Thursday, 4 March 2021

Emptying The Carrots Bath.


 It's  been a grand and dry week down here on the Irish Riviera.  I have been a busy bee and it's been great to be out in the veg plot and polytunnel.

Yesterday I decided to empty the carrot bath which was full of overwintering carrots:

I have a few old damaged plastic baths that I  made drainage holes in and filled them with my special carrot soil mix.  

When I use to rent allotments in England I once made the wife a raised carrot bed with 2x2 paving  flags stood on end and filled with my special carrot soil mix: sieved topsoil mixed with river sand.  Sea sand can contain salt and your carrots might say: "We do not like salt".

I did the same  filling the baths with soil and sand.  You can also grow parsnips like this and with you growing above 12 inches or 30 centimetres old Mr and Mrs Carrot fly can't fly that high and they will leave them alone.  You can also cover the baths in fleece or old net curtains to keep any critters away.


My old mayonaise tub runneth over.  Do like my new yellow welly Bob's?   Oh what fun we had peeling and chopping and blanching and freezing all them.  

Anyone else grow carrots or parsnips this way?


Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Starting The Onion Sets Off In Compost Filled Trays In "Portugal" My Polytunnel.

 It's still very cold to think of planting or sowing anything outside yet.  However if you want to give your onion sets a good start instead of them lying in the cold and wet clay/earth.  Why not plant them in compost filled trays or modules in the polytunnel,  greenhouse, cold frame or indoor window sill?



Newly planted onion sets in my polytunnel.   You can also see my "Japs" or winter onions growing on the right of the picture. 

When you come to plant your onion sets in a couple of weeks or so they will have strong stalks and white sock roots.  

Yes we know you can buy onions in net bags for 49 Cents from one of those discount supermarkets but it's not the same and you have to weed your homegrown ones.

I need to get some compost like "Jack's Magic" to start some peas off in modules and sow some Brussel sprouts seeds.  Do any of you make your own potting compost? A John Innes number three recipe perhaps?  

Do you grow your onions in compost in trays?  The wife's just come back from town with 3 bales of Irish Moss Compost.  They mus have been outside in the rain because they weigh a ton.  Aren't I a lucky lad?  Time to go potting up!





Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Bringing In An Azalea Friend From The Cold Because The Seasons Have Gone Bonkers.

 The seasons are really mixed up these days.  We've  got Azalea's  flowering at the beginning of March:


It's  a bit cold for plants that originate in Asia and they like living under the shelter of a tree.  

I noticed this fine specimen flowering in my vegetables plot/nursery.  So I thought I would give it to the wife.  She likes pretty flowers.  Then we decided to let it come into the dwelling and have a warm in the front room with the seed potatoes and sprouting vegetable seeds.

Azalea seems very happy and I think it's better than her getting cold and losing it's  flowers because the seasons have gone bonkers.

Any one else got Azalea's flowering in March?


Monday, 1 March 2021

Getting The Vegetable Seeds Going In Front Room Window.

 I weeded and dug over another veg plot area today.  I know it's still too cold to sow or plant anything.  But I thought I would get the ground prepared before the rains return at the weekend.

Meanwhile back at the ranch or even bungalow.   Wifey went to our German garden centre and beer providers the other day and came back with a handful of packets of cheap vegetables seeds.  I filled up the some trays in propagators with potting compost and then she sowed some vegetable seeds in the front room window:



Tomatoes, Capsicums and Sweet Peas.  All growing nicely and getting misted and heat from the Kitchen range and  front room stove and central heating.

We've also got spuds chitting on the unit in the front room.  We like to treat our vegetables with a bit of TLC.  Have you started growing vegetables seeds yet?






Sunday, 28 February 2021

A Blonde Rock Goddess. " Uh huh make me tonight".

Yep it's than time of the week again when I feature a favourite Rock Goddess.   Can you guess who she is?  Well her band is called Blondie yet a lot of folk thought she was Blondie herself.

Yes it's the one and only Debby Harry.  She's 75 now and I still think she's gorgeous.  

" I'm in love with a 75 year old Rock star."

Here's Debby Harry singing "Atomic".  Hope it's the one with her all dressed up in a black bin bag ?   You may have missed out buying new clothes in the January Sales that never happened.  Reach out for a black bin liner and make your own sexy outfit!

Way back to 1980 when music was great:

How long before we see some live music again? I see some music festivals are saying that they will be back this Summer.  I'll believe it when I see it.







Saturday, 27 February 2021

Digging Over This Years Potato Plot.

 The rain gods finally left us for a while on Thursday.  So I got out my trusty gardening tools and set to work on this years proposed new potatoes plot.  It was pretty overgrown but there is life in the old dog yet.  Here's some pictures for your perusal:



Two lazy Azada hoes.  The one on the left is my Crocodile Azada made by Chillington hoes.  I have had it for over ten years.  The one on the right was made in 2013 by number 1 son.  Just type Azada in my blog search.  It cost nothing and still works brilliantly.  If you're taking on an overgrown allotment, they are the perfect tool for the job.


Tools used included  one shovel, two Azadas,  a four prong pike, one spade, tub to put weeds in.


All weeded and forked over and ready for me to dig trenches, add fym, plant spuds spread seaweed around Paddy's Day.  

Have you started on your veg plot yet?  My next job is to collect seaweed.



Friday, 26 February 2021

Tight Wad Polytunnel Potato Planting.

 " What a difference a day makes" sang jazz singer Dinah Washington.  Yesterday I was out in the gardens pruning my potted perennials and I decided to plant some  seed potatoes that my friend gave me last Autumn.  

They are British Queen tubers which he gave us for our Tea.  But being the rather resourceful (Tightwad) that I am.  We saved some of them to plant in the polytunnel:

Digging out some homemade compost to grow my potatoes in.  Yes there are a few weeds growing it but nothing grows where weeds won't grow.



Twelve chitted seed potatoes planted in homemade compost  in old fish boxes.  They have good drainage holes.



Seed potatoes ready to be covered up with our homemade compost.

Ten or twelve weeks time they will be ready to harvest before the outdoor new potatoes are ready.  Hopefully it won't be too hot and we won't  be saying: " It's  too hot for spuds".  Or that other English classic: " Is it hot or is it me?   Chance would be a good thing.  

Any one set their spuds yet in the polytunnel or greenhouse?  See vegetable gardening needn't  cost the earth.   Just some free homemade compost and my friends potatoes!
Total cost of potatoes and homemade compost= Nowt or Nuffink!








Emptying The Carrots Bath.

 It's  been a grand and dry week down here on the Irish Riviera.  I have been a busy bee and it's been great to be out in the veg pl...