Glad to take up an invitation from my friend Stan Nangle in Tramore to do a workshop on ‘growing organically in a small garden.’ Stan billed the event as ‘Trevor’s Kitchen Garden on Tour 2011’ which has a ring to it! The venue was the Wexford Organic Centre near New Ross and the day was a sunny Saturday, April 9th, 2011.

Richard Mee, the Manager, (and his daughter Sarah) looked after the kitchen gardening gang very well with refreshments, lunch and organic plants, seeds and compost available to all. Richard is a renowned grower, former Organic Trust inspector and soil scientist himself. I think I got the best deal of the day, a chance to talk about my passion for growing in small spaces and doodle on a whiteboard, while enjoying a free consultancy from Richard and all the other interactions with the various GIY, farming and Green friends gathered for the day.

Wexford Organic Centre has some ingenious slug thwarting tricks on show, eg a hanging potting table in a polytunnel. No table legs for slugs to climb, magic!

Richard also challenges the presumption that young seedlings germinated under glass or plastic, should be hardened off before planting outside. Richard claims his young plants do fine when planted straight out with no hardening off. Good results with less work sound enticing. Must try it back home.

Meanwhile in my own garden, I sowed the chitted early potato seed in bags atlast and made clear labels for each. The varieties sown are – Orla – Charlotte – Queen – Sharpe’s Express – Sante – Pink Fir Apple. Growing each variety in separate bags means hopefully I can save some healthy tubers after the harvest as identifiable seed for next year. Before half filling each growing bag with a mix of soil and compost, I lines the bottom of each bag with seaweed (thanks Zoe) and comfrey leaves. I am told the decomposing seaweed and comfrey slightly warms the soil above improving growth in the potato. Time will tell!

Also washed down the glass and swept clean the ‘telephone box’ lean-to greenhouse. Filled up two boxes with soil mixed with compost and comfrey leaves and planted ‘Tumbler’ tomato plant in one of them under glass. I now feel the growing season is now picking up pace. Time to do more hoeing and attempt to frustrate the expected slug attacks.


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