Monday 22 April 2024

Carboot Sale Plants Selling.

We drove over to nearby West Cork  town to a carboot sale on Sunday morning.

The online info said we could set up from nine.  I am one of those people who hate being late and we got there by eight.  Are you like me or are you always late getting anywhere,

The car boot sale wasn't supposed to start until ten.  

Little by little the world and his wife began to dribble in and I was starting to think maybe we might sell some plants?

An hour later and a few browsers conversations later and me telling folk my usual etymology of my plants to people and how to propagate and care for them.  We still hadn't sold a bean or a plant.

More of my hedging, phormiums and perennials.  Every plant there I had either propagated by cuttings or division.

Eventually  we started selling and in due course engaged in gardening conversations and I could possibly have gardening leads to weed and restore and possibly plant two gardens up.

We took 72 Euros minus the sales pitch fee and ⛽️ diesel.  If I could make that every day I would be a very happy bunny.

My plant prices were 2.50 for big perennials and 2 Euros for smaller ones.  2.50 for potted griselina and 5 Euros for phormiums.

Have you been car boot  selling lately?

Sunday 21 April 2024

Polytunnel Nettles?🤔

Polytunnel Nettles would make a good name for a Prog Rock band wouldn't it?

I saw lovely young spring nettles growing up the side of one of the raised beds  (repurposed decking planks)in the polytunnel.  

I was going to chop them up with my scissors and put them in my plastic swing bin of garden 'tea".

I noticed my Japanese onions 🌰 and some of the leeks growing and thought nettles,  Japanese onions, potato an leek 🍲 soup.

Remember my Japanese Winter  🌰 onions I planted last September in the polytunnel?   We are picking them and eating them every day.

We also picked and chopped three of the remaining big leeks and I peeled and chopped a shop bought(Lidl) potato.  Apart from the potato and the gas to cook the soup.  Our soup cost very little to make.  

Anyone else eat Spring nettles?  
It's good of Mother Nature to provide with her Spring spinach.

Saturday 20 April 2024

The Fish Boxes, Belfast Sink, Plastic Baths, Barrels, Washing Machine Drum Allotment.

 I often say on here that you do not need to have a garden or allotment to grow your own vegetables and perennials.

All you need is something to grow them in.  Here's some of the containers I have acquired over the years living in West Cork:

Plastic Baths.  I bought them second hand and drilled drainage holes in them and filled them with fym and topsoil.

The round metal drum is from our old washing machine.  There are fish boxes I found.  Some washed up on the beaches.  You can also see barrels, plant pots and an old Belfast Sink.  Next to the pallets is a shower screen which I once made a cold frame with.

My allotments apprenticeship taught me to be resourceful and repurpose what ever I can find to grow my veggies.

Vegetable gardening need not mean you have to spend much money.  All you need is to have a look around and collect and utilise what you have got.

This is my 100th blog post of 2024.  Not bad for the middle of April.

Friday 19 April 2024

Growing Parsnips In Big Plant Pots


I watched a different YouTube video about growing  parsnips the other day.  

I cut off the bottoms of some small plastic plant pots and  placed them in large planters full of compost or soil even.  I had no potting compost.

I ran the soil through my fingers and removed any stones and filled them up with fine tilthed soil.  These are living in the polytunnel for the time being

Then we sowed fifteen of the chitted parsnips I showed you on my last post.

I filled three large barrels and five big plant pots with fym and top soil outside in the veg plot.   The wife sowed thirty prechitted parsnip seeds and also carrots in the other plant pots.  Then we watered them in.

We will have an awful lot of carrots if they all grow.  Have you sowed your carrots and parsnips  yet?

Thursday 18 April 2024

Parsnip Seeds Germination In The Kitchen.

Parsnips seeds placed on a very damp piece of kitchen roll in a plastic tupperware tub. Then I cut ✂️ another piece of kitchen roll and saturated it and place it to cover the seeds and put the lid on anplaced two tubs of the seeds on top of the cooker hood.   I did this a week ago.  I found this way of growing them from Ivan's Gardening Allotment UK on good old YouTube. 

