Monday, 18 May 2009

It's life Jim!!...................

It poured rain all weekend so we didn't get much done on plot 103 but we did brave the elements to check on things on Sunday. Obviously we were the only ones silly enough to go out to the plot in the pouring rain and there was no sign of any of our allotment neighbours. We were greeted with a lovely sight as signs of life are poking through in all corners after the week of rain we've had.
The onions are doing really well with bright green tops getting longer by the minute!
The salads we sowed last week have all germinated as have all of our carrots and parsnips, and were poking through. You can see em if you look really close! I aplogise for the poor quality of the photos this week, but it was pouring rain and as photography is my other hobby, I love my camera too much to risk getting it too wet. (plug: you can see my online photography gallery of arty farty pics on Last week we sowed lollo rossa, ice queen, butterhead and rocket, and three varieties of carrot, Autumn king, yellowstone and chantennay on the bank holiday.

We planted out some cabbage and cauliflower plants and protected them from the cabbage white butterfly by covering with the cheap netting I got from Lidl which turned out to be a great buy! The butterfly will lay its eggs on brassicas if it can get at them and before you know it, the catterpillars that hatch will have stripped your plants bare. With seedlings in, at least the allotment is starting to actually look like its doing something rather than just some empty dug out beds.
On the pest front we took a trip into town to Mr. Middletons garden shop on Mary street, Dublin. I could have stayed there all day!! the place is better than any garden centre and is obviously geared more towards the allotment grower. They were selling bunches of 25 cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and sprout seedlings for 3.99euro!!! Now thats what I'm talking about! I always found it strange in regular garden centres that they could charge 4 or 5 euro for maybe 4 or 6 seedlings! Thats nearly more expensive than the supermarket! You see I have a problem when it comes to garden centres, and its not necessarily just garden centres...well... any shop really that stock plants or seeds. I can't resist them, its gotten so bad that even when we go to the supermarket, Cillian has taken to shielding my eyes if there is a stand of seeds or some new plants on display and he has, on occasion had to physically drag me out of garden centres! Yes, I'm ashamed to admit it but I have a problem!! However, Mr. Middletons shop is one I'll certainly be returning to. I picked up some Nema-Sys vine weevil killer. As far as I know they are the only stockists in the country of this product which is completely organic and consists of around 12million little living nematodes per pack. The nematodes are microscopic worm-like parasites that infect and kill the vine weevil grubs but are harmless to anything else. They already live in the soil but not in sufficient quantities to control a vine weevil problem. So you're really just giving nature a helping hand which suits us perfectly as we are going to take the organic approach and not use chemicals. We applied some on Sunday to the onion bed, where I first saw the grubs a number of weeks back, the carrot bed and the pea and bean bed both of which are close by. Hopefully this will sort out any potential vine weevil problems before they start.
Mr. Middletons is a handy place to visit also if you loose your seedlings for whatever reason and are too late in the season to start again from scratch. You can buy seedlings in fairly large numbers for a very reasonable price to replace your losses. I hope we won't be in that position this year but its nice to know its not the end if things don't quite work out.


  1. We have been rained off the plot down here too, and I also went to the plot on Sunday but there were another few crazy people out working away between the showers!

  2. Well at least it bodes well for a nice summer, They say if you've a windy rainy May that summer will be a scorcher! hope so. We didn't have showers unfortunately, it absolutely poured all afternoon non stop! Got drenched right through.

  3. Try Hacketts too, down on Capel Street beside the bridge - brilliant plants in bundles and very nice, but they don't take plastic.

  4. thanks Pageturners. Will definately check them out. Didn't know there was another gardening shop down that way.