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The Cheaters Guide To Growing Your own

It is a question that comes up a lot…. Mainly from people who have a job, 42 kids, a life, a dog and a door bell. A lot of which will fit into the category of

I’ve got maybe 10 minutes in the evening. It’s not enough time! what can I do to grow my bits, something, anything, in the garden… ?

I’m not going to write some big bible crapola on what you can do. This post is put simply what I am doing. What I planted last year and what takes little or no effort.

I’m going to split this post into four parts. Tall, medium and small – plant them and walk away and the bit you could potentially call farming.

The first is what for me was and is an investestment, of sorts.

It’s the fruit trees and the like. They are planted once. Paid for once and require very little attention thereafter. You see the fruit. You pick the fruit. You eat the fruit.

I have written many times on trees in this blog. The how to plant will never change. It’s what you plant that’s important. The key is to chose the tree to fit the space from an eventual size, growth per annum and type of fruit you want.

I personally have 10 eating apples, 5 cooking apple, 5 pear and 5 edible cherry trees. But don’t let that impress you. I have experimented with some fig, apricot and olive trees but really, you should just choose what you like in the amount that will suit you and the type. There’s some maintenance in everything [even tarmacadam], but it’s minimal if you do your homework. Here’s five you can try that will give you a return pretty soon. In your case – just remember there’s usually a reason why a tree will be cheaper. Buy once. And buy very well.

In this category

  • apple trees
  • pear trees
  • plums
  • apricot
  • cherries

The second group don’t grow as tall and are really great in small spaces, balconies and apartments and as with the trees, can all be planted in pots, if you wish.

Once again the same rules apply. You plant the fruit, pick it – when it appears and then eat it. Some say the rhubarb needs the stools split, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. Similarly the bushes will need some select pruning the same as the taller trees… but not much. The correct purchase should mean a handful of clippings as versus a trailer load. Once again. Buyer be [very a]ware.  But once and buy well. It will pay you back.

  • blackberries
  • rhubarb
  • gooseberries
  • bay laurel
  • red currants

The third lot are the lower growers and in fairness if you have a set of pots and pans your regular picking will be all the pruning it needs.

This plethora, for me include

Not much to it after that… and not much more to say being quite fair.

The last lot is something I don’t really want to list and require a little or a lot more attention.

But if you have any amount of category 1 and/ or 2/3 in your space you already look green. So now you can choose less of these babies depending on the time limit you have. If you’ve been following Philips 3 square metre farm patch on the podcast – you’ll have a better idea of where I’m going with this. Moreseo, you’ll better appreciate why I agree that 3 square metres is more than enough to keep your home filled with produce.

Last year I grew the following – and more – but I won’t bore you with the gory details and will tell you the ones I found the easiest. I grew all of these in old pots, pint glasses, window boxes or whatever could contain some amount of soil as a by the way.

The reason these are in a group all of their own is because unlike the other groups… with this final batch – once you crop it or it comes to the end of the season you must start all over again the following year and grow them again – where the others generally speaking – just keep on giving.

What about that for a relationship. I ignore you for an entire year. And then you arrive at my home and say

….here ye go buddy, have a big box of juicy apples

Ah sometimes I’m just so ruddy hilarious I crack myself up 😆

So I could have put the image of the seedlings at the top and told you of my years of studying horticulture – but being really honest this post is about encouraging those who aren’t so green who’d love a dabble and would maybe like to look a bit greener. In that same breath it’s not rocket science. And anyone who tries to tell you different is full of it.

You don’t need an allotment, an acre or a garden [Great for you if you do]. You need a window ledge, or a balcony or a small patio – maybe it’s some jam jars or 2 hanging baskets – and you also need an ability to smile, because sometimes a plant simply decides it doesn’t feel like growing where you want it grow. The it’s not you it’s me scenario. But ultimately, one should remember any plants sole purpose on this planet is to reproduce and as long as you understand that – it will do what it’s supposed to do.

For this gardener, I’ve never bought super dooper compost, a propagator kit or miraculous growing fertilisers. Ever. Not for food crops.  In fact I’ve never even bought a soil testing kit. I give all of my plants no special treatment.

What I will say is I maybe have a better understanding of plants and a happy confidence in the fact that it will grow. But…. any gardener that says they know it all and has never got it wrong is most likely in a straight jacket. That said, I still talk to all of my plants. I play the vinyl player when I am gardening in my spare time and most important of all I enjoy it.

Back to it, last week I planted onions and garlic. More importantly, as I said in the post the growing season [for 2011] has officially started

The problems that usually arise, garden wise, are best described with hindsight being that of 50:50 vision, in the context that once one sees the plant in its fullest glory one may wish they had planted some of this or that, that could only be there if planted some months previous.

For now, it is February. For your garden, patch or space – Go forth – give it a lash. Let me know how you get on. If you do have any problems…. I’m here for you when and if you need me. Don’t forget to smile. 🙂

The Sodcast – Episode 22

sodshow, garden podcast

The Sodshow Garden Podcast – every Friday – in iTunes, www.sodshow.com all good podcast stores.


