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Kniphofia

Pronounced Nip-hof-e-a [I like the k in as a almost semi silent] Famed commonly as the red hot poker, in the more common varieties it is easy to see why it picked up the name. But not all can be labelled as such ie. by their appearance. These plants of the Asphodelaceae/ liliaceae are a genus of about 70 species and are also commonly called the torch lilly – seems to make a lot more sense to me when you look around….?


They can be considered perennials, evergreen or deciduous. Bet you not everyone knew that ? But generally, they are a clump forming plant used more often in herbaceous borders. That said, it not always how I have chosen to use them.

They are a hardy enough plant that can grow up to 6′ tall – I’ve rarely seen that – and tend to die back in the winter months. In this they can look a little unsightly

The yellow variety is Kniphofia Bees Lemon. It can grow to 3′ tall and 2′ wide. It flowers late summer to autumn. Better looking than the one above…?

I particularly like the kniphofia for the fact that they can be propagated by division. It’s pretty much plants for free if you get the right variety. Personally I don’t like the ‘red hot poker’ I much prefer the ‘torch lilly’ – does that make sense ? And I am not one generally for using the non-botanical names.

If you are thinking of buying some plants to touch up the garden, these are a great investment. You’ll have free cut flowers and free plants to swap or give away once you get past the first season.

It is October, almost, watering is not really something you will need to worry about – make life easy on yourself and the plant you are investing in, buy some of these guys, get one of the odd[er] varieties if you can and brighten up your days for next season. You’ll thank me for it, I promise! Go forth and start planting.

Apparently Autumn and Winter [and spring of coursre] are the quietest time in the gardeners calender…. not likely. Not if you are extremely wise 😉

Go Raibh Míle Maith Agaibh

I am a really lucky fortunate guy. I have great friends. I know some really kind people. Really kind.

Now and again it’s important to say thanks. Put simply, that is all this post is……

Sunday just gone, afternoon, sitting at my kitchen table having coffee were Bernie Goldbach and his family, all the way from Cashel Co Tipperary – Bernie had come to Dublin to set me up with some new audio recording equipment; Phil Murtagh was there too – setting up my laptop that he got me out of bed to go and help me choose and buy [sunday rules apply here – hello Michael!]. Also there, for no apparent reason was George Foxe. I must make really good coffee.;)

The night before Luke Donegan [no relation] sent me this logo [see left] to spruce up my twitter page. No apparent reason. Luke has previously designed the #sodcast iTunes logo and the garden group logo’s. Watch this space. I hope he remebers me wants his garden done when he’s rich and famous 😛

Two days previous at around 9.30pm Krishna De spoke with me on Skype, just chatting about things I should and could do. krishna is a genius in her field [be dum] and to have that chat – money simply couldn’t buy it. She also has one of the best smiles I have ever seen 😀 Some time ago, Krishna gave me a lift. From Limerick.

This morning I spoke to Gordon Murray. Another tech genius. Another gentleman. He lives in Cork. The fact that the internet is not a garden helps a lot knowing that my computer and his garden have amazing similarities. He owes me a pint. It’s my notebook 😆

Take Brian Greeene and the sodcast intro jingle. Mark Rock of audioboo who I shall see shortly in London. Gentleman. Also Kevin Coleman of Back Page Football, Davy Mac Donald previously for my website header – Adrian McMahon and years [literally] of advice. Anthony McGuinness, Darren Byrne…. the list is literally endless. All in some form or other have been there for me and usually when I needed it the most.

Thanks also to Eoin kennedy, David and Daryll for Friday, it was an honour to be in your company. I think golf clubs would be a really bad investment. Thanks also to the lads at Simply Zesty for the lovely cup of tea 😉

There a long list of names I should have here, I know that. If I’ve left you out…. I know you know it’s not intentional….. Please do hollar and I’ll sneak it in. It wouldn’t be the same without you. I know also that in those above and so many more are simply great friends who I have laughed, possibly cried and smiled after with.

If you ever have the honour to work with any of those mentioned above, tell them I said thanks, again.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh.

The Sodcast – Episode 6

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 – as always you can subscribe or/ and listen to the podcast via iTunes.

Alternatively you can subscribe to the blog and listen to them right here. Missed Episode 5 of the garden podcast ?

First Up:

WebAwards Nominated badge

The #sodcast has been nominated for the Realex 2010 Irish Web Awards in the Best Independent Podcaster category [of which is still available for sponsorship]. There are some really great podcasters in there. I’ve put a list at the bottom of this post [just scroll down….] Go tip across and take a look, applaud the sponsors and congratulate some great websites and the organisers. Well done all. That aside, as I always say….

That said – awards or not, it is because of *you* that I **write and to be simply nominated is reason enough for me to smile :)

**in this case speak

On The Blog This Week:

Images For The Podcast:

This Weeks Oddities:

And Finally:

From this report from The Wiley Online Library

This study examined the effect of definitions for organic and natural on willingness to pay a premium for organic over natural chicken. Data were collected using surveys and experimental auctions that were conducted before and after information was presented. Before information, approximately two-thirds of participants inaccurately equated the requirements of natural with those for organic. After information, nearly 50% increased their premium, while 30% decreased their premium. Logistic regression results showed that consumers who had overestimated the requirements for natural were most likely to have an increased premium after information, with significantly higher bids for organic. For those who decreased their premium after information, awareness of consuming genetically modified (GM) foods was a key variable. The non-genetically modified (non-GM) requirement of organic appears to be of low value to some consumers. Overall, consumer confusion regarding organic and natural standards may be having substantial impacts on the two markets.

Great Irish Podcasters:

Thanks to Bernie for this snapping and sharing

Onions

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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

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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.