Recent Donegal Daily Gardening Feature on Growing Spuds for Christmas and the Gardens around Beech Hill Hotel
It was a big thumbs up from Stephen during out spud planting day in Maybrook Adult Training Centre. In Maybrook we're limited for space so growing spuds in open ground, and following a correct 4 year crop rotation is impossible so the way we get around this is we grow a 'wile pile' of spuds in bags, and then at the end of the growing season we use this spent compost to improve the soil in the raised beds that we grow all our other yummy stuff in.
These spuds were planted on the 27th February. 5 in a layer, 2 layers per bag. Simply seed potatoes, a good handful of fertiliser, some compost and then water...
Hopefully be ready to harvest mid July.
Last year I made a new raised bed in the garden (from the soil that was created during the great 'sinking of the Trampoline'), and I grew a bed full of early potatoes in it to clense the soil,...and then planted it full of blueberries and Strawberries runners in the winter there. Well I had a few 'Volunteers' grow on me - these were left over potatoes that weren't all harvested, and instead of hoeing them out, I let them grow...well today was harvest time - got me a wee bucket full. (decided to harvest so they wouldn't take over the Bleuberries)
This past week we planted some early potatoes in old compost bags in Clooney after schools club . This is part of the Little Oaks programme currently running in Clooney.
We planted Sharpes Express potatoes, 5 to a bag.
We added a few generous handfuls of chicken manure pellets to the bags, we ensured the spuds were covered over with compost
And we've a whole heap of bags done, the kids are taking these hom to grow in their own back gardens....should be ready about August
Simple Purdys !!
From bags to pots, from buckets to tubs we planted early potatoes in them this week in Fountain primary....
We were using Epicure, an early potato. If your growing in pots the earlies to much better than the bigger Main Crop types as they are ready to harvest quicker and don't need as much space.
We filled the pots with Multi-Compost, added some leaf mould at the bottom and mixed in a few handfuls of chicken manure to the tubs... hopefully get soem nice, small, early potatoes last week of school term!
This week with the HOPE group we started to plant some early potatoes in drills out in our allotment. We had been chitting the seed potatoes for the past few weeks in the polytunnel and now we've started to plant. We have conditioned the allotment with lots of manure previously. We spaced the seed about a foot apart after we had dressed the drill with a good layer of chicken manure pellets. We're planting some Queen potatoes, seed sourced from Altnagelvin Garden Centre
Nows the time to be chitting seed potatoes, to do this simply buy some seed poattoes from your local garden centre, or wherever, and place them rounded side up in a tray or box in a bright, frost free location.
Chitting allows the seed potatoe to do some growing independant of the soil, 5-6 weeks worth in fact, growth it would never put on in the ground as the soil is too cold. By chitting you ensure bigger, better crops.
some amazing savoy cabbages
Back to School gardens this week....and in every garden its harvest harvest harvest!!.....Lots planted before summer break is now ready, with bumper crops allround as the plants were anything but short of water this summer....Heres some pictures of the Harvests from Lenamore Primary School in Galliagh
the best thing about planting...is the harvesting. Harvesting in a school is tricky...no point in leaving or having stuff ready in the school holidays, so we tend to do some out-of-the-normal growing to ensure produce is ready before or after the schools holidays. Here is kids from Blighs Lane Nursery harvesting loads of garlic and spinach
I grow courgettes with all the schools, i know i know....'but they're ready in the summer', aye they are, but before the schools break we can get a steady harvest for the last few weeks of the terms and if I pop in a few times to harvest in the summer the plants are still cropping in September
and the things kids love is hunting for buried treasure, and searching for gold nuggests of new potatoes kids love. The potatoes are small, but really tasty, we leave a few of the bags and ridges in some school un harvested so we can lift some in september too
its great to show off a bit in schools too, let parents and other visitors see the good work kids have been doing, today in St Therese we set up a harvest table in the reception showing some of the fabulous stuff the kids have been growing...and perhaps encourage them to do the same at the house (we keep a weekly scrapbook of what the kids do - thats the book).....anyways, what are you harvesting??
Gardening on Radio Foyle
A summary of each weeks gardening on Mark Patterson Show and beyond