Monday, July 23, 2012


A mad, blustery, infuriating day at Donabate yesterday - very warm and a lot of sun, but the ceaseless wind made it impossible to really enjoy.  I even had to put the stove in the poly to make tea, which was a bit unpleasant considering it was already 30 degrees inside, even with the door open....sigh.  The weather this year just will not play ball.

Still though, I've started clawing the beds back from the wiry grip of chickweed and dockleaves.  I cleared two beds today, harvesting the onions, early potatoes and the last of the garlic.  The onions I've already ranted about in a previous post, so I'll leave them alone for now.  The spuds are a bit of a disaster...

This is my total harvest from a 1.2m x 3m bed of three varieties of earlies.  Now admittedly my early spud harvests are often small, but this is meagre to say the least!  They did really well until mid April, when they got hit by a sneaky late frost.  They took weeks to recover, and then they got badly hit by blight.  The maincrop have also been walloped by blight, so I don't hold much hope for when I dig them up either.  Anyway, here's the 'haul' in more detail:

This were the most productive; Ashleaf Kidney.  Loads of small ones,
and they stay together really well when cooked.

Edzell Blue - hit the worst by blight, I even found a few mushy ones in the ground.
Also not my favourite for eating; the nice blue colour turns grey when cooked,
and they're kinda soggy.  Not growing these again.
and Lady Christl - this one stood up really well to the blight, hardly a mark on them,
and no dodgy spuds at all in the ground.  I like this one.
  I get my seed spuds from Irish Seedsavers - my mum and I get 3 types each as members and we pool them all and grow them at the allotment.  I like having a big range of colours and tastes, it's one of the great pleasures of growing one's own.

I took a risk and planted out 8 or 9 tomatoes into the old onion bed - I'm afraid they could be hit by the blight also, but they're too big for their pots in the poly and beset by whitefly, so I turfed them out. Fingers crossed!  I did get my first three cherry tomatoes (a yellow variety called "Amber") from the poly yesterday, as well as a bowl of blueberries, raspberries and blackcurrants, some snap peas, a bunch of courgettes, some lettuce, the first cucumber and a bag of radishes - so really I have nothing to complain about.

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