Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘peas’

More Garden Musings from Prospect Cottage.

In Bees, Folklore, Gardening, Herbs on May 10, 2011 at 11:13 am

Equisetum arvens, the bottlebrush like plant in pic, commonly known as Horsetail or Mare’s Tail, hated by many people as a pernicious weed does have many benefits. It is high in silica, which fixes calcium in the body, making it a good herbal remedy for osteoporosis. The plant also has strong diuretic properties. For the organic/natural gardener it is Horsetail’s fungicidal properties that make it a useful plant. It is particularly useful as a preventative for blight on Potatoes and Tomatoes. To make the preparation collect the whole plant, foliage and stems. For each oz pour on 2 pints of hot water and allow to stand for 24 hours. Strain and use undiluted. If you have dried Horsetail 2ozs makes 10 litres of spray.Most of the beds in the garden have now been planted up. This bed has a mix of Broccoli, Peas and Onions. The large plants at the end of the bed are Oreganos, the golden variety is slower growing than the green. The Bees love the flowers of Oregano. I was a bit premature planting out the Peas as they have been hammered by the wind and heavy rain, but they will come on.Lots of Silverweed about at the moment, a member of the Potentilla family, it likes the damp ground we have here. Geese are said to be partial to the leaves. Its traditional herbal use was as a treatment for bleeding and for cosmetic uses such as the removal of freckles.

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.