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vegetable growing [easy style]…

pumpkin flowers

pumpkin flowers

i tried the ‘going green’ with the veggie grow gig, the herbs and all the other green stuff. It takes time. I needed something to impress the in or out-laws and fast! I’m Peter Pumpkin eater… the walls of the house and my car are supposed to be green… I’ll be ready for them all next year?!!

The reality is some things are easier to grow than others. So I’ve devised my own list of what actually can be categorised as ‘no brainer’. To this I mean: plant it – lose interest – no uber special treatment – it survives!

I’m not saying you’ll have finest fruit in Ireland, what I am saying is if you don’t have time everyday or even every weekend to be in the potting shed – then here’s my suggestion on what won’t die overnight… [you get my drift!]

The easy green category has to start with fruit – the herbs- then veg… and yes, I know I should be stating ‘biblicly how to precisely’ – but lets be honest… if you’ve tried that and got no thanks at all….? then here’s the how to impress the in-laws list! I wont give too long a list – but if you want to give it a bash – here’s where you pretty much can’t go wrong. If it does – dont worry [I’m here] just try again.

from seed..

from seed..

herb/ kitchen cooking

  • parsley
  • thyme
  • lavander
  • oregano
  • bay laurel
  • chives
cherry trees

cherry trees

fruit- tree style

  • apple tree cookers and eating
  • pear
  • plum
  • cherry
  • olive
  • logan/black/ berries and currants
rhubarb stools

rhubarb stools

veggie-ish style

  • rhubarb [top of the list]
  • pumpkins
  • carrots
  • corn on the cob
  • turnip/ swede
  • onions

one for the kiddies

  • mustard
  • basil
  • watercress
free apples...

free apples...

mustard – seed, grow, crop, eat

peter donegan garden advice growing mustard seeds

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I found it really hard to find information of any substance or at all in any books on this plant.

But, if ever you wished to go green really quickly this is the plant for you. I chose white mustard. Instructions say it can be grown on tissue paper! it is that easy. I planted the seeds a different way [no particular reason, partly why there are so many books on gardening I suppose…] then planted outside.

Some say crop the plant just before flowering, the instructions say when its 2″ tall? I say whatever makes you happy. Why? Because, again, the varying schools of thought suggest that the taller the plant the stronger the taste…

Now it is all cropped? Chop it. Eat it. Next time I can grow it to my own specific taste. My tip. Sow a little [about ten seeds] every two weeks and keep the crop turning over.

mustard white seed plant crop peter donegan

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growing pumpkins from seed

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I hear you… it’s only mid July. No matter. You need them for October – but they have to grow! If you ever want to know when to start growing anything the easiest [cheaters tip!] advice is to check your garden centre once a month – when they’re available by seed – that’s when to start. Easy!

This is from the Johnsons range. I actually thought they’d be difficult to grow? no – easy peezy. really! There’s the packet [left] and the seed just below. I just bought them in my local garden centre.

How? who? what? Take a tray or a small plant pot about the size of a tea cup; fill with clean compost; soak first with water [from the bottom up is better – ie. sit in a basin of water and let in take up the moisture until the compost goes from dry brown to damp black] and then push the seed [it looks like a leprechauns surf board] sideways a little [half an inch] below the height of the compost until you can see it no more.

Jack O lantern [cucurbita pepo] is the more common or the ‘typical’ pumpkin as we know it and the plants will need to be planted about one metre apart outdoors when the roots fill out the tray. As you can see mine [after just two weeks! – click here] have a just little more to go before I allow them into unprotected typical irish weather.

Books and catalogues generally base sowing times on an average/ mean temperatures and as long as I understand what the plant needs to grow then I can work away and pretty much garden away as I please.

The ‘book’ tells me I’m a little late sowing – but the book obviously hasn’t seen the barbados like weather that’s been coming to North Dublin recently!!

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UPDATE:

here are my plants as of 28th of August as promised:

UPDATE: A Real Pumpkin Farm

Sowing the seeds

I can only really buy seeds and the paraphernalia required in the same places as you. This week I bought [in woodies: i emailed them this post] mustard, pumpkin, carrott, sprouts, cabbage, brocoli, onion and sweetcorn.

I didn’t buy lettuce seeds because the man said: ‘did you see them there?’ ‘no, I couldn’t find any’ I said. ‘well then they must not be there?’ I said ‘I suppose you’re right…. thanks for being so helpful…’ and then he continued talking to his mate behind the counter. So I asked the girl on the cash register but I forgot [and she reminded me!] that ‘no I don’t do customer services…’

Anyhow; Fill the trays with compost. Pop two odd seeds into each plug cell. Don’t forget to label them! Drop into a sink and allow the water to be drawn up from the bottom. And wait for nature to take its course.

In the meantime we may as well dream……

Herb Garden Harvest

herb garden harvesting - peter donegan fileMost of you will remember my herb garden from a few months back. It didn’t look much at the time – but – whlst I had been borrowing a bit hither dither for cooking.. I eventually had to crop the parsley, some chives and rhubarb. I ate all the blackberries.

The parsley I washed and let dry on tea towels over the weekend; then fine-ish chopped and jarred it. It not my preferred type of garnish [dried] but its better than the little bought dried stuff in jars. And its free now, it tastes better and it my crop gives the plant a little rest after its haircut.

The rhubarb – it wasn’t so much of a crop…. I had to move it temporarily so it had kind of a setback but, its ok now and I cropped it a little; that’ll be put in the freezer as will the chives. The strawberries – well I kind of ate them too.

More recently I have planted some apples; The varieties are ‘Johnagold’ [2 no.] and ‘winston’ [3 no.] both 10 litre pot size and for the Plum I chose the variety ‘Opal’ [5 no.] in a 10 litre pot size as well.

Doesn’t it make you so proud when you see it all – and that kettle is really tall!!