My latest garden adventures!

Hey folks hope you guys are keeping well!

It’s been a while since my last post here and I have a good reason: it’s been a busy month for me and I will share now with you guys what I have been up to. So at the end of March I volunteered at the Pearse College open day event about the 1916 commemorations in Dublin and also about what they do in Pearse College of Further Education in which I have been lucky enough to study Horticulture there a couple of years ago, so basically in the event they were show casing some of the courses they hold and what you can learn in the classes, they had stalls where you could learn about the course and even get some quick lessons or retreats such as learning how to make cheese or get a free massage, so among other things we had a show case in which we had on display the herbs and vegetables that we grow in the allotments and also we were giving away free seeds and for the kids some Sun Flowers. I stayed at the Allotment’s stall talking to the public about what we do at the Allotments, which vegetables are in season and so on. It was such a nice day and something to take part in the community, I leave here some pictures of it.

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Talking to the public at the stall at Pease College Open Day.
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Some of the vegetables that we had on display.
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me at the stall.
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some stalls at the event at Pearse College.

 

Also in the end of March, more specifically on St Patrick’s day I planted my first crops of onions and potatoes. In Ireland it is traditional and considered good luck to plant your potatoes on Paddy’s day, so I did it as I do every year =) So I planted them in the ground which I have spoken about in my last post where I talked about preparing your seed beds. here are some pictures of it.

After planting them I covered the beds with nets. I like to use gardening MyPecks though any net does the job, you just have to ensure that they are protected from the frost and the birds that for some reason like to take up your seed onions and move them all over the place which can drive a gardener mad after all you hard work and preparation, and most distressing: interrupts the growth of your crops.

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Net covering my purple sprouting broccoli, protection against wood pigeons.
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Net covering my onion sets, protecting them from the birds until they germinate.

So beside all of the madness of the end of March and all this things that I’ve been doing, I also have been working in my poly-tunnel tending to my seedlings and cuttings, potting them onto bigger pots and keeping them well watered and looked after. Even though the weather has not been great things aren’t doing too bad. I also planted Radish, Leaks and Lettuce seed in my little green house that I have in my allotment, and just for the record they are doing well also, as you can see in the pics below my seeds have germinated! Hurray!! So now so far I am just keeping up the good work and looking after my little plants.

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Cosmos and CornFlowers three weeks after my previous post. You can see them just after been planted, just before germination, on my last post on my blog.
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Some of my seedlings in my poly-tunnel.
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My small green house at the Allotment.
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A quick sneaky check on my seedlings in the small green house at the Allotment.

So to finish the marathon I went to my local garden center and bought some Pansies and one Thyme plant which I have decided to divide in to three plant which sometimes can work and other times not but always worth a go to multiply your plants. I let you guys now later how they are getting on.

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Thyme plant, as you can see it was 1 euro, a bargain lol.
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Thyme plant divided into three. Now let’s see how they get on, I let you guys know later about them.

And last but not least yesterday, Sunday, I went to visit Dublin Botanical Gardens where they are holding a Bonsai tree exhibition from Andrew J. Murray’s collection which was beautiful. It is on from Saturday 27th February until Sunday 17th April, it is worth a visit, they have some amazing species of Bonsai trees on Display and I will give you guys only a taste with a couple of pics below because if I posted all of them this post would become a bonsai encyclopedia, lol, if you want to see it all and if you’ve got the chance go to see the exhibition in person.

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The Teak House at the Botanical Gardens in Dublin, where the Bonsai exhibition is being held.
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Sobaria
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Ulmus Parvifolla
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Cupressus Sempervirens – Italian Cypress.
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Sophora Microphylla
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Pyracantha – Firethorn

So that’s basically it as you can see guys it’s been a busy few weeks that’s why I went missing but I hope to return really soon this time. Keep up the great gardening work and feel free to leave comments here in the blog and follow me on my other social medias for more gardening stuff.

Aw just one last thing, please check out  My Youtube Channel, last week I posted my first video and I will be posting more videos about gardening really soon, so subscribe to the channel to keep updated. Hope you guys like it.

Cherio!!

