Monday, 27 April 2009

The onions are in!!

There was trojan work done on plot 103 this weekend and we're on a roll getting the place ready for some direct seed sowing over the next few weeks. As me and Cillian had to go to Ballina on Saturday overnight, Jemma and Eoin were on their own Saturday with their nephew Scottie who's 5 and found the digging too boring, but found endless things to do with his stick and ran manically around the plot waving it at anything that moved! somehow I don't think we'll have a problem with birds eating our fruit when he's around and the contract as a human scarecrow is being drawn up as we speak.

Jemma and Eoin got not one but two more beds dug on saturday, one for the carrots and parsnips and one for the leeks which we will start sowing from seed this friday during the nice day off from work I've secured.

The 2 new beds roughly dug and ready to be raked before seed sowing.

Lidl had some great bargains during the week which I snapped up with a pack of 2 10x2m nets for 6.99 and some rhubarb plants at 3 euros each, so into the trolley went two of them. A 20m garden hose for 9.99 also made its way into the trolley.

On Sunday evening myself and Cillian made our way back up to dublin, picked up Jemma and went up to the plot for an hour of two to plant 12 strawberry plants which have flowers appearing already and needed to go in, 2 rhubarb plants, 2 raspberry plants which also have masses of flowers starting to appear, and 100 onion sets to put into the newly dug onion bed, or as many as we could fit given the 5 inch spacing recommended on the pack. We arrived to the plot laden with plants to cries of 'Cheat!, Cheat!' from our allotment neighbours, so I have to say I did feel a bit of a cheat bringing relatively established plants bought in Lidl, Atlantic homecare and Johnstown garden centre as everyone else dilligently sowed everything from seed. But since its just the fruit plants that are established and everything else is being sown from scratch I think we can be forgiven for that.

We planted approx 70-80 onion sets in the new onion bed, I love onions! and use an awfull lot of them so this amount doesn't scare me.

We planted the 12 strawberry plants in one row alongside our 'sort of' path.

Two healthy raspberry plants gone in and will be staked eventually with some wire accross the back for support.

Two rhubarb plants rescued from Lidl and looking a little better than they were, believe me!!

The allotments have become a hive of activity over the last 2 weeks with everyone getting out and preparing their plots since the deer and rabbit fencing went up and so its become a great opportunity to meet our allotment neighbours. We met our next plot neighbour on Sunday, William and his little dog Sid who likes to chase stones, a very nice man who lives locally and was only too happy to give us all sorts of advice and is well clued in when it comes to growing veg. So he's become our allotment Guru and will I'm sure over the coming weeks get tired of us asking 'Do ya think that looks right?, how do we do this? can I borrow your bucket....again...' The well rotted manure also arrived on site and I've never been so excited about poo in my life, but it now graces the surrounds of the rhubarb plants upon the advice of William the allotment Guru. I'll be watching his plot like a hawk to pick up lots of tips.

News also seems to travel fast when you decide to grow your own veg. A colleague in work has his own plot up in Mayo, and kindly brought in 6 healthy young cabbage plants from a load of 70 or 80 he says he bought from a 'fella down the road' in Mayo for about 7 euro!!! Talk about a bargain!! So if our direct sown cabbage seeds don't do too well, at least we have some comfort in the knowledge that we will hopefully have 6 nice cabbages anyway.


  1. Things are flying along, looking good. As a seedaholic myself I often think why don't I just go and buy the plants and save myself a whole load of time and trouble, so don't worry about what others think, with seed sowing time and facilities are the problems, there's alot to be said to just buying it and sticking it in the ground particularly when your seeds have failed, which they do every now and again. Keep the faith

  2. This is a flippin' brilliant Idea... Theres allotment up in Blessington up near Jon's dad, I think I'm gonna go and persuade the other half that he really, really wants to spend his weekend in wellys digging in the muck.. I know I do! Is it very expensive to rent?

  3. Hi race you to the altar!! its not expensive considering, We pay 325 euros per year for 100sq meters, a grand size and that includes insurance, manure, bark mulch, and the site came rotovated so not a huge amount of digging to set up the beds compared to if it wasn't rotovated. You'd spend the same joining a Gym for a year and somehow I don't think I'd enjoy it as much. I looked into the ones in blessington aswell but they were 275 euro or so for only about 30 or 40 sq meters, so I didn't think this was big enough as we are aiming to try and grow at least 70% of all our own veg, don't think 30 or 40sq m would quite cut it, and 275 is a lot to pay for such a small space, so we went with 325 for 100sq meters. On our site theres also a river where you can go fishing aswell and plans for a BBQ area, allotment shop to buy tools, plants and seeds, a polytunnel in future and the owner is going to set up a farmers market type stall to sell any excess, so overall it seemed a much better deal and would be more enjoyable for making it a daytrip and social type of event. There are still plots available so if your interested, just drop over to me (you know where I live..hee hee) and I'll give you contact details. Best of luck

  4. Hi, the plot is looking good and lots done already!I had 80 onions last year, they dried off in the shed and were used over winter. I use onions in everything and have now used the last one so more are going in this year at approx 5 onions for 52 weeks, is 260! You have done the right thing with your raspberries stting them along a wire,we did'nt so they are now in a clump!

  5. Thanks veg and flower time, we'll have more time next year to start everything earlier from seed but as the plots weren't ready till april this year we're a bit behind, but no bother, we're just gonna try direct sowing as much as we can over the next couple of weeks, its carrots and leeks this friday hopefully.

    Thanks peggy, I also use a ridiculous amount of garlic, love the stuff but we are too late this year, we'll be giving them a go too in october/november for next year. I'd seen some pictures of raspberries with the canes kind of bent over in a loop along wire so we'll give it a go. Hopefully I'll have more strawberries this year than the measly few we got on the balcony last year.