Saturday, 26 September 2009


The Girl and I drove to our land today, where we are building our home. Work is progressing swiftly -- one advantage of building during a bursting bubble is that the builders are not busy. The roof beams are up, the underroofing covers the structure, and the slates are half on. We hope to be in by Christmas.

The Girl and I scattered radish seeds around the back of our property, hoping they would offer an abundant crop. We already have a forest garden in the shade of the copse, with blueberries, strawberries and many other plants under the hazels. My mother-in-law suggested we get a broom-plant, which is native to these marshy soils and fixes the nitrogen the other plants will need. She also suggested replacing the grass with clover, which will not need to be mown as often and will also fix nitrogen -- an excellent idea.

We talked about other plants we could have, bee-plants that would retain their flowers early in spring or into the winter darkness. I always wanted a flytrap, both as pest control and for entertainment value. They are native to swamps, so should probably do well with our soil. I always check myself before bringing in plants from alien bioregions, but this will be in a pot, and as it is native to the Okeefenokee, I don't see it overrunning Ireland.

Most of you know that we had to build our house where the garden once stood, due to local ordinance, so we had to take down our greenhouse and garden beds. The earth from the beds, which my mother-in-law built up over years of composting, is now in a giant pile of earth while the house is being built. When it was first shoveled to one side it was a four-metre-tall pile of bare earth, and was quickly covered with weeds that have now gone to seed. any suggestions for not getting seed-infested garden soil?

While we were there The Girl and I swept out the shed in the back corner of the property, where we have our food stores, and snacked on the mint that is now growing rampant over the giant earth piles.

Finally, we travelled to all the nearby villages - Timahoe, Prosperous, Rathangan, Kilkullen -- and put up dozens of flyers for the Luka Bloom concert, now only five days away.


E said...

mulch or just grow the weeds the first year and remove as they come up. depends on climate, time available, type of weed.

swan said...

oh dear - the only way I know how to not get seed infested soil is to handpick the weeds before they go to seed! I agree that you might as well just let them grow the first year and be sure to get rid of them quickly and mulching is always a good idea. it's always good to know your local "weeds" - poor unwanted things - at all stages.

What fun - a new garden from scratch. I envy you!

Anonymous said...

Cover the soil for a year with heavy duty material or black plastic (boo hiss).

Or plant rye which will naturally compete and win against the other plants. Again, this takes a year.

Adele S. said...

I love seeing what comes up! Last year's compost was spread all around the rose garden. It seems the red bell pepper seeds were not "cooked" enough and I now have a huge crop of peppers to harvest. Who knew that roses and peppers enjoy each other's company!

Brian Kaller said...

E and Anonymous,

We are too impatient to just grow weeds the first year, but we probably will end up just yanking most of them as we go.


Thanks! I'll let you know how it goes.


That's true -- I imagine the weeds will yield some good things as well. Peppers and tomatoes struggle here, but they do grow -- what is your climate like?