 

 

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Preparing your seed beds

Hi Guys,

The weather is finally picking up in the North Hemisphere and even in Dublin, the coldest place, we are getting the firsts glimpses of the sun, the last days have been lovely and bright and that could just mean one thing: time to get cracking on my allotment. We are half way through Spring and it is about time for us gardeners to start sowing our goods but first of all you need one thing, you need to prepare the seed beds. As I said before I have my allotment for a couple of years so usually I just maintain the beds as I had them done already and I always liked the “jungle style”, a few bits and bobs all over the place cohabiting together and coloring the ground although this year I decided to make my allotment more organized and less “jungly” so I divided it in little plots in which I will plant different sort of things but I tell you guys later what I will plant this year, so basically I made some separate  sections for vegetables, flowers and herbs, that demanded some work and I have been preparing my seed beds for  a couple of weeks and now just need some tidying up and one last leveling with a rake and it will be ready to welcome the seeds.

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My old “jungle style”

So in this post I will share with you guys how I do my seed beds. First you have to dig out all the grass and weed from your allotment, get them out from the roots so that they wont be coming back later on, remember to collect it in a wheel barrel and dump it away cause if you just leave on the ground it will grow again, if your soil is to wet dig it on a dry day. Dig all over it once and leave it exposed to the sunlight to dry a bit, then few days later dig all the plot again two or three days before sowing your seeds and remember to take out broken glass and any big stones. If you have finished preparing the soil but you are not going to sow your seeds or plant your flower or/and vegetables straight away, do not forget to cover the soil with MyPecks to keep the weeds from growing again, they can not grow with a lack of light, and take it off when you are ready to plant.

 

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First step to preparing the soil, digging out grass, weeds, large stones and glass.
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Soil dug, fertilized and ready to be planted.
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A view of the allotment from above, with its new “more organized” style after all the hard work done in Winter and Autumn and as you can see in this picture I used MyPecks where I have not planted yet to keep the weeds under control.

When you start thinking about preparing your seed beds you should start thinking about what to plant and indeed some plants could have been already sown by this time, for example I have some Cherry Tomatoes, French and African Marigolds, Corn flower, Cosmos, Petunias and Chili Peppers growing both on my south facing bedroom window and in my poly tunnel, in a few weeks they will be ready to go in to the soil ideally at the same time that the seed beds will be ready as well. Always remember to water before sowing your seeds on the compost or soil so not to disperse them all over the place or push them all in one corner. Use a fine rose watering can. Sowing seed is a simple inexpensive way to raise a large number of plants.

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Cosmos and Cornflowers sown in the polytunnel.
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Mixed red and yellow Cherry Tomatoes sown indoors on my south facing bedroom window.
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African+French Marigolds and some of the other guys I was telling you about

 

 

 

That is it guys! I hope you find this information useful.

Happy gardening!!

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Allotment 51

Hi guys that is my first post here. I am creating this blog to share my passion and ideas about gardening. My name is Jonathan O’Neill a gardener from Dublin, Ireland. I am a passionate gardener who loves nature and new ideas about gardening and how to do it on a simple and low cost way. I do not think that anybody should invest a lot of money on gardening, it can be made easy and cheap recycling and up-cycling things to use in your garden and allotment. I will be sharing here my ideas and techniques as well as interesting information from other pages or people.

I have my Allotment for over six years now and have been interested in gardening since was a teenager and I have also studied Horticulture and floristry for over 4 years. My work experiences I have worked in the Botanical Gardens in Dublin, I also worked as a gardener in the Leuven Institute in Belgium and I have worked in Farmleigh House and Gardens in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.

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Jonathan and Chico. Photographer: David Levingstone.

I have also my own poly tunnel in my back garden and I have been growing my own vegetables, flowers, fruits and herbs for over six years. I am really interested in plant propagation, growing all my plants from seed and cuttings. I have been traveling around the world and one of my favorite things to do is to visit the botanical gardens of every city I visit so I will be sharing with you these experiences as well as photos and videos of gardening and every thing related to garden and nature. I hope to come back here every week to talk to you guys as well as post new videos on YouTube every so often. so keep up with my social medias and lets exchange ideas, see you guys soon =)

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