Posts

Garden Talk: GIY Naul, Thursday March 7th 2013

GIY Naul, Peter Donegan

This Thursday I will be giving a talk at The Seamus Ennis Cultural Centre. Here’s what Denise Dunne of The Herb Garden and The Naul GIY had to say:

Next Thursday, 7th March, I am delighted to welcome Award Winning garden designer, Peter Donegan as our guest speaker. Peter will give a talk on ‘Design Trends’, and the evolution of landscape design, from the 17th century to date. Edible gardens play a large part, as they go in and out of fashion. Design trends, good and bad, seem to continually repeat themselves.

After Peter’s talk there will be some time for a Q&A, and a bit of a chat.

Peter is a local (Award Winning) garden designer and landscaper, based in Ballyboughal. https://doneganlandscaping.com/

He also presents ‘The Sod Show’, Ireland’s only gardening radio programme, and (also Award Winning!) podcast. You can listen back here. http://www.sodshow.com/

I can promise you that this will be a very enjoyable evening. Not only is Peter extremely knowledgeable, he is also a very entertaining speaker, who can paint a picture with words, and really engage an audience.

There will be a small admission fee of €3.00, to cover costs. All welcome.

Hope to see you there,

Denise

Tel/Fax: 353 (0)1 8413907
Mobile: 353 (0)87 2758896
Website: www.theherbgarden.ie
Facebook: www.facebook.com/theherbgardenireland
Twitter: www.twitter.com/the_herb_garden

The Naul GIY group meets at 7pm on the first Thursday of every month and meets usually take place at The Séamus Ennis Cultural Centre. Further details on Thursdays event and/ or getting involved with the group contact Denise Dunne.

Onions

...

The above is my crop of onions that I harvested on Saturday.

Some seem to suggest that I have a relaxed attatude to growing my own. But that’s just it. It’s mine. Also, I like to think that I just make it look too darned easy 😉 I know people who can’t grow. Who have tried to grow and failed at the very first hurdle. I simply hope this takes some of the myth and hypes out of what is essentially a very simple process.

I grew these from members of the Allium family from sets [tiny weeny bulbs for want of a better description]. I paid zero attention to the names and spacings. I just popped them in the the pots. Once again and the same as with any bulb [a store of food] the only thing to remember is that they are planted twice their own depth below soil level.

In conversation with Michael Nugent Snr the questioned suggestion was should one trim the foliage, bend it, or tie it over as one might do [I don’t] with a daffodil. I don’t, put simply. I think plants should be just that and sometimes they are allowed to look a little rugged or ragged. They also look really cool tied up in the kitchen.

Potatoes

...

I grew these potatoes some months ago from seed. I think it was about €2.50 for a half litre pot of seed. I simply popped them twice their depth below the surface.

Mine came into flower and passed that point some time ago, but I had potatoes that I had got locally and so I didn’t bother lifting these at all. Until now. I was quite pleased with the crop. I didn’t mound the soil to get more or any of that molarchy. I just planted and left them.

I did run into one problem that was the common potato scab. It’s a scabby patch that appears on the outer skin which disfigures the spud. It’s not a major problem for me or the potato, although if you saw it in a supermarket potato I’d be very surprised. It’s caused by the mycelium producing Streptomyces scabies [the 2nd part of that name alone makes me shiver]. This comes as a result of light soils with a high lime content and also from low moisture levels  usually from a hot summer, which we had spells of this season. I’ll just peel them to be honest and next year I’ll plant a resistant variety.

After that, not much else I can add. It is very much a case of just pop the seed twice its own depth below the surface of the soil and keep well watered.

Of course if you have any questions, simply leave a comment below.

Home Grown Beets

...

I grew these beetroots from seed about two months ago and as you can gather from the empty pot I simply cropped them as they were required. They are probably one of the easiest things ever to grow and develop fairly quickly.

I chose to sow them in plug cells first and then pot them on. The ones I grew are the Boltardy variety. That said, I’m not intended on being a commercial beetroot farmer any time soon – my advice, if you can’t find this variety, simply pick up a packet of whatever is available and work away. The boltardy ones however tend not to wish to bolt [the production of flower and therefore seed too soon] as fast and also have a really good flavour.

I never paid much attention to the sowing calender guides on the back of the packets. I also applied the one for the slug one for me rule here. After that, I chose as you see to do mine in pots, mainly so I could put them by the back door of the kitchen.

Not much else to to it…. and of course any questions, just pop a comment in below.

Strawberry Plant Babies

...

It can really get on my goat when the grow your own and save yourself money marketing brigade continue to thrust their [not so] ideal[s] upon the ordinary Joe punter gardener. Let me put this in context, when a bag of compost costs €6 and the strawberry plants cost €3 and you or I may get less than a punnet of fruit…. That would cost about €3 anyway…. My point ? Logic. Versus that, maybe I’m the muppet and the marketing garden guru’s are the smarty pants ?

The alternative versus that, is when you can get your plants for free and maybe three or four strawberries per plant…. now we’re sucking diesel 😀 and now the grow your own is saving us some money.

...

These plants are exactly that. Free. Or at the very least starting to pay for themselves.

What happens is very simple. And in simple terms, little runners are sent out by the mother plant with, what were described to me along time ago as umbilical chords and plants on the end of them 😉

Read this post for further ‘botanical’ information on the Strawberry plant.

There are loads of shoots on my plants at the moment, but I’ve tended to only pick the ones with some roots on the end. The photograph at the top had landed itself in with the turnips and hence the roots, but from then on a closer inspection is required.

...

I very simply pinched out the central buds, if there were any and popped them into a wee little pot of compost.

From there they went into the greenhouse and apart from a little throw my eye over them now and again, they should be just fine.

...

Short and sweet as it sounds that’s my strawberries looked after for next year.

Let me know how you get on. Any problems just leave a comment below.