Dear Fellow Gardeners,
Just in case we do get a dry summer you might have to water your plants outdoors. If you water your plants, give them a thorough soaking. Watering little and often is a disaster as it brings the plant roots up instead of encouraging them to go down. In all the years that I have lived in Ireland I only had to water my outdoor vegetables on a couple of occasions. Usually when plants have just germinated and the roots are still small and also just after transplanting. Hoeing in the evening will also help with water retention as it opens up the earth for the night-time dew to enter into the soil. Hoeing in the morning does the opposite – it dries out the soil as it opens it up for the morning dew to leave the soil. You sometimes see this early in the morning.
Keep your beds well hoed and weeded. Thin out all direct sown vegetables to the recommended spacing even if you have to pull out ten seedlings while leaving just one. As soon as your early potatoes are harvested you may consider sowing a green manure crop into its place to stop nutrients from leaching out. I think phacelia is the most suited crop for this time. Buckwheat is also a good choice.
In July there is plenty to harvest from your garden and hopefully you are at home to enjoy the feast. You will have broad beans, dwarf French beans, runner beans, cabbage, courgettes, kohlrabi, lettuce, scallions, peas, early potatoes, radish, spinach, chard and turnips.
You can still sow lettuce, scallions, coriander, dill, chervil, kohlrabi, turnip, radish, Chinese cabbage, pak choi and Florence fennel. It’s also a good time to start sowing all the oriental salads again as they are now less prone to bolting if sown after the summer solstice.
Aphids tend to be a problem in mid-summer especially in more sheltered gardens. Watch out for ladybirds or hoverflies as they may already control them. If aphids are a big problem they can be sprayed with pyrethrum or soft soap, but both sprays will also harm ladybirds. Aphids can also be washed off plants with a strong jet of water. Keep checking your brassicas for butterfly eggs or caterpillars and remove them.
You also need to start watching out for potato blight. If you don’t grow a blight resistant variety you may need to cut off some infected leaves or even the entire foliage. Some gardeners use a permitted copper spray as a prevention. But if blight is already present this will make no difference.
I gave an online talk for Wexford Libraries recently. If anyone wants to have a look – here is the link:
Upcoming Gardening Courses
Online Gardening Course:
I’m planning to run an online gardening course aimed at complete beginners to semi-advanced gardeners who want to grow some of their own food – vegetables, salads, herbs and fruit.
The online course runs fortnightly or weekly depending on growing season.
10 sessions from September to February – Cost €70
10 sessions from March to May – Cost €70
It will be professionally filmed and live-streamed. If you can’t join at that time you can watch it later. I have been working with Mark Megahy – the filmmaker for the last two years on Polytunnel courses with NOTS. Some of you may have taken part in it.
Each session consists of about 40 minutes gardening demonstrations, interesting plant facts, gardening tips and includes vegetable, salad, herb and fruit growing. These sessions are followed up with a Q&A session around 30 minutes. The purpose is to accompany you throughout the gardening year.
I’m also considering visiting a couple of the participant’s gardens to give some advice if there are some participants interested. This will also be filmed.
It’s also aimed at families who want to garden with their children as my two young children will join me for some of the sessions on their own allotments.
This course is just at the initial planning stage at the moment. If there is sufficient interest the course will go ahead. Would anyone who is interested in joining the course send me quick email on [email protected] just so I can see if we should proceed? No need to send a long email – just a few words on the subject line – “Interested in course”. If there is sufficient interest I will continue organising the course.
Date: Saturday 25th to Sunday 26th October 2021
Gardening and foraging weekend in Belle Isle Estate, Co. Fermanagh
Course: Garden, Field, and Forest
Belle Isle Estate is offering a new two-day weekend course where participants will be able to connect with nature on many different levels. During the duration of two days you will learn about wild plants that can be foraged to be used in your kitchen as well as how to grow your own vegetables both outdoors and in the polytunnel. Saturday will be spent learning from the gardening expert Klaus Laitenberger about soil fertility, composting, green manures, propagation, seed sowing, cuttings, and organic pest control. There will be a talk and a presentation both in the historic 18th century walled garden within Belle Isle and in the recently built polytunnel so that you will be able to gain both theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience. Sunday you will spend all day learning from professional forager Clothilde Walenne about identifying and foraging wild plants that grow in abundance around Belle Isle and how to use them in your kitchen. During this workshop, Clothilde will guide you through the wild foods found in Ireland, where to find them, how to recognise them and how to store and preserve them easily. We will serve a scrumptious lunch on both days prepared from produce grown on Belle Isle Estate.
This 2-day course is £200 including lunch on both days
Discounted accommodation is available for participants
Please email [email protected] to register and book your accommodation
more info here https://belle-isle.com/residential-courses/
Date: Friday 8th to Sunday 10th October 2021
Gardening Weekend at Renvyle House Hotel in Connemara (only a few places left)
With Klaus Laitenberger, organic gardening expert and author and Anja Gohlke, Head Gardener at Kylemore Abbey’s Victorian Walled Garden.
Over the course of this weekend you will learn about the gardening tasks that may be undertaken at this stage of the year in preparation for a productive spring, summer and autumn ahead.
What will be covered:
Friday evening – an Introduction (Library) with Anja and Klaus
Saturday morning- workshop with Klaus Topic: Powerpoint presentation: Grow your own organic food – Tips for preventing weeds, pests and diseases; How to make your soil fertile; Composting; Choice of crops
Saturday afternoon – Workshop with Klaus and Anja. Topic: Propagation methods – seeds, cuttings, division etc
Saturday early evening –Talk/workshop Anja. Topic: Introduction to Garden Design
Practical demonstrations: Gardening jobs in October
– Covering beds with seaweed or black plastic
– Growing a winter green manures eg field beans
– Planting an autumn crop (garlic, broad beans)
– Growing winter crops in a polytunnel, choice of tunnel or greenhouse
– Forage walk in the Garden and identify delicious edible weeds.
Weekend Rate: €255.00 pp
Tel: 095 46100 | Email: [email protected] |
Early booking directly with Renvyle is recommended as places a limited.
Please find below a link to an amazing Arts – Soils Project:
This is an amazing project combining art and a love for soil – have a look at the initiative below.