Archive for the ‘Peas’ Category

LAST APPLE JUICED AND HONEY POTTED, TIME TO CLEAR GARDEN FOR AUTUMN PLANTING – SECOND WEEK IN OCTOBER 2010.

Made a start on clearing the spent pea and bean stalks and haulms. I did not dig them out, just chopped them at ground level so their roots remained in the soil. These legume roots have nodules of nitrogen fixed from the air during their growing season. I’m told this is valuable for the cabbage plants I hope to plant in this patch shortly as all the brassica family are hungry for nitrogen.

Still have beetroot to dig up and bottle for storage over the winter. Before long I will need to spread the mature compost from the composter around the garden and make a new batch by layering the compost tumbler contents with the greenery from spent veg and hedge clipping. However I’ll need to set aside a Sunday sometime soon to get a good run at that job which comes around every 6 months, autumn and spring.

TIME OUT TO CELEBRATE WITH THE ORGANIC CENTRE, CO LEITRIM – THIRD WEEK IN JULY 2010

The garden at home is bursting with produce right now. The peas and beans, kale and cabbage, chard Swiss and Rainbow are all featuring in the kitchen. Courgettes and pumpkins are in flowers. The raspberries, strawberries and blackcurrants often don’t make it as far as the kitchen. The tomatoes are ripening and the sunflowers are reaching for the sky. However, one sunflower succumbed to a slug attack. They chewed all around the base, ‘ring-barking’ the plant so it wilted. It is now unable to take up water and nutrients from the roots. The wasps then feasted on the sweet sap exposed , but ‘it wuz the slugs wot dunnit’. So copper anti-slug tape has been wrapped around the healthy tall sunflower nearby so fingers crossed I have thwarted another sneaky slug attack.

Slugs or no slugs, this weekend was a great time to gather at The Organic Centre in Rossinver, Co. Leitrim for the annual Garden Party on Sunday 18th July,  for growers and eaters of home-grown garden produce. Neven Maguire, the legendary chef from Blacklion in nearby Co. Cavan kept a huge audience enthralled by mouth-watering ways of preparing chard, tomatoes and hake. He made pesto making look really easy. I could see tongues (almost) hanging out as he prepared a delicious tiramisu.

Then  famous vegetable gardening author, Joy Larkcom and her husband Don from West Cork did a fascinating presentation on growing salads of the cut and come again varieties, with good handouts and illustrations on PowerPoint.

The team at the Organic Centre, many of whom are volunteers, provided delicious soups and lunches, teas and coffees, cakes and all manner of refreshments for the 500 or so who came for a great day out in dry warm ‘Lovely Leitrim’.

Hans and Gaby Wieland and Andy Hallewell and all the Organic Centre team were thanked by me at the end of the day just before I pulled the raffle tickets for the Castlebaldwin Donkey Sanctuary. The Centre and the Sanctuary raised a few bob and need to raise much more, I have no doubt both people and donkeys went home happy.

The Organic Centre has some great courses coming up and other events. I learned a huge amount there about picking and preparing mushrooms. Check out their website at www.theorganiccentre.ie and go visit them, they need your support.

LIFT REMAINING LEEKS TO CLEAR SPACE FOR YOUNG PEA PLANTS – FIRST WEEK IN MAY 2010

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

RONDO PEAS WIN PRIZE AT RUSH HORTICULTURAL SHOW. MEANWHILE STRAWBERRY RUNNERS NEED PLANTING UP – THIRD WEEK IN JULY 2009

Rush and District Horticultural Show was held at St Maur’s GAA Centre, Rush, 2009_RushandLusk01Co Dublin, on Saturday 11 July. I chanced my arm and entered a 3 pod set of Enorma broad beans, 8 strings of blackcurrants and a 6 pod set of Rondo peas. Considering there were 11 other pea class entries I was delighted to see a ‘first prize’ sticker beside my plate of peas. A little praise goes a long way, just like the smell of comfrey tea!

Meanwhile, the three strawberry plants are continuing to generously yield delicious fruit. Each day I pick a couple of freshly ripened strawberries to take in a lunchbox to my Department pof Agriculture office. I notice the plants are also sending forth runners in the hope they will land on fertile soil to form new plants. Now is the time to help the runners to root and grow into new plants which will fruit along with their parents next summer.

All I need to do is collect a few plant pots, fill them with good soil and place them in the vicinity of the sprawling runners. Then I, gently using a ‘wish-bone’ shaped twig, pin the runners in the pots of soil. As long as they are not let dry out, the new plants should grow away happily and develop a good root system. Once the plants are growing well in their pots, I will transplant them to their final position when they are to fruit next summer.

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!