If you read old gardening books like me myself and I do.  You will read that February ("are you serious?") is the traditional time to sow parsnips outside in the veggie plot. 

 I have great respect for the old gardeners and their gardening methods.  But I think February was a tad bit optimistic to think of sowing seed especially over here in wet and cold Hibernia.  Maybe the seasons could have been different when garden writers waxed  lyrical about sowing parsnips in February?  We don't get much snow these days but we have no shortage of relentless rain

The Roman's christened Ireland:"Hibernia". Meaning: " the land of eternal winters". Well it's certainly not Italy.  More like "it's like Christmas Day in the workhouse" like my dear old mother would say.

Parsnips seeds can take up to  twenty eight days to germinate if at all or if they even bother to sprout? They are like waiting for a bus in rural Ireland.  Your wasting your time.

The indoor kitchen method is far more successful.  We will have a look next week for any signs of germination.  I wrote this on Saturday afternoon.  I should have posted this before Tasker over at A Yorkshire Memoir sowed his carrots in his carrot tub.  Are they germinating yet Tasker?

Any road or any way.  I sowed two tubs of the parsnips seeds and placed the lids on them and placed them on top of the cooker hood.  Using the heat from the cook to help germinate them.

Update.  I lifted the lids yesterday Tuesday and I was delighted with the germination:

I wish I knew this method of germinating parsnips years ago.  

You are only sowing seed that you know they have germinated.

Do you pregerminate any of your vegetables seeds?

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Grass Cutting Smallholding Chores.

 The weather is improving and yesterday I gave my petrol hedge trimmer it's first work out of the year.

That's a photo of yours truly going around the perimeter of a field cutting back any vegetation that may be touching the mains fencer wires.

I wore my safety glasses but couldn't find my ear protection muffs.  So I had to listen the unsweetened dulcet tones of a petrol engine.   

There's a lot to be said for a battery hedge trimmer.  We endure so much rock and roll (garden) noise pollution don't we just?  Recognise the ACDC record title?

I noticed the rushes are rampant this year more than ever.  I see rushes in most farmers fields emerging.  Even in some Dairy farms where they hammer the pasture with fertilizer ("bag manure"), lime and slurry.

I am an organic gardener/smallholder and don't like using weedkillers.  So I will have to start up the petrol (more noise) strimmer and cut down the soft rushes.

All being well it will be turn out time this weekend for the livestock.  They will run and dance and have their Spring disco and I will have the task of mucking out their Winter quarters.

There will be plenty of fym for the veg plot next year.

There's always something to keep me busy here.

Tuesday 16 April 2024

My Little Plants Nursery.

 My small perennials nursery in the polytunnel.

I showed you a glimpse of my big perennials and shrubs plant pot  nursery yesterday next to the plastic raised beds.  Today here's a photo of my little  plant nursery.

I made most of the small plants a couple of Thursdays ago when the heavens opened.  Between the big perennials and the little plants nursery I have literally hundreds of plants in pots.  

I sold 24 Osteospermums or Cape Daisies the other week to my brother.

My carboot sales plants are affordable to anyone's pocket because I believe everyone can have a nice garden without spending a lot of money.  Small plants like the ones in the picture above I sell for only 1 Euros.  Like acorns grow to be big trees.  My little plants soon become big.

Do you have an hobby that makes you a bit of money?

Sometimes people say to me at a carboot sale:

"I already have one of those".  I think:

"I have hundreds of them".  

Somebody once asked me if they could have a "slip?". Instead of buying a cheap plant they wanted a free cutting!  Some people have more front than Blackpool😊!

Carboot Sale Plants Selling.

We drove over to nearby West Cork  town to a carboot sale on Sunday morning. The online info said we could set up from nine.  I am one of th...