Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘modules’

Rhubarb is a fruit @ Prospect Cottage!

In Cooking, Gardening, sustainable living on April 11, 2011 at 7:31 am

This little Saxifrage has just come into flower, the blooms are small but so numerous they make a big impact. The Saxifrages are a great choice for a difficult area. This one is growing under a tree on dry, stony ground. They can become over invasive but easy enough to pull out what you don’t want.

Rhubarb, the first welcome fruit of the season is classified as a vegetable in all gardening books. To me it will always be a fruit, usable in jams, chutneys, cakes and crumbles or just plain stewed. ITS A FRUIT! Nothing was harvested from these plants last year, they were planted the previous year and left to develop. We can reap the reward this year. Mulched well with farmyard manure in the Winter they have produced a great healthy looking crop of thick chunky sticks. Rhubarb contains vitamins A and C plus calcium and iron. The leaves are poisonous but can be composted. A natural insecticide can be made by boiling the leaves for about 30 minutes then using the resulting brew against aphids and other pests. 1 and a half kgs of Rhubarb leaves to 3 and a half litres of water.

In the polytunnel yesterday morning, before it got too hot, I pricked out the Cabbages into modules. They will be kept in these until the roots fill the spaces then planted into the earth. By then they will be a good size and less likely to be damaged by slugs!

No “Hungry Gap” at Prospect Cottage.

In Gardening, Off the beaten track. on March 24, 2011 at 10:12 am

The first Cauliflower of the season, small but perfectly formed.

The “hungry gap” is the gardener’s name for the period in Spring when there is little or no fresh produce available from the garden. With good planning it is possible to avoid this lull in production. The cauliflower pictured is a variety called Marzatico from Italy. Seeds were sown last August and plants planted around end of September. We plant a lot in August for Winter and Spring crops. Oriental salads, Winter Onion sets, Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Kale being the main ones. There is actually a variety of Kale called Hungry Gap which crops in Spring.

Ragged Jack Kale.

The Ragged Jack Kale is now going to seed but this is not the end of its production. The leaves can still be picked and the seed heads can be picked and steamed, they are quite like Purple Sprouting Broccoli. Do pick before flowers appear though. Removing the central shoot encourages the plant to send out lots of side shoots.

Sowing Peas.

Meanwhile seed sowing continues furiously here. Yesterday I sowed a bed of Parsnips, we have just finished the last of the current crop, germination can be slow so they need to go in early. Peas were also sown. The variety is Meteor which I got from Seed Savers in Co. Clare. The don’t grow too tall, about a metre, so support is easier. These modules are great as they are longer than the usual ones and made from stronger plastic. I have them about 10 years and they are still in perfect condition. The extra length means plants can stay in there a little longer. Apparently these modules are using for growing tree seedlings.