Saturday, October 07, 2006

The end of the growing season, it's time to look back and reflect on the good and bad of the past season. One of the biggests regrets is not enough time to post here, and share the learning and successes. This year was a bit mad, as we decided to leave Dublin for a bigger garden in Mullingar. (Size of house was less important :-))

As things worked out the best time to leave was August, but to avoid disruption for the kids, we started living in Mullingar at weekends from June on. Which meant that we were maintaining two vegetable gardens over the course of the summer. It might seem a bit crazy, but being able to harvest stuff in the new house made it feel like a home.

So, it was a pretty good growing year - beans were a particular success. In past years the slugs would get 90% of the tender bean seedlings. My germination rate wasn't great when planted in situ, with the result the the bean beds would end up as weed beds.

This year I 'invested' in a 3 shelf greenhouse at Lidl - €20 - what a great deal! I was able to germinate all kinds of beans, and they were able to grow to the point where the slugs couldn't do too much damage. That, combined with growing them in containers, meant that we had possibly my best french bean crop ever!

A few words about Lidl and Aldi- they have lots of greenhouse-type products in the spring. But you need to get there on the day that they go on sale. And of course different stuff sells out quicker in different stores.

So don't depend on the flyer coming in the door, or the newspaper. Subscribe to their online mailing list, and you'll see the gardening stuff coming up about a week in advance. Links below.


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