sheila profileHi everyone, back again this week. I have put up a picture of myself and my gardening friend, Leo. Last time, I wrote about one of my favourite products "Fast Grow Seaweed Fertiliser" - a little story follows. I left the bag of fertiliser outside beside my vegetable plot and the following morning Leo was stretched out on the ground. He had helped himself to the bag of Fast Grow - I said to myself that I had an organic product, so no cause for alarm. I didn't feed him for a day and he was back to his bouncy self again. So, a warning, all animals are drawn to organic fertilisers.

I use Fast Grow as a top dressing for all my pots and I cover them over with a layer of compost. Leo took to night time gardening, digging up all my pots. This problem was solved by putting mustard around the top of the pots and guess what, he has now given up night time gardening.

altromeriaOne of my favourite plants has just arrived into the Garden Centre. It's called "Alstromeria Indian Summer". The picture was taken yesterday, 17th April. It has flowered non stop for a year. Of course we had a real mild winter and I have it planted by a wall, so it has a lot of shelter. Alstromeria Indian Summer has bronze foliage and.... slugs don't like bronze foliage - Yahoo! - but they adore all the green leaved alstromerias.

growbox1Another favourite product that we have in stock is a grow box. I planted it with lettuce only 3 weeks ago and now look at it. Again the slugs find it too much trouble to try to make their way to the box. Of all the vegetables we consume, lettuce is the one that has most sprays applied in its growing season, so if you like your salads in the summer, buy yourself a grow box.

In the next pictures, shown below, I have a tray of broad beans and just note the bluebells (more in a minute) in the background. We carry a great choice of vegetable plants in the Gardenworld shop at this time of year.
I tell ye, I have a weakness for buying plants, bringing them home and that's as far as it goes for a month, or 2 or three before they ever get planted.
broadbean1
broadbean2 I am not alone in that one, so I call that area of the garden, the "Loading Bay"!

To my very great surprise and delight, there is method in my madness, the plants adjust to their new environment and get hardened off faster. When I do get around to planting them, not one of them has ever failed on me. Looking at the broad beans, I purchased them 3 weeks ago and just planted them yesterday. I know the slugs had their little nibble, but so what!

Back to the bluebells in the background above- these are Irish bluebells. There is a Spanish bluebell which we should avoid planting at all costs. It is very intrusive. I will have pictures next time of both so you can tell the difference. The Spanish bluebell is causing major problems in some of the English woodlands and is wiping out the native bluebell.

potatoesI did say last time that we would have a look at weedkillers - I just don't like them and I would tell anyone who has a small area to buy a weed wand. It is worked by gas and it burns the weeds the same way as a kettle of boiling water. You can also use the old-fashioned method of pulling the weeds by hand.
Once again, we had a wonderful Open Weekend, blessed with the weather. A lot of money was raised for the Irish Guide Dogs during the weekend - many thanks to everyone who supported this great cause.

Next time, we will talk about tomatoes, cucumbers and the different stages involved in growing them. It is lovely to see the progress of planting, the final picture here is of my potatoes, planted only three weeks ago.
Until the next time, Sheila.