Thursday, March 23, 2017

How To Grow Potatoes

Growing Potatoes in a Small Garden

How To Grow Potatoes
You can plant potatoes in a small garden by using containers, bags or pots. That way you free up your garden for other less intrusive vegetables.

When To Plant Early Seed Potatoes

Between now and April is the time to plant the seed potatoes.  But be aware of the dangers of frost at this time of year.  Cover the soil with straw if you can get some, if not then use polythene bags.

For these early variety crops you will be able to harvest in about eight weeks.
Seed Potatoes

Second Early Seed Potatoes

Plant in pots or bags from March to April. They will take longer to grow, about 14 to 16 weeks before they will be ready to harvest. 
The extra wait will be worth it though.  There will be a lot more potatoes with this crop.

Main Crop Seed Potatoes

Plant around April as like the other seed potatoes.  They will take about 18 to 20 weeks until they can be harvested.
This crop yields the largest amount of potatoes per seed potato.

My Early Potato Crop

Monday, February 27, 2017

Time To Sort out your Vegetable Seeds

Decide which Vegetables you are Growing This year

Yes it is finally time to think about planting your vegetables and fruit this year.

The first thing you should do is see what seeds you have left over from last year.  Then decide what you are growing and write a list of the seeds or bulbs you will need. 

Some of the Vegetables I Grew last year
I used to buy my vegetable seeds from a garden centre.  Now I buy them online because they are always so much cheaper.

While you are waiting for the seeds to arrive now is the time to plan where you want to grow the vegetables in your garden.  Never plant the same thing in the same area one year after the other. Always rotate your crops.

Prepare the Soil for the New Growing Season
If the ground is still cold prepare it by turning the soil.  Add some fresh compost to feed it too.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Gardening Tips: How to get rid of weeds in the cracks of your pavements

A cheap and simple way to get rid of the weeds that grow up between your pavement stones

Grass and other weeds grow on your paved stones.

Buy the cheapest salt you can get

Boil the water.

Get out your watering can and add a cup of salt and boiling water.  

Mix with a wooded spoon.

Poor the water and salt straight onto the weeds

This does take time but the results are well worth it.

The stone slabs in the back garden are full of  unwanted grass and weeds.

Make sure you pour the water and salt into every crack.

Do this whether there are weeds there or not.

The water must be at boiling temperature for this method to work well

The time you take now will save you hours during the spring and summer when you are busy doing other stuff in the garden.

Wait 48 hours and the result will be amazing.

All the weeds and grass will have withered and died

Weeds are dead and will not grow again for over a year

Two days later and the weeds are dead

Wait a few days and then use a hard yard brush to remove the dead bits.

This method of getting rid of the weeds does take time because the water has to be scalding.

But I assure you it is time well spent.

There will be no growth of weeds for at least a year.

You will not have to get on your hand and knees weeding when you want to be out in the garden planting vegetables and fruit

Copyright 2017. L.M.Reid

Sunday, January 15, 2017

January 2017 - Tidying the Garden

My front garden was looking rather sorry for itself so I decided to tidy it up

My flower garden clogged up with dead leaves

There were still lots of old leaves on top of the grass and plants.
I had already cleared these away a few times.
But hopefully this would be the last time I had to do this.

All the leaves have been lifted from the plants

Once that job was done I weeded the small front garden and dead headed any winter plants.

My front garden is now weeded and tidied up 

The spring bulbs are coming up.  Some had been covered with the dead leaves.  
So now they can get the light and produce lovely daffodils and tulips.

My garden with spring bulbs showing

This small patch of garden is also ready for the summer planting.of flowers. 
I took cuttings of White Daisies, Lavender and other plants from my back garden. 
This will save me money because I will have less plants to buy this year.    
I am glad that work is done. 
It has been annoying me for a while.
The weather has been too bad these past few weeks to do anything in the garden.  
But it is picking up now so I have more of an opportunity to get the preparation work done.  

Monday, January 9, 2017

January 2017

In the garden

If you want to plant vegetables in your garden this year it is time to get organised.  

Prepare the soil with plenty of manure and dig over

                                            Preparing the Garden 

  • If the weather permits now is a good time to decide where you are going to plant each crop.
  • Rotation of crops is key to a good harvest so no vegetable in the same place as last year

The soil has been dug and loosened and I mixed in some manure

  • Put the covers of plastic bags back on top of the soil to keep it as warm as possible.

