Monday, June 18, 2007

How does your garden grow?

To be honest, not too well at the moment. Today it feels like we're back in winter again with a horrible gray day and pouring rain. It's supposed to clear up later but then more of the same for the rest of the week, some respite on Friday and even more rain on Saturday and Sunday. Dontcha just love the summer!

I still haven't managed to grow any lettuce of any kinds or spinach. My scallions are tiny but at least still doing something. All of my courgettes seem to have been infested with aphids. I've rubbed off as many as I could and sprayed a couple of times with soapy water so hopefully that might work. Unfortunately it seems to keep raining not long after doing that so I don't know if the rain is just washing the soapy water away (wouldn't wash the bloody aphids away though would it!?!). My potatoe plants are growing away at a furious pace and I ended up having to go and buy some topsoil to earth them up a bit more - at this rate they're going to be the most expensive potatoes I've ever eaten but at least I'll get to use the soil again for something else. Unless they get blight which everyone seems to keep telling me I'll get since the weather is so wet now. No wonder I'm having a less-than-positive outlook day. They seem fine so I'm not going to worry about blight until/unless it happens. Of course, the plants are growing away wonderfully but I don't actually know if there are any potatoes under the ground. Root vegetables are a bit frustrating like that I think - you can only assume that if the bit on top is growing well then the bit belowground is as well.

I haven't managed to get any more tomato seedlings past the two leaf stage but was able to buy two plants yesterday at the market (didn't buy much else as almost everything seemed to be from South America or have no sign up showing the origin - drives me mad! I asked them where the onions were from and they said "assume they're Irish" - why would they assume that when almost nothing else was! Grrrr!). I try to avoid buying fruit or veg from Denis Healy who is a big wholesaler of organic stuff (is also supposed to have a farm in Wexford but I'm not sure it's terribly big) who has a presence, often the only one, at most farmers' markets and certainly all of the Dublin ones! I need to get my act together to get into Temple Bar Market early on Saturday mornings to buy from MacNally's Farm, one of the few (if not only) stalls run by the actual farmer who has grown everything being sold. She also makes lovely chutney, relishes and jams.

I did buy a big bin with a secure clip-on lid this weekend and pulled up as many weeds as I could easily get to (mostly dock I think but there are plenty of dandelions waiting for me to get to them in the front garden), put them into the bin with lots of water and will just wait now for it to turn into wonderful (but smelly) weed tea which I can dilute to use for fertilising. In the meantime I bought some liquid seaweed feed to try and encourage my courgettes and tomatoes along a bit more.

No other gardening news really. It's solstice this week and for once I've remembered it before it happens so I may plan something nice for that evening after work. I've been thinking about getting up to watch the sun rise but then I looked it up and that'll be about half-four in the morning, which would mean getting up before four to drive up the mountains - if you're going to watch a sunrise might as well go for the best view. I still might do it but it will depend a bit on the weather as well. I'm not sure I'll be too tempted to drag myself out if it's raining like it is today. But on the other hand we should appreciate nature in all her guises. But on the other hand - dark, cold and wet won't necessarily make for the best way to start the day. But on the other hand...will have to wait and see on this one.


Melanie Rimmer said...

Are you using actual "soap" in your soapy water? For years I used washing up liquid with disappointing results (i.e. I had the cleanest aphids in the street - loads of the little buggers, but at least they were all clean). Then I grated a bar of soap and mixed that with water, squitred it on the aphids and lo! Loads of dead aphids.

It's got to be actual soap.

Wimblejigs said...

Just a cheery note to say that I thought my potatoes would come to absolutely nothing, but have had some mouth-watering potatoes this week - I wasn't even going to check, but I hoed one up by accident. And the tops look so puny!

Moonwaves said...

Thanks Mel, will try that. I've been using my Ecover washing-up liquid - have lovely geranium scented courgette plants now! :-)

Moonwaves said...

And thanks wimblejigs (I love that name, the sound just roll around my tongue nicely or something). I'm getting a couple more tyres this weekend so when I'm adding them I might accidentally shove my hand in the soil and have a good feelaround!