Last week we made a start on sowing some pepper seeds. Peppers a long season crop and need to be sown early and kept in heated propogator to get a good crop come late summer, We obtained a super selection of seeds, including cayenne Red, Chocolate Habanero and more.
We sowed the seeds into a mix of Multi-purpose compost and Vermiculite
The Chilli seeds were then mixed with a pinch of Mycorrhizal Fungii, I use this when sowing and planted everything...
Seeds were then sown 10 to a pot on the surface of the compost, and then lightly covered with Vermiculite. These are then labelled and placed in a heated propogator
Some piece of equipment this, a Vitopod Heated propogator...
A new group of gardeners started in St Patricks Primary and over the last 2 weeks we've been covering 'What is a seed' last week we sowed some Pea seeds and after a week we pulled some out of the compost trays and studied that the radicle root had started to emerge. Well this week we're sowing some smaller seeds, namely some raddish and some lettuce. This allows the kids to handle seeds much smaller in size but also to observe the variance in germination speeds in different plant species...all at the same time as having fun!!
World Wetlands Day – Sunday 2nd February
To mark UNESCO World Wetlands Day on Sunday 2nd February 2014, Faughan Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme in conjunction with Far and Wild (www.farandwild.co.uk) are hosting a public participation kayaking event to explore the landscapes, ecology and archaeology of Enagh Lough. These interpreted explorations involve 2 x 2 hour kayak sessions, with up to 12 participants at each session (24 in total). World Wetlands Day event is designed to raise public awareness of the values and benefits of wetland habitats.
The interpretation during each session will be delivered by an ecologist/local historian, with kayak instruction and safety cover being provided by a fully qualified kayak instructor. The proposed sessions will provide memorable and eco-friendly explorations of many of Enagh Loughs normally inaccessible habitats and locations.
The interpretative/kayaking sessions, which are free of charge, will take place from 12.30 pm – 2.30 pm and from 3 pm to 5 pm on Sunday 2nd February. However numbers are strictly limited to 12 per session so prior booking is essential to avoid disappointment. The sessions are open to everyone from the age of 10 years up.
For further information & booking please contact Lawrence McBride on 028 -71-812962 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Poor Michael was exhausted...he worked all morning gettign some beds ready for us to use for some practical work during a seasonal workshop in the Twin Town Community Garden on Saturday morning. The workshop was a wee get-together, a chance to chat about how the winters been, how its going and of course what we should be up to now in the garden. My thanks to Caroline from the Twin Towns Community Garden for inviting me down, and of course to Michael for having the necessary set-up all done!
Outside we did a review of the autumn seed sowing, noting that the Wallflowers and Pansys were ready to be transplanted out. In the Polytunnel we were sowing Chillies, Tomatoes, Lobelia, Coriander, Sweet peas, Garden Peas, Broad Beans and chatting up warming soil up using black plastic, cloches, fleece and sugar in the polytunnel....
I was really surprised the first time I heard that 'auld ivy' was as good as what it is for garden wildlife. Many of us think of Ivy as a troublesome plant in the garden, but after reading about its importance in Groarty Integrated Primary School we've been actively cultivating it, and now we have a patch which is about 30' long and 8' deep.
For more details on its role in supporting garden fauna read this piece on the RSPB wesbite
In Groarty Integrated Primary School we were busy making a start on some cool season crops. To warm the soil we had the beds covered with black plastic for the past 2 weeks.
This week we were sowing - Parsley, Lettuce and Leeks into some shallow drils - you can see the kids keeping some good technique by using a cane as a straight line...
After the seeds were sown we covered the bed with fleece. Horticultural Fleece is a great method of protecting early season crops from the cold wind and frost, and will trap an extra bit of heat close to the soil - all without reducing the light getting to the crops
Saturday was such a good day I got a few jobs done around the garden, and a wee bit of tidying done.
One of the jobs was harvesting some of these St Valery variety carrots we sowed broadcast back in April, the joy of sowing broadcast is that as they grow you can thin them as they grow (giving some tasty wee carrots) and by them growing densely you get far less weeds, and when you harvest them you get a nice assortment of sizes, as can be seen here in the picture.
The first signs of growth from these divided Sedum Brilliant, we had a few bigger plants we split in early October and replanted into well worked soil. Always a good sign when you see the new shoots coming from plants you've divided.
Sedum is a great plant for the garden, and well worth growing.
I'm delighted to see these red oriental poppies (Papaver Orientale) poking up through the soil. We produced these plants by root cuttings last winter, grew them on in pots and then we planted them out in September, since then they've settled in well and we're looking forward to some flowers this Summer from them.
Root cuttings are a fairly simple way of producing free plants, here you'll see some pics of us taking root cuttings from Mint recently, and its a similar process for the Poppies.
Some wonderful foliage in the winter garden from these Iris pallida argentea Varigata
The variegated foliage colour is a welcome addition to the winter garden, its brightly coloured foliage helps to lighten the winter garden..and then in the summer we have the large blue flowers to look forward to...
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