Sunshine, At Last!

The sun is finally shining in Dublin. Seems like summer is finally arriving, it’s warm, sunny with a lovely breeze and it’s perfect gardening weather. After two months of rain, wind and frost, the sunshine is a wonderful thing. I even have a little pink on my shoulders from spending a couple of hours on the plot on Monday. Many of my plants were stunted from the bad weather so I’m hoping this sunshine will give them a boost.

Mint tea

Today, I’m enjoying the sunshine, I’m currently sitting in the back garden, surrounded by plants, soaking up the sun and drinking fresh mint tea. Bliss. The mint tea is a nice refreshing drink in this weather. I used spearmint but you can also use peppermint, just be aware it is cooler and stronger than spearmint so you will not need as many leaves. To make your own tea, boil some water in a pot with some fresh mint leaves in it, pour into a glass and enjoy. You can strain the leaves out if you like but I just think it looks nicer with them in. It makes a lovely refreshing drink in this weather. You can use dried mint too, it’s easy to dry mint yourself, you can air dry it, use the oven or a dehydrator. I simply put it in the oven for two-three hours at 80 degrees. When it’s dry, you can crush it up or leave it whole but make sure to store it in an airtight container.

I’ve noticed signs of new life in the garden. My tomato plants have trusses on them and on closer inspection, I noticed one or two flowers beginning to open up. This was a relief as I’ve been quite unlucky with my tomatoes this year and was convinced I wouldn’t get any fruit from them but this sign of life is very promising.

Tomato Flower

My courgette and pumkins continue to grow at a speedy rate and are now quite large, i’m going to move them to the plot this week and have been hardening them off the past few days. I’m still taking them in at night though, just to be safe.

Courgette outgrowing another pot

The cat has taken a fancy to my chili plants and I’ve caught her on more than one occasion munching on a leaf when I’m not in the room, cheeky girl. I’m waiting anxiously for the day she decides to munch on a chili, I’m sure that will turn her right off them. They seem to be growing very slowly but today I noticed some flowers forming. It seems like everything is starting to come into it’s own.

It’ll be a busy week on the plot this week. I’ve to transplant my courgettes, pumpkins, lettuces, sweet peas and my sunflowers. I also hope to plant some pak choi and some florence fennel, these are best planted in summer as the cold weather can cause them to bolt. I’ll be planting carrots soon too. I’ve held off planting them until now to avoid the first generation of the carrot root fly. I hope to plant them on the last day of May or first day of June. The weather is set to stay this way for at least the next week so I’ll be spending as much time as I can in the garden and hopefully have plenty to blog about in a few days.

Lettuce, “Little Gem” and “Lollo Rossa”
Pumpkins and Borlotti Beans

Hope you all enjoy the lovely sunshine while it lasts.

0 thoughts on “Sunshine, At Last!”

    1. Well it’s not uncommon to get a lot of rain here in Ireland, in fact, it’s why our country can be great for gardening, and it does save me having to water my plants every day. It’s the cold that’s been the real problem the past two months, and the northerly winds have been wreaking havoc on the plot, it’s usually much warmer this time of year. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have virtually no rain, I suppose thats why we all grow different crops that suit our climate.

      1. Just don’t rip them up too small, or you’ll be picking bits and pieces out of your bits and pieces – next time I might just bang ’em up a bit instead of ripping them.

  1. So, Fiona, tell me about your seedling process. Do you start everything in seedling cups? Seems so from this post. I’m in Los Angeles area, (much different climate) and I keep planting seeds outside, and sometimes it works and sometimes nothing happens. I can’t figure it out. I don’t really have a place to move seedlings in and out. Do you have a greenhouse where you are? Thanks!

    1. It depends on the plants to be honest. I do start most things at home as I’m more likely to have success with them but for any root vegetables it’s best to plant outside. Sometimes seeds just don’t take anyway, no matter what you do. The soil conditions need to be very good if you’re planting outside, plenty of organic matter, compost etc and enough water. I start most things in a pot on a windowsill and move them outside when they’re established. I have a plastic greenhouse, just for my tomatoes, they need extra help in our climate

  2. it’s been atypically dry and hot in Western New York. Last spring, we had a cold, wet spring like you are experiencing now. I have no flowers on my tomato plants yet, but my peas are about to flower, I’ll have a bumper crop of those. I have mint too and beg my neighbors to take some, just made mint tea this weekend as well. Looking forward to your gardening progress.

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