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

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Tomato Challenge

A good learning point for a gardener is to label plants. I usually do this but sometimes plant tags go missing or maybe I forget to make a label. However, I think this tomato is 'Red Pear'. Grown from seed, initially I was labeling the plants 'red bear' (that was a laugh when I told a friend I was growing red Bear tomatoes!

We're well into mid-August and my tomatoes are developing but no sign of turning red yet. I've pinched the tops and I'm pinching side shoots. There are still lots of flowers so maybe more fruits will develop... or maybe I'll run out of time as it is getting chillier at night. Either way suppose I'm sure to get some cherry sized tomatoes at some stage soon.

Below: Various tomato plants growing in pots outside. Not in a greenhouse as I've done in previous years but better results than I had expected.

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

Friday, 15 August 2014

August Flowers - Blogger's Bloom Day

On the 15th of every month many bloggers from around the world share photos of what's blooming in their gardens, hosted by May Dream Gardens.

Its been awhile since I participated in Blogger's Bloom Day... glad to be back... here's what's looking good in the garden...
L-R (top): Echinacea; Leucanthemum Snow Lady.
Majoran in flower, Dianthus.
Above: Astrantia, Verbena Lollipop, Penstemon.
Above: Hydrangea 'Magical Moonlight'. 
Above: Agapanthus
Above: Lobelia, yellow flowers - Echinacea I believe.
Above: Dianthus doing great in a pot.

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

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Veg Update

The good news - I'm harvesting a few things - mostly salad crops, courgette, a range of herbs and beetroot. The bad news is - it hasn't been a good year in terms of growing veg. Firstly, I got a late start sowing seed (end of April), and late planting onion as well (top left corner of photo). Most seed sown direct into the ground were eaten (devoured more like it by pests). My 2nd sowing was devoured. Third time lucky? The bed pictured above has survived, however, my other two veg beds must have an extended family of slugs, snails and other pests that seem to manage to eat anything that's planted. The trials and tribulations of growing - and trying to grow organically!
Above and below: Beetroot Boltardy and Beetroot Chioggia. The leaves have been nibbled by caterpillars however the beetroot are growing well and are quite tasty. The Chioggia, an Italian heirloom variety, don't seem to bleed as bad (when harvesting / preparing) as the Boltardy. 

Above: Courgette All Green Bush - lots of large healthy leaf growth - however not as many courgettes as I'd expect.
Above: This year I have 3 apples on my self fertilizing apple tree.
My best year was about 13 or 14 apples. Its a small pot grown tree.
Above: Tomato, I thought were Purple Cherry, however I'm not too sure as I took seed up to the community garden project and the plant labels all got mixed up. This year the tomato plants are outside so they're slower to develop but hopefully will still produce some fruits. (All plants, except apple & onion, were grown from seed.)

It's great to be harvesting (suppose a little is better than none).

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