Haven’t blogged in a while, I am so taken by my garden. Trying to optimise my vegetables to extend my growing and harvest times. Everything is growing well and so healthy !!
I have purchased (on recommendation from my sister) a book called ‘tales from the home farm’ Michael Kelly. What a great reference book, month by month reference to what’s going on, a definite great buy!!
Some photos of my progress
Well that’s just a quick view of what’s going on, no advice just sharing, I am on Instagram and snapchat
Because it rained yesterday and was just altogether stormy, I decided to do a little bit of long needed transplanting. My daughter Theresa’s cactus had totally out grown its pot and my beautiful Hoya in the porch probably didn’t even have any soil in the pot, it was so root bound!! I bought a nice Terra cotta pot for the cactus and a really nice big pot and base for the Hoya.
For the cactus, I mixed a nice bit of sand, potting compost and earth and then had to use a tongs to get the cactus out of one pot and into another!!!
Terra cotta pot
mixture, sand, earth, peat
In new pot
Then for the hoya, not such an easy job, I had to first fill the base with some nice big stones for drainage, then a mixture of peat, soil and a some miracle grow beads. I had to get the two pots side by side, tease out the hoya from the small one, using a small table to dislodge it and then slip the bigger new pot into its place and pop the hoya in, after giving the roots a bit of a toss. It all worked out quite well actually. I am so proud of it and it really needed this as it is a climber and is climbing all over my porch:
Alert: The above 3 pics are not mine, because they are not in flower at the moment, but boy when they are what a magnificent smell and the nectar drips off them!
It was a good day and I got to do some well needed jobs cause of the weather!!
So I am guilty of not blogging for a while. I suppose I have been so engrossed in the garden, I think to a dangerous level. I am out in it all the time, I think, watching it grow. I have to say I am quite happy with progress this year. Either I have taken control of my garden or it has taken control of me!!! I suppose I could be worse, stuck in my phone or on the computer or watching telly, I do that too sometimes.
Just the few updates:
First year trying these, I purchased indoor and outdoor variety’s, now the outdoor ones cant be set till May, so that will be next week. However the indoor variety I have in peat pots a while. I started them in the dark warm hot-press, with cling film over them. They are coming on very nicely, producing a second leaf, I have them on the sitting room window in direct sun, I believe they need a huge amount of watering over the growth period and need very sturdy support for their vine like growing!! I will try my best I am sure they will be sweet to eat.
I am so thrilled with my tomatoes this year, looking back on my writings last year I had no confidence in even putting them outdoors for the daytime, however this year I have them in pots and in the ground outdoors for the past few weeks, I bought an organic tomato feed, and hope that they thrive, goodness knows I have enough of them. I have a couple of variety’s, Tumbling Tom Red trailing, which gave me a huge crop last year and Gardeners delight, which I have mostly in the raised beds and some in pots.
These were a fail last year, however I have successfully re-potted about 8 plants from the peat pots to larger pots, they are all in my porch. Which, at this stage will be totally full of growth this summer, what with the cucumbers vining and clinging to everything in sight and the Aubergines (hopefully) with their beautiful bounty gracing me with there presence! They seem to have gone a bit dormant since I re-potted them but I think they are ok.
I have all of these succession planted in the raised beds, the first set seem to be thriving, I think I planted these end of march, the second set seem to be a bit laid back, not sure what happened and the third set seem to be ok, I think maybe I am too impatient.
I am so very proud of my one asparagus. I purchased 3 crowns in Lidl ages ago and planted them at the back of the vegetable garden, gave them plenty of room, weeded the area well and watered them well.. I thought they had all failed till one day I was above and low and behold my small one little asparagus, so I can grow asparagus, I might try and get some more now that I have confidence, so I hope Lidl have more. I am so thrilled with this.
My sister is usually the one to grow the onions, but this year she bought too many red onion sets, so she gave them to me. More to grow, running out of space, so, I got to work digging and found room for them all, all 30 sets!! Some are in fish boxes!!I am thrilled, they are poking their heads up to me and from the past harvests of my sister there is nothing like a home grown onion…… there is nothing like home grown full stop!!!
They said there was a hard frost the other night, I was a bit freaked out, but my spuds don’t look like they got any bit shook, I think they look very healthy really, all 9 of them!!
I also bought some red currant plants, another Rose and raspberry plant in Lidl earlier in the spring, the 3 red currant plants have thrived, I thought the rose had died, but hope springs eternal and I see small buds on the beauty, however I think the raspberry plants have died, but I have one from last years purchase and it is looking very healthy!
I just love my garden, it gives me such pleasure and delight and I love to watch every single thing every single day growing for me. Roll on summer and growth.
P.s. not very happy to find this little casualty this evening, blackbird I think
It seems that all the back breaking work pays off around this time when all the baby seeds start to poke their little green heads up and yell ‘here I am!, mind me watch me love me!’ and I sigh and say ‘but of course!’
I have a large amount of germinating going on, I am trying succession planting this year, so to keep up with myself I have my diary with maps of where,
when and how many seeds I have planted. I started lettuce, radish, spring onion and beets about 3 weeks ago and did a second planting last weekend. Will keep going like this and use my garden to refrigerate my vegetables this year!!!
Everything is coming up Milhouse! Happy times, all going good.
Pictures now of my progress!!…..
A big P.S. cacti alert
Got quite a few cacti cuttings from a friend in Pennsylvania last October, wasn’t quite confident if they would grow here, but, yippee they have taken off just these past few days. I am so happy about it, they have all lived!!!
So there it is for now. We have a beautiful bank holiday weekend looming. Hopefully I will spend a lot of it in the great outdoors!!
What a fantastic day today, lovely nice temperatures and nothing but blue skies!! So it’s all about the outdoors sometimes that is up on a ladder cleaning the gutters! Other times it’s about planting sweet pea… this day was both !
You just feel so great and full of energy on these lovely long fresh spring days.
I suppose it was the 5 yearly gutter cleaning , when the growth in your gutters look better than the growth in your garden then it’s definitly time.
Gutters 1/2 done (tough on the back) and it’s a nice leisurely afternoon potting Daisies pansies sweet pea, these days are full of peacefulness and mindfulness when nothing is on your mind but what you are doing! I like to mix topsoil with peat and some Miracle grow they seem to love it. I actually have a daisy from lady these that tolorated our winter and is full of life again this year, I treated it to a transplant to a bigger pot and some nice fertiliser, it looks happy.
I have started a physical diary which my daughter gave me for Mother’s Day so now I have daily written notes about what I do in my garden, I love it.
I feel like I am on top of things at least for this month, I am trying the succession growth, so hoping that I will have loads of the vegetables I will want well through the summer!! Using my garden as a fridge for my veg!! NO CARBON FOOTPRINT going on there!!
My beautiful puppy passed away this January, he was my friend for 17 1/2 years, a trooper and loved our days in the garden, a particular spot was his favorite and this is where he rests. Was putting off fixing it, too sad, but finally this weekend I made his space nice with a yellow rock rose and some yellow pansies!!! Think of him always and can see his space from my kitchen. My lucky!!!
This is such a brilliant busy time of the gardeners year! Ya just can’t stop stuff growing . I love Instagram and it’s just brilliant seeing all the spring posts and photos of people all over the world with like interests, and with the different climates, they have wonderful growth!!
I have a huge amount of seeds planted and am trying for succession planting this year to lengthen my stock and supply.
Lettuce, tomatos, kale, spinach, spring onions, potatoes, beets, beans, radish, peas, asparagus and parsnip.
I am experimenting with the parsnip, I have 9 seeds in peat pots and when they surface and get strong I am going to plant them in a fish box full of stone free soil, sand and peat. The box is about 10 inches high so plenty of room for growth, they were very sweet last year, but a bit crazy with the stones. So stone free this year!!
FOOTNOTE – looking at a very interesting web site during the week, about urban farming etc! Quite interesting
Weather quite cold at the moment but I have been busting to plant some seeds. I have planted (too many) tomatos, it’s hard not to, they are so delicious., Tom Thumb trailing ( hugely successful last year) gardeners delight (not as successsful, but I am determined to succeed) these seeds are all indoors in a cool spot still!! Yesterday I put in some broad beans??!! Given to me last year by a very nice fellow gardener!! Hoping they do well – great with a rasher fried on the pan!!! Also kale and spinach!! Fantastic for smoothies, 100% better than shop bought. All this will hopefully result in lowering my carbon footprint!!
Trying more gardening less typing this year but I will try a happy mix of both. Tidying up the garden these past few weeks, weather has been good and very bad!!! Late last year we got a great man to get rid of lots of unwanted hedge and trim down trees. And he chipped all of it so I can now have weed free beds with the black weed stopper and chipping a. So excited …. trying for a user friendly garden, not getting any younger!!!
Just have a few pictures for now but will try for more as we go on!!
The time has come! My spuds are ready. Wow the stalks and flowers were so tall and I decided to give them a dig out Saturday and to my delight the jewels called potatoes were there!! I am so excited!! I just dug one plans and it yielded me:
Needless to say they would have to be cooked for dinner with some nice rashers of bacon… I couldn’t wait for dinner!
And they didn’t dissapoint:
Butter and salt!!
A very fond memory of the taste of a new spud was with my mother when we lived in Waterford !! A lot of years ago. It just happened to be the two of us I was about 9 or 10 and we dug up the first of the new potatoes,cooked them and ate them till our bellies were stuffed, with good ‘ol butter and salt… Something special
Enjoy your garden. Enjoy the hectic spring planting, because as sure as summer follows Spring you will enjoy the fruits/vegetables of your work!!
Yea I don’t know where that weekend weather came from. The rain and wind was incessant! So no matter how many times I looked out the window to beg it to stop it wouldn’t !!!! I would hardly be without a job to do so I decided to work with my basil. I had recently transplanted my two plants to bigger pots and put them in the sunny porch, and to give them great credit (and plenty of water) they are fairly healthy..
I had an idea to freeze the leaves in ice cube trays, heard from someone this is a great way to store these magic herbs for my fresh pasta sauces. So I had bought the nice ice cube tray (about €3) and I started to cut the leaves. When I had a load of leaves cut from the plant I again cut them up small, or you could chop them, and press them into the ice cube trays. Then I filled the tray with water to the top then froze. The day after then I put them from the tray to a freezer bag so they will stay fresher and with no freezer burn :::::
So I have about 20 cubes and I figure I will use 2-3 cubes for my pasta saucees!!!
Not bad!! I am so happy to be using my own grown produce . I am only waiting for my tomatoes and courgettes to make my own ‘real’ pasta sauce!!!