Rainy Day Blues, Paddy’s Day Greens

I had great plans for today, I was going to get up early and spend the day marking out my beds in my allotment and installing my netting. I have had a very busy week and have been unable to get to my plot to do some proper work on it so I was very much looking forward to making some progress. My plot, along with a few others surrounding it had been driven over accidentally by a dump truck which had compacted the soil to a point that we couldn’t even get a spade and inch into the soil. This delayed us getting the work on the plot started. Thankfully, the lovely helpful lads who work on site arranged to have that section of the field dug over by a tractor to loosen the soil for the plot holders.  It would have taken me weeks to just loosen the soil by hand. The ground is nice and soft now so I was planning on putting in a few hours of digging today. Mother nature had a different plan. I woke up early, made myself as cup of tea and looked out the window to discover it was lashing rain and miserably dull and grey. Cue much groaning and general exasperation on my part.

I shouldn’t complain really, it’s been a very dry few weeks in Dublin, it’s barely rained at all in six weeks and the ground is practically crying out for some rain. I should have known it would rain, it is the Paddy’s Day weekend, I would be surprised if the heavens didn’t open at some point. Unfortunately, the rain has prevented me from going to my plot, not because I’m afraid to get wet but it’s simply counterproductive trying to dig wet soil. I also realised that while I have a good pair of wellies, I have no other suitable attire for rainy weather. I resigned myself to having to wait another day or two before I can begin some proper work on my plot. I went shopping to cheer myself up and bought a lovely pink raincoat, now I’ll have no excuse to avoid going out in the rain.

Red Dukes, ready for planting

I am itching to plant something on my plot. I have a bed almost ready for my jerusalem artichokes and for my asparagus, I should be able to plant them in the next few days. I’ve also dug out a bed for my potatoes and that should be ready for planting this week also. I’ll be able to plant my early variety, I chose Red Dukes of York for my earlies as I’ve heard they’re an excellent grower. I was hoping to plant them tomorrow as Paddy’s Day is the traditional day to plant your first spuds but I’ll just have to hold off another few days as there’s no point planting them until i have the soil prepared properly.

So far, all of my planting has been done at home, you may remember I planted some sweet pepper and chilli seeds a few weeks ago, these have done very well so far and are growing fast.

Chili Seedlings

I planted some tomato seeds the other day, I chose to try three varieties, Sungold, a lovely yellow cherry tomato, San Marzano, a great Italian variety, brilliant for cooking and Tigerella, because they look pretty and I’m a sucker for that kind of thing. The seeds only took a few days to germinate in the heated propogator.

Redcurrant growing strong

Next week I’ll plant my blackcurrant and redcurrant bushes on the plot. If you remember I asked for some advice on what to do with these as I bought them as bare root bushes and they were sprouting. I was advised to plant them into pots in the interim. The redcurrant bush has come on brilliantly since I planted it in the pot, the blackcurrant bush is not doing nearly as well, hopefully when I plant it out it will improve. My parsley seeds finally germinated and are growing well, I also planted Thyme, Rosemary and Basil seeds, all of which have germinated, though only one of my rosemary seeds had come up so far. I planted way too much thyme so will either have to discard some of it or give it to someone who might want some.

We found a foster home for Gilla, the lovely dog we found on the allotment the other day. She’s now in a home with two acres of land and an owner who’ll take great care of her.

I thought I would introduce you to two of my pals, who will be some of my chief veggie eaters this year. Snickers and Brambles are my pet guinea pigs, they love fresh veggies and I’m sure will benefit from the plot more than anyone else in the house. Lucky pigs!

Snickers

Brambles

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you all enjoy the Paddy’s Day weekend, I’m not a fan of it really, too much mindless drinking and standing in the cold, watching a parade that always starts late, with ten minute gaps between the floats. I’ll be avoiding town like the plague, watching the all important Ireland vs England rugby match and gardening as much as I can. I always try to wear green on Paddy’s Day but this year I don’t think I have any green clothes, maybe I can find some shamrock to plant on the plot instead, can’t think of anything more fitting.

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