The covers on the soil keep it warm and stops the nutrients from being washed away by rain

  • I also take photos and then decide where to plant each vegetable from my computer 
  • Decide which seeds and plants you want to buy for this years crop.
  • If you plan to grow some vegetables in containers, pots or bags you can also get these ready.

Friday, October 21, 2016

My Vegetable and Fruit Harvest for 2016

I had a good growing season this year and will explain in step by step instructions how I did it.

Tomatoes, Apples, Lettuce and Scallions all grown in my small garden

I took many photographs so you can easily see how it is done. That way you can choose which vegetables you want to grow for next year and prepare your garden.

I have only just started this blog so it will take a while to get everything written down.

So come back often as I create this gardening blog.

My Small Garden

This is my small garden where I grow many vegetables and fruit very successfully.

I have a very small garden but still manage to grow a large variety of vegetables and flowers there.
This blog will show you how I do it month by month.

I show you every step of the growing process and give you hints and tips along the way.
There will be lots of photos as I plant seeds and tend to the vegetables during the year.

Monday, July 11, 2016

How to Grow Onions

Vegetable Garden Tips

How To Grow Onions

How To Grow Onions
When I grow onions they take up a lot of room in the garden but the excellent taste of home grown onions is worth the trouble.

There are three ways to plant onions. Either buy onions sets, seeds or plants. I always buy and plant the sets. The sets grow quicker and are disease free.
Onion Sets

Planting and Growing Onions

They are an easy crop to plant because the bulb sets are easy to handle and plant. There is little time needed to take care of them as they grow so this vegetable is ideal for beginner gardeners.

When to Plant Onion Sets

Always in the spring as long as there is no chance of any more frosts. I live in Ireland so our spring is in early March to April. In this article I explain how to grow from onion sets. Buy a packet from a garden centre or store.

How To Plant Onion sets

The best place in your garden to plant these is in a sunny spot. But they can grow just as well in a place that only has partial sun during the day. If like myself you only have a small garden then you will probably need the sunniest places for other vegetables. 

I prefer to grow all of my vegetables in rows. This is because it is easier to look after them and the garden looks better. But you can plant the sets in small groups around the garden if you want.

Onions starting to Grow 

Step by Step instructions for Planting your Onion Sets

  • Make a hole along the soil about two inches deep and water very well..
  • Place the onion sets about 5 inches, 10 centimeters apart.
  • Make another row around 12 inches, 25 centimeters apart.
  • Plant more onions. Then cover with soil leaving the stems showing .
  • Push down the soil firmly around each onion.
  • Water again.

It may look like there is too much space between each one but this will be needed for the onions to grow large.

How To Protect the Onions from Birds

The birds will have great delight in picking up the light onion sets and flying away with them.

So you need to cover your newly planted onions with a light netting. After a couple of weeks the onions will have rooted so the birds can not remove them.

How To Grow Onions

Looking after the Onions as they Grow

The long green leaves will grow first. Keep watered and weed when necessary. Do not let the soil go dry as the bulbs will get damaged and split.

Once the hotter weather comes you will see the bulbs growing bigger. They grow on top of the soil so you can see them grow wider and larger.

When to Harvest Onions

Once they have grown to the size you want you can pick them to use in the kitchen when you need them. Always pick the largest ones first and allow the smaller ones to grow bigger.

Use the onions during the summer when you need them. You will eventually see the green leaves turn yellow and wither. This is the time to pull all the remaining onions from the garden.

Onions Ready To Eat

How To Store Onions

  • Pull whats left of your onion crop up from the ground.
  • Do not wash or cut off the leaves at this stage.
  • Lay them in the sun for a few hours either on the grass or a garden table.
  • Turn them over after a few hours.

Dry the Onions in The Sun
  • Using a paper towel remove the dried up soil from the bulbs.
  • Place them on a table in a shed or store house for a few days . Do not allow any bulb to touch another one or they will rot.
  • Once they are completely dry you can tie them up onto a string by the leaves for storage.
  • Or you can remove the leaves and place them in a dry box.
  • These remaining onions will store fresh for a few months

All Images are the copyright of L.M.Reid 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

How to Grow Carrots in Containers

How to Grow Carrots

You can read this full article by clicking on the link to the right of this page.

I have included photos of every stage from planting the seeds to harvesting and cooking the carrots.

These are from last years activity in my garden.

If you are thinking about growing carrots this year then read my instructions and you too can have a great crop like I did.

Carrots in a Container in my Small Garden