Archive for the ‘Leek’ Category


Had a visit from Síle and the TG4 ‘criú’ to record an item for the new series of ‘Garraí Glas’. The garden was like a moulting bird with some summer plumage but a lot of older feathers still showing. The remaining 2009 leeks, 2009 cabbage etc. were still visible but some  2010 young pretenders will now be needing their spaces as the seeds have grown into healthy young mange tout,  sugar snap and sweet pea plants.

So the job this week is to lift the remaining leeks before they go to seed and clear the patch to make space for the 2010 legume family. I was surprised how many leeks were left when gathered together in a bucket (see picture of former allium patch now legume patch plus bucket of leeks). Too many leeks for a meal so they must be stored somehow.

Having cleared the ground, dug in some well rotted garden compost and erected the supports so peas can indulge their penchant to climb up in search of the best light, it is time to plant out the seedlings  from the confines of their seed trays. You may recall the peas and bean seeds are planted in empty toilet rolls filled with damp seed compost. This allows 24 plants per seedtray. The depth of each roll has enough space for a good root system to develop. I use an old scissors to cut and peel off the cardboard sleeve and the cylindrical root ‘ball’ is planted intact so roots are hardly disturbed in the Continue reading


Mid-June review.

The garden is full of lif right now. It’s fantastic to see how much growth there has been in the last month. The weather has been almost ideal, with lots of bright sunny days and the occassional shower to keep things moist. The video gives a quick tour of the garden and it’s interesting to compare it with the overview taken in May. It’s geting difficult for the camerman to find a place to stand!


This week I see the leek  and spinach beet seeds I planted in seed trays in early May 2009_0609GrdnClarkes-cfinn0044are big enough to be planted out in the open ground.  The leeks will go with the onions, garlic and scallions in the allium family patch. The spinach beet will go beside the beetroot as they are both members of the same beet family. (Take a look at the back garden plan to get the picture.)

Last year I grew leek seeds in modules and planted out each module spaced about 6 inches (10 cm) apart. This year, my leeks are growing in a tray so I can do the traditional thing and prick them out in to holes poked in the soil and puddle them in without back filling the holes. We’ll see how they do this year compared to last year.

Planting out leaf beetThe spinach beet plants were sown late as I already had a crop (I thought) but in late April it quickly went to seed.  Perhaps I was a bit greedy expecting to get most of a second year out of it as it had given me dozens of delicious spinach dishes the previous year right through the winter and in the spring just gone. Also called ‘perpetual spinach’ I thought it might live up to its name. No problem, I now have the plants ready to plant for a new crop. The spinach beet was sown in modules so it is quite easy to plant out with a trowel and watering can, once the soil has been tilled, weeded and made even in readiness for the new arrivals.

Next week, I’ll be harvesting the early potatoes, variety ‘Colleen’ and planting out the courgette plants grown from seed earlier. Mr Burke’s class in Francis Street CBS National School, in the Liberties of Dublin,  were showing me and indeed cooking and tasting their harvest of ‘Colleen’ potatoes earlier today along with their beetroot. carrots, lettuce. cabbage, onions, scallions and raspberries, all grown on classroom windowsills. One of the students Patrick has brought in cauliflowers and peppers grown on the balcony of his high-rise flat. Wish I had had food growing as part of the curriculum when I was Patrick’s age. Patrick’s school are now planning to dig up a corner of the tarmac playground to create an outdoor school garden. Rath De ar an obair, a bhuachailli!