This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Monday, 14 April 2014

Herb Challenge

My perception of herbs is that they're fussy plants... not sure if that's true. This year I'm determined to expand my range of herbs in the garden.

A couple of weeks ago I bought 3 plants for £5 (a bargain!). Pictured left: two types of thyme and the bright green one is oregano. The thyme are outside waiting to be planted - a new herb box is a work in progress. And the oregano sits inside on the kitchen windowsill. The problem is - what was a lush oregano plant has been taken over by mildew!
So, I decided to cut back the plant. As you can see new growth is coming very quickly, but the powdery mildew is also coming back. Click to enlarge photo to see.
Who would ever think Oregano would have powdery mildew problems? (I assume this is what it is).

I think tomorrow I will try spraying the plant with milk. I've read using diluted milk approx 10-20% milk  mixed with water should help the situation. Fingers crossed!
Otherwise, I may have to throw it out!

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Well Done Mark's Veg Plot

This week I did one of my favourite things... bought two gardening magazines while grocery shopping - which cost me £10 (nearly $20 US). Of course the May issue of Kitchen Garden magazine (pictured) included 10 packs of free herb seeds, which I decided I couldn't pass by. 

A few weeks ago a popular chef told me I must add dill and tarragon to my herb acquisition so I'm happy to report I now have dill and tarragon seeds to sow and grow. Most of the other free herbs (coriander, oregano, thyme, parsley, fennel, chives, chervil and basil) I have already, however, I will share with my garden group as we're focusing on herbs this year along with our heirloom garden development.

Skimming through the magazine what did I spot... Mark's Veg Plot featured on page 97. Well done Mark and it's great to see your blog promoted.

It can be hard to find time to read, but when I do have time my two favourite UK gardening magazines are 'Kitchen Garden' and 'Grow Your Own'. Anyone have any other reading recommendations - magazines or good gardening books, do tell? 

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Rhubarb race continues

Photo above and below: shows approx 5 weeks growing difference.
I'm eagerly watching the rhubarb to see how it's growing (and wanting to harvest). This year I made a new rhubarb bed made up of four mature rhubarb pieces from other plants. Two pieces from my own 'dug and divided' plant, and two given to me by one of the garden group members. I should have taken a photo of the giant root system on the rhubarb when I dug it up - the size of a tree trunk. Rhubarb is quite easy to divide - just stick a spade through and slice it into pieces!

Above: I'm trying to force rhubarb (hurry up its growth) by putting a pot over it. And underneath the clay pot....
A small stalk emerging (as well as several slugs hiding). This is the rhubarb given to me in January by a garden group member. It is much slower to grow; I assume as it was put into the ground quite late (in January). Hopefully it will give me a later harvest.

Stewed rhubarb and ice cream will soon be on the menu!

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.