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I bought Aldi compost and I won

 

It’s only the end of April and it’s crazy busy already. LOVE IT!

There’s something so exciting about the frenzy of seed sowing, bed preparations, harvesting, selling at the market, making and delivering flower orders and emailing brides…. I’m someone who always likes to be busy so I feel like I’m coming into my own now after the winter and with the longer days I’ve more energy and tonnes of optimistic enthusiasm for everything (wonder if I’ll still be this chirpy after another crazy month, doubt it, ha!)

I’ve most of the first sowings of seeds pricked out into plug trays and I’m well into my second sowings. I would have liked the first and second sowings to be closer together but with space on the heated bench and under the lights in limited supply everything must wait it’s turn. Nearly everything I want to sow has been sown apart from the real heat lovers and those that are being direct sown. I’ll wait another while to sow my sunflowers, zinnias, cobaea, mina….and by then there’ll be plenty of space on the heated bench where they’ll shoot up in no time. I’ll be able to give over most of the greenhouse to zinnias and sunflower propagation once the last frost date has passed and I can plant out all the plug trays taking up the whole thing right now.

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I had to transplant these tiny Amaranthus cadatus (red and green varieties) much earlier than I had planned due to damping off in their seed tray.  I'm thrilled to see they are doing really well.  Maybe I should have more faith in my little ones...

The stuffed greenhouse is looking fantastic (if I do say so myself ;-)). I go out every night with the torch and do a slug patrol with great success. