. These body builders of the plant world are force fed all sorts of chemicals. The tastiest and nutritionally best vegies are not necessarily going to look and conform to our perceptions of a standard carrot, apple or Tomato. Nutrient density would be a good way to price food as this is the all important factor in determining the quality of foods. Images of how vegetables should look grace the walls of our supermarkets and shops and we are being misled into thinking that by eating our greens any greens we are automatically eating healthy.  By growing even some of our veggies we are making a very important contribution to our health both mentally and physically.

 

 

West Connemara

We headed west to Cliften Eco campsite near the village of Claddaghduff and Omey Island. Its a lovely spot where time does,nt matter and one is plunged into relaxation. The location is a ‘machair’ a gently undulating sandy plain in an oceanic location found only in the ‘West’ of Ireland and in Scotland.

ImageAround the campsite Birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) was very common

On our wanderings along the beaches we found Rock Samphire (Crithmum maritimum) It grows all around our coastlines on many types of rocks and it is usually boiled and served with butter like Glasswort. I like the mouthwatering effect of the raw plant.

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Other plants growing in the splash zone nearby included Thrift (Armeria maritima) below and Sea sandwort ( Honckenya peploides) growing in the rocks and crevases.

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This is a picture of a silverweed  (Potentilla anserina) stolon among the rocks. The roots of this plant are edible and have been used by the Scottish when crops failed.

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Higher up on the shore line Babingtons Orache (Artiplex glabriuscula) growing among the rocks and washed up rubbish. This one is related to fat hen and seabeet whose leaves are boiled and served as a vegetable.

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The amount of rubbish washed up is just sad.

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A piece of Sugar Kelp ( Laminaria saccharina) also known as sweet kelp and Poor mans weather glass.It was traditionally placed above a door where it would dry out becoming stiff  to indicate fine weather or become limp if poor weather was on the way. It can also be pickled and eaten.

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Egg wrack (Ascophyllum nodosum) was the most plentiful of the seaweeds we found. There was also a lot of Serrated wrack (Fucus serratus) in pic below and Channeled wrack (Pelvetia canaliculata).Very little Bladder Wrack (Fucus vesiculosus) was found. There were little bits of sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca) in some of the rock pools and some Dahlia Anemone ( Urticina felina) and the spidery looking furry Snakelocks (Anemonia viridis).

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The say you should only pick and eat shellfish with an R in the month. Its not that you will be poisoned if you do its just that the higher temperatures in the water mean that the animals are filtering more water as they grow and therefore the risk of injesting pollutants is greater. It also give them a chance to recover.

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Omey island is accessible accross a beach between the tides. Its a lovely place with one man still living there.

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There were some beautiful Orchids in flower. This one was less than a foot high and did’nt have spots on its leaves.

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In a wet channel some Mint (Mentha spp.)

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A field of yellow Iris (Iris pseudacorus) in a wet hollow on Omey Island

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There were fields of borage near former habitation  and fields of wildflowers with oxeye daisys (Leucanthemum vulgare) . The oxeye daisy is found all along the roadsides.

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We stopped at Derryclare forest which has been planted with Lodgepole pine (Pinus cordata) used as a pioneer species by coillte. The male flowers are quite distinct.

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The leaves are in 2s with spiked cones and the female flowers are red.

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On the gravel track through the forest a small patch of delicate looking Common Butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris) This pretty looking thing is carnivorous. Insects get stuck on the flower and secreted enzymes dissolve the victim.

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Near Oughterard we visited Brigits garden.

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An example of a living willow sculpture for children to play in.

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A mound with various thyme

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Some yellow rattle (Rhinanthus minor) in the meadow. This plant is a  hemi- parasite and uses its haustoria (like roots) to take water and minerals from neighbouring plants. It’s really important in native wildflower meadows as it helps to keep grasses at bay.

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A spiral shaped herb bed in the more formal part of the gardens.

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Some wormwood (Artemisia absinthum) used in the making of Absinth. It has a very nice smell.

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The curry plant (Helichrysum italicum) which smell strongly of curry. wonderful.

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Some Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) used traditionally with beef and to aid digestion.

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Scented Geranium ( Pelargonium graveolens)

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Ladies Mantle (Alchemilla spp)  the leaves can be used in salads.

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Love this.

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A most relaxing trip with lots of interest.