Sunday 29 January 2023

What A Difference A Dry Day Makes!

 It's finally stopped raining in the Monsoon season here on the Irish Riviera.   

So yesterday I decided to get the new potatoes 🥔 area weeded and piked over.  It's been my perennials nursery for a few years and the soil was pretty compact.  

It had formed a pan and I decided to aerate the soil with my four prong pike.  Some people are "No Dig" gardeners but I like to use more traditional cultivation methods and give myself some back ache.  Do you still dig or are  you a 'no dig' gardener?

Here's a photo of my work:

Hopefully any rain or frosts will help make the soil more friable and  kill off any wee nasties living in the ground.

The next job will be to go collecting some seaweed with the wife.  I will fill the manure and compost and hump them to the boot of the car and then we will spread the seaweed.

I have plenty of fym but it's too fresh to use for at least six months.  

We will also start looking for seed potatoes in our local German Garden Centre and beer  providers and supermarket.

Have you started cultivation on your veg plot or allotment yet?

16 comments:

  1. We have had a few days now without rain, but still too chilly to motivate us to get out there and do much.
    P has finished his small raised bed for our veg plot but hasn't yet decided what to plant in it. I expect it will be courgettes and strawberries as at least we both like to eat those. I am just hoping that the local cat population doesn't cause too much havoc with it as they do tend to like our garden for their toilet training.

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    1. Prickly branches laid on the soil is often a good cat deterrent JayCee. We will grow new potatoes, parsnips, carrots, onions, lettuce and probably some beetroots and peas. Maybe a few Brassicas? Hopefully the sea salt on the seaweed will keep the slugs and snails away.

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  2. I am very much a "Dig" gardener. "No Dig" gardening is for lazy buggers. I haven't done anything to our vegetable plot yet. Besides, it's sixty miles to the seaside - a long way to push a barrow filled with seaweed. Must you brag about your four-pronged pike?

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  3. I watch Geoffrey Smith videos on You Tube YP. He shows the viewer how to dig an allotment and uses gardening expressions like 'bastard trenching' and 'two spit' digging. My pike is not a fresh water shark. It is a long handled fork used for mucking out and a weapon in English civil wars. You and Clint should have a ride out and colle t some bags of seaweed.

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  4. Having had many conversations with farmers in my area, I am a no dig to the extent possible. Absolutely nothing to do with being a lazy bugger but all to do with soil structure.

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    1. Why have farmers ploughed their fields for hundreds of years? Ploughing is just another form of digging. I grew up in a farming community and never heard a farmer referring to "soil structure". What the hell is it anyway?

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    2. Ploughing or green manuring the land YP. Good land husbandry and putting the heart back into the land. I visited Dorset a few years ago and walked along a public footpath through a cereal field and I didn't see one weed. No doubt the crop had been sprayed with pesticides and weedkillers. Good soil structure contains all the vital ingredients to feed the plants. Seaweed is said to contain up to 50 trace elements. Fym contains a lot to.

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  5. Hi Traveller. I think it's a North South way of gardening. I have lots of old gardening books promoting digging to aerate the soil and let the Winter work the soil. Living in the West of Ireland you don't get the heavy frosts much. Raised beds are used for mainly drainage and increasing soil fertility. It's growing and cultivating what's important. ³

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  6. I wish I had a veg plot. I have a patch of hard baked clay soil with succulents in it, the only things that will survive such soil. I have a few pots, mostly with more succulents and a couple where I tried carrots and beans, but there is just not enough sun and too many leaf/stem eating "critters" I'm hopeful of my potato plants which are growing from a sprouting potato that I planted last year and I have some spindly looking tomatoes that might amount to something. If I had a proper garden space that got decent sunshine, I'd be out there with fork and spade, compost tumbler etc.

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  7. Do you not have allotments where you live River? Or you could rent some land or someone's garden? I have grown potatoes in a plant pot in a upstairs flat window. We use old fish boxes and baths and even an old back wheel tractor tyre for containers. You can grow vegetables anywhere.

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    1. There is a community garden several blocks away, but renting a plot is out of my budget. I'll see how the garden pot goes, if it works and I get a few potatoes, that's good enough for me.

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    2. Community gardens/are very inexpensive if you break it down to a weekly fee River. Much success with your growing this year.

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  8. Dave your soil looks like ours - plasticine. F digs (with a long handled shovel) and spent most of the weekend plugging away at it, but she would prefer not to have to dig if there was another way to rid the place of cooch and bindweed. She read once of a woman growing veg in American midwest, who had no water to put on her garden (unlike you and F). She used to pile up all the rotten hay left at the end of winter, and plant through it. Never dug, never watered - for 30 years; just kept piling up the rotten hay in the same place. That's F's ideal. She is piling on the rotted stable manure, seaweed, leaf mold, grass clippings, anything she can lay her hands on in the hope it will soak up a bit of the excess water.... but first get rid of the perennial weeds.

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    Replies
    1. Allotment in particular can be very hard work to cultivate Tigger especially if they are old and been let go wild for years. I have twitch or couch like yours. I could use a glysophate to kill it but I persevere turning the soil with my pike and also my Azada and pull out the rogue grasses. Cold manures like cow manure (4 stomachs) often contain twitch and rotovators make individual plants, cutting up the lengths of grass roots. The American lady sounds amazing. F sounds a gardener like myself with her long handled shovel. Fair play to you all and much success growing this year Tigger.



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  9. We've had so much rain the lettuces have turned into monsters. Couldn't believe my eyes. It seemed to happen down overnight .
    No digging here yet but my vege patch gets smaller and smaller. The lettuces are in an old wheelbarrow

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  10. Your lettuces are obviously being fed very well Linda. I use an old wheelbarrow to grow veg in along with old baths and old tractor tyres and plastic fish boxes..

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