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May 6, 2013

A day bank holiday weekend in the vegetable garden ūüôā

The house is destroyed but I’m finally on top of everything in the veg patch. It wont last long but feels good for now.

The Greenside Up Vegetable Garden

The Greenside Up Vegetable Garden

It might look bare but in the ground outside we have red & white onions, early & main crop spuds, parsnips, carrots, beetroot, chard, broad beans & mangetout, celeriac & swede, asparagus & scarlet kale and early purple sprouting broccoli. We also have a bed of strawberries that has had an overhaul, rhubarb and lots of flower and herb seeds planted for the bees.

Now might be a good time to mention the leatherjackets. Has anyone else noticed the zillions of these wriggly little root eaters in their soil? They’ve already eaten one of my kale seedlings! I’m starting to see them in my sleep I’ve picked out so many, which doesn’t bode well for a happy late summer as I have a crane fly phobia ūüôĀ


Rosemary in flower attracting bees into the polytunnel

How was your bank holiday weekend? Did you get to spend some time in the garden?

Community Gardens

In the Community Garden in March

March 27, 2013

Here we are, the last week of March and more snow, more biting cold winds and still nothing at all sown outside in Goresbridge community garden! Thankfully the weather hasn’t been remotely as bad as those living in Co Antrim or the UK, (Lorna over at the Irish Farmerette blog has written a post about their hardships and the difficulties farmers are facing due to the long winter-spring).¬†

A tree in March in BaunreaghAs I left home to meet up with gardeners this week, the sky was heavy with its frosty load and the huge flakes softly floated around me as I tentatively set off once again down the slippery hilly lanes.

There was snow in the community garden with most of the beds frozen, but inside we were starting to see slow signs of life.

The potatoes are chitting nicely…


We transplanted strawberry runners into guttering that will be hung on the wall outside when the weather warms up a bit.

strawberries at Goresbridge community gardenVery few seeds have germinated that were sown two weeks ago, it’s been so cold. The rocket is just up, a few tiny lettuce plants and some kale. We’ll be sowing fresh seeds over the next few weeks to counteract the losses/non germination…

Lastly we were able to thin out and divide the chives that we planted from seed a couple of years ago that were in danger of taking over the herb bed.

goresbridge community garden chives

There is one delightfully uplifting area of the garden during this barren time… a large container full of pretty spring flowers. Fingers crossed for a warmer Wednesday next week!

spring flowers in the community garden



Beginning of May in our garden……

May 5, 2011

Just a few pics of our garden yesterday, after some light showers of rain…

We’re letting the curly kale go to seed in the hope of collecting them this year, and their flowers are the most colourful thing in the veggie garden at the moment.

The onions and garlic planted last autumn are doing well and the early potatoes are¬†flying up too, especially now we’ve started our night time slug hunt.
Salads, carrots and parsnips are slow due to the long dry spell but will hopefully perk up now we’ve had a shower.
The strawberry plants are full of flowers so we’re hoping for another good crop. I’ll also be taking some of the tips picked up from The Red Kitchen, a Meath based jam¬†and chutney business and hope to make jam this year that won’t be going mouldy. The fruit bushes are starting to swell with currents¬†so fingers crossed for our first good crop.
Peas and lettuce sown directly in February are flying along but my French beans are being munched on by something sneaky… hopefully nothing more serious than slugs but I’m keeping a close eye.
The front garden is starting to look pretty¬†too…



The borage self seeded and is flowering away, attracting the bees.


The Honesty (Lunaria) planted from seed last year, although windswept are still filling the garden with my favourite colour and goregeous scent.

… we divided the lupins in the early spring and are looking forward to six displays this year.

I’ll be stripping some comfrey¬†leaves off soon to use as a mulch in the polytunnel…. and we keep meaning to move the herbs but haven’t gotten around to it yet…. anyone for oregano, sage or fennel?

Number one job now is to source some straw to use as a mulch to prevent weeds and keep the moisture into our clayey soil.

Very much looking forward to the months ahead in¬†the garden …


Harvesting vegetable crops in early May

May 6, 2010

Harvesting vegetable crops in early MayGreat excitement in the Sewelly polytunnel & garden as veggies are almost ready for harvesting!

The peas and broad beans that were planted before Christmas are starting to appear so I’ll be digging out the recipe books soon¬†as picking fresh produce always makes me want to try out a new dish.¬† This early harvest will help to¬†fill the ‘hungry gap’ when the only other fresh veg we have to eat at the moment¬†is purple sprouting broccoli.¬† I almost pulled it up after the snow as it was looking so downcast, but decided to give it a¬†feed of fish, blood & bone and this is the result –¬†five plants full of delicious florets (that were especially tasty in this evening’s stir fry). There are loads more tiny florets starting to appear beneath the large leaves in the next few days too.

The plan this year is to keep the polytunnel as productive as possible so that it earns it’s keep!

With that in mind we have shallots planted behind the peas & beans and the plan is to plant cucumbers once they’ve all been harvested.

I haven’t quite cracked full productivity¬†yet though as the bed waiting for the tomatoes is still empty, and there’s a big space where the courgette is slowly growing.

My experiment of planting sweet corn early too hasn’t quite worked out – only three germinated (!) so I planted another packet last week in the hope that they’ll catch up soon now the temperatures are rising (there’s obviously a good reason why seed packets recommend a month for growing and late March wasn’t it).¬† The french beans have all germinated and are starting to grow rapidly too. We never had much success growing these outdoors as it just never seemed warm enough so hopefully will have better luck inside this year.

Meanwhile outside the strawberries are showing signs of flowering and the Red Duke of York first early potatoes are coming along nicely too.

I love this time of year!