The versatile potato remains the most popular vegetables to grow for Irish gardener. However growing your own spuds is not without its drawbacks and challenges as they are susceptible to both disease and pest attacks in many forms. Everyone is aware of the harm that seed potatoes blight can cause but in this article we hope to outline … Continue reading Seed potatoes and their most common pests
There are many methods out there to growing potatoes!
Most of them are alternatives to the row and dirt piling method, of conventional growing, for the purpose of space saving. Many, like the box method, aim to create greater yields in a smaller space, by piling layers of dirt or straw continuously over the growing potatoes. In this same ilk is the potato bag method.
A specially designed grow bag is filled with dirt (and your seed potatoes). 4″ of the bag is rolled down whilst you initially fill the bag and rolled up to allow extra dirt/straw to cover the potatoes as they grow.
I like the idea of these bags as they are used in an area that isn’t necessarily covered by dirt. My chickens have taken over my original potato growing space and these bags could potentially be put on my pavers by the shed – taking…
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I had a pretty successful growing year last year, but made a few mistakes with what I grew. My theme for 2014 was ‘grow stuff which is expensive in the shops’, which was a nice idea on paper.
For the sixth year running, I used an entire raised bed (50% of my growing space) to attempt pumpkins, which (for the sixth year running) grew to the size of an egg then withered away. I love pumpkins, but 2014 confirmed that we’ll never be mother and child. As a result of this, I lost an enormous amount of growing space, given that each pumpkin takes up a minimum of 1m squared.
I grew globe artichokes, which looked magnificent and tasted immense, but they look a tremendous amount of effort, for a very small return (I grew four).
Celeriac grew, and survived winter, but the resulting vegetables were tiny. This was a…
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I keep heading off to the allotment and thinking ‘Naah, not much to be done here’, but of course, there’s plenty to do, just not very much digging thanks to the frozen ground. I carried out my plan of creating a raspberry patch last week. I’d ordered fourteen canes in total – 7 each of Glen Moy and Autumn Bliss. It took me an unreasonably long time to decide exactly what I wanted in terms of raspberry varieties, but I thought I’d at least get an even mix of autumn and summer fruiting varieties, and these have quite good reviews and seem to be high-yielding. I really wanted to get Glen Coe too, because they’re beautiful, like goth raspberries. Look!
Well, there’s still hope. I’m toying with the idea of planting yet more raspberry canes to form a barrier on the only ‘open’ side of the allotment, but they’ll take…
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I ventured up to the allotments on a crisp morning in January. Even though it was cold there were still two plot holders working away on various tasks. After a stroll around it was apparent that people have been busy in recent days/weeks preparing for the new season. Hubert from plot 149 was putting the … Continue reading A Cold January Morning at Powerstown
The quality of the soil on the plot is one of the most important things you will address. An allotment with poor soil is like a car with no engine - on a downward slope. The Easy Option I have had an allotment for many years on different sites. Last year, I took the easy way … Continue reading Composting Anyone? Aspirations of Plot 157
An exciting package arrived today – a large seed order, seed potatoes and onion sets that mean that I will soon be able to start populating the garden vegetable beds and polytunnel.
The potatoes, I will set to chit in egg boxes in a cool light place in the back porch. More beans and peas can be started off in toilet roll tubes inside, to be transferred into the polytunnel for earliest crops. Toilet roll tubes should never be just thrown away. They make perfect little pots to start seeds in. Some other things can also be started indoors to be planted out in March or early April.
Other peas, seed from last summer’s allotment crop, I will be growing for fresh greens, placing them close and eating the shoots when they are a few inches high. They are delicious – a concentrated hit of pea flavour months before the…
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As cold as it may be, the dedicated allotmenteer will always weather the storm.
Whilst many think being an allotmenteer is all about spring and summer the old stalwarts know that is really not so. There are so many jobs to be done over the cooler winter months in preparation for the long awaited spring period. So last weekend was all about pruning and fencing. As you can see from the photos we have the basic structure of the new fence piece. We decided it was time to mark our boundaries and it helps keep the dog on the plot!
The other main job of the weekend was to tackle the rose hip it was getting out of control and too tall to harvest so the tops came off. I was surprised though at how many dead branches there were in the middle so they came out easily as they didn’t have thorns that kept trying to attack me!
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Soft fruits grow well in Powerstown with a mature fruit bush producing pounds of fruit. This recipe for redcurrant relish was submitted by one of the plot holders. It is easy and delicious with cheese. 2 medium red onions, peeled and cut into thin wedges 1 small red pepper, seeded and cut into small chunks 2 … Continue reading Redcurrant & Onion Relish