Listen to The Sodcast in MP3 – or subscribe/ listen to the podcast in iTunes. Alternatively, subscribe to the blog and listen to them right here. Missed Episode 21 of the garden podcast ?

First Up:

Fancy a Sodcast Mug for your cuppa…. ? There are now only 3 of these mugs in the entire world. I have one. :D

Anything else you can contact me in the following ways

Recently On The Blog:

these posts were a little before but The Christmas Podcast special got in the way 😉

Links For The Podcast:

Images For The Podcast:

This Weeks Oddities:

GIY Ireland is launching a new group for Dublin City Centre on Saturday 22 January at 12 noon in the Food Co-op, Newmarket, Dublin 8. I got this email in yesterday from Tricia.

Hi Peter,
I’ve just been browsing your website – really liked the aversion to pomposity and the sound of the best garden group in Dublin. I can hardly spell horticulture, so the group I’m getting off the ground will be a galaxy away from yours, but I thought you might know some people who’d be interested in it? If you could forward this info below to them, about the new Dublin City Centre GIY, on to them I’d be delighted. Obviously if you were interested in coming along too that’d be fantastic.
Thanks!

This paper has just been published by Shane H. Morris and Charles Spillan. EU GM Crop Regulation: A Road to Resolution or a Regulatory Roundabout?

Abstract: Since first embarking on the road of risk management options for the regulation of recombinant DNA (rDNA) activities and use in 1978, the European Union (EU) has largely failed to create a regulatory and policy environment regarding genetically modified (GM) crops and their cultivation that is (a) efficient, (b) predicable, (c) accountable, (d) durable or (e) interjurisdictionally aligned. Recent proposed regulatory changes announced by the European Union Commission (July 13, 2010) aim to allow member states to enact restrictive measures on cultivation of GM crops based on broadly scoped non-scientific criteria. In light of the European Union Commission’s proposal, this paper reviews the EU’s past efforts to effectively regulate GM crops, critically assesses the impacts of the new regulatory proposals, and examines some of the key outstanding issues with the current EU regulatory framework that will need to be considered as the EU moves forward into its next phase of GM crop governance.

I got this in from @Grannymar

Hi Peter,
Guess what I found.  The instructions I used to cover my sink and wash basin – the ones in my garden and not the bathroom!
Lán grá

And Finally:

The Sodcast – Episode 15

sodshow, garden podcast

The Sodshow Garden Podcast – every Friday – in iTunes, www.sodshow.com all good podcast stores.


Listen to The Sodcast in MP3 – or subscribe/ listen to the podcast in iTunes. Alternatively, subscribe to the blog and listen to them right here. Missed Episode 14 of the garden podcast ?

First Up:

To answer a query that arose mid week….? Yes I do do small gardens. In fact I’m generally extremely content as long as I am in a garden 😉

You can contact me on….

This Week On The Blog:

A long story, but there were no blog posts this week….

Links For The Podcast:

Images For The Podcast:

This Weeks Oddities:

And Finally:

courtesy of Mr McGuinness – Bord Bia ? How many of your videos are on my or any weblog ?

The Sodcast – Episode 12

sodshow, garden podcast

The Sodshow Garden Podcast – every Friday – in iTunes, www.sodshow.com all good podcast stores.


Listen to The Sodcast in MP3 – or subscribe/ listen to the podcast in iTunes. Alternatively, subscribe to the blog and listen to them right here. Missed Episode 11 of the garden podcast ?

First Up:

Visit the Repak recycle Week 2010 blog – sponsors of the sodcast for October.

Of course my real job is improving the look of your garden and you can of course contact me on:

This Week On The Blog:

Images For The Podcast:

Links For The Podcast:

from 2008…. plastic hedges

and there’s more plastic hedges where that came from. But I prefer the real trees

Thanks as always to:

This Weeks Oddities:

I love this quote [Via @Carolaik @InvasiveNotes and @aquatic_habitat]

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them.”~Bill Vaughn

Courtesy of @Graham_Rice and Jane Powers: Britain changes mind about banning all cotoneasters & all crocosmias as invasive. Details on the Transatlantic Plantsman

The lovely @OrlaMcDermott asks:

@DoneganGardens quick Q! Got a lovely pressie of tulips from Amsterdam! When to plant?

Also from @carolaik – A Green roof come to life

Culch.ie have some candidates [?] attending the Culchie Festival @ Leitrim October 22-24. There’s also a great gig called Are You Afraid of the Farm? Well worth checking out! Think I’d rather the Culchie festival somehow

I’ll explain this one in the podcast:

..

And Finally:

The Sodcast will be [re] available to sponsor November 1st 2010 – Interested ?

It’s a bank holiday weekend in Ireland. I’ve got some hedging to trim and tidy. This one below is hawthorn. I’m not its biggest fan, only because of its thorns… but it so well worth it for what it does for nature and wildlife. The garden is about more than just me. I might just give them a little slow release fertiliser. I hope I make to a park as well.

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