Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Seed Trek, the next generation

'That's so cool', was exclaimed by the teenager as she opened the horse chestnut capsule to find the seed, or 'conkers' as they are often referred to, inside. She spent some moments examining them remarking about their texture and weight.

As we searched the ground for more, we had some discussion on what uses they might have, from children playing with them to being down as seed, and even eaten in some places (once they're treated properly). 

I didn't go on to bore her with lots of horticultural knowledge about the plants, growing them, etc. Instead, I simply suggested we'll sow some of them over the weekend to grow some trees of our own. 

Of course this wasn't her first introduction to these. As a child she did all the usual school activities and of course having me as a father meant plenty of expeditions on walks, or into woods. The difference now though, is this is teenager showing her own interest.

For me, getting the next generation interested in horticulture and gardening isn't about pushing it at them and saying they have to. It's availing of opportunities to open the doors of knowledge and know-how. Sometimes they walk through the door curious to find out more. Sometimes they don't, and that's okay too. I think our role, as gardeners and horticulturalists, is to cultivate the interest people show, at what ever level (and age) they're at. 

Yesterday evening pictures of the seeds were distributed on Facebook, SnapChart, etc. At one point there was a comment about 'you're Dad is so cool'. 

Yup, I sure am ... Lol

Happy Gardening.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Pumpkin harvest

One of the joys of growing is harvesting, and I'm particularly happy with my pumpkin harvest. I've decided to tuck them in under shelter as nights are getting cold and we're not far away from our first frost.

You may remember me commenting about protecting from frost in late spring, worried about watering in early summer, mildew in late summer, and of course, going on slug watch ... 

Well worth the effort and bit of time spent.

Happy gardening 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Potager update September 2016

With the evolvement of the vegetable garden over the past years, my decision to change to a potager style production garden has given me plenty of enjoyment, particularly this year, blending my interest in colour and usefulness of producing crops.

Now that we are very firmly in September, nearing the end of the first month of Autumn, with darkness setting in at 8pm, it seems appropriate to do an update on latest developments. Produce wise, I'm not going to bore you with loads of pictures of sun ripened tomatoes, tasty potatoes, juicy beetroots, sweet cucumbers, raspberries, strawberries and of course with all the flower colour there's been a bunch or two to bring in to the house. That's not to mention the sweetcorn, onions, peas, herbs and pumpkins to throw into the mix. And no, I'm not going to refer to the loganberries, gooseberries, black currents or rhubarb, just in case you're asking.

Lots of enjoyment, and lots of produce. 

As for the potager/ veg production garden, it's an area slowly evolving depending on the planning and resources we have from year to year. Currently the area is about 25ft x 45ft, and plenty of room to expand. With one of my secrets to enjoying gardening being not to over stretch to a point where it becomes hassle, I'm carefully considering if I might expand in 2017, and if so why.  

Work wise for this area, there is plenty to get on with. While I'm still harvesting some crops, there is lots of weeding, removing and composting dead and cut back foliage, clearing out spent crops, manuring or enriching soil, transplanting, cutting back, etc. And if any of you have some spare energy and time, let me know and you can help too ... Lol

For now though my next fun task is eyeing up the pumpkins for harvesting and carving. I also have to thank many of my social media friends for on-going advice, chats and helpful comments - míle buíochas. 

Happy gardening.

P.s. any thought on winter crops are always welcome. I'm trying microgreens and will let you know how I get on.