I’m famous!! Well, not really. Last week my blog was featured on Freshly Pressed and since then I’ve had many thousand views, hundreds of comments and some lovely new followers. thank you all for your kind comments, and a big hello to any new readers. I was particularly pleased with the busy week on my blog as it’s been a horrible week here in Dublin and I’ve been mostly unable to get out to the plot. The weather has been horrendous, stormy, cold and depressing, more like winter than late spring.
Most of my week has been spent cooped up at home, grateful for the roof over my head. On wednesday, we had gale force winds and rain, the likes of which I haven’t seen since the floods in October. I was grateful for all my work the week before to prevent the wind from causing too much damage to my plot.
The wind died down for a few hours on Saturday and I got a chance to visit the allotment. When I arrived on site, I despaired at the sight of one of my bamboo wigwams, lying on it’s side, at least, that was until I looked around me and realised I had gotten off lightly. There were no longer any plastic greenhouses on site, or at least none that I could see, it seems the wind had destroyed them all, along with the seedlings inside, some of them were just a mangled mess of twisted steel frames with the plastic coverings long gone. Then, I realised, there were a significant number of sheds, lying on their sides, knocked over by the strong winds. I heard another plot holder found their shed on the other side of the field. Plots were missing gates, netting was flying around in the wind and I managed to escape with a bit of wayward bamboo and some damage to my rhubarb. Lucky escape.
We took the break in the bad weather as an opportunity to plant my main crop potatoes. I’ve had these sitting on my windowsill for a couple of months now so I was happy to finally get them into the ground. I planted some early potatoes in March and they’ll be ready in late June/early July, my maincrop spuds won’t be ready until October though as they need longer time in the ground.
Despite the bad weather, everything seems to be having a growth spurt on my plot. The early potatoes are growing strong and I will need to earth them up soon. My onions are doing really well, I had to weed them the other day, the weeds seem to be flying up too and onions hate weed competition. My Dad shared a great tip with me last week, an old dinner fork works great for weeding onions, It cuts the weeds at surface level and is the perfect size for reaching between the onions. Genius!
I noticed some seedlings poking their heads up in a few of my beds. It can be hard to distinguish them from the young weeds, and at first that’s all I though they were, but on closer inspection, I spotted beetroot, chard, brocolli, scallions, spinach and rocket all starting to grow. I also noticed some salsify seedlings, which I only planted two weeks ago and was very surprised to see them up so soon. My peas are doing well, my raspberries canes have new buds on them and the two artichoke plants I was so concerned about seem to be doing better than anything else on the plot. Despite the bad weather, the garden continues to grow.
Tomorrow is the first of May, or Bealtaine as it’s known here in Ireland. It’s traditionally the beginning of the summer season, when the animals would be sent out to pasture. In medieval times, they would light giant bonfires in hope of a good harvest that year. Today, we had the gas fire on in the house, not quite the same. I’m hoping for an improvement in the weather, right now it doesn’t feel very much like summer. Although, the sun is peeking its head around a cloud at the moment and the weather forecast tells me it’ll be much drier and milder this week. Fingers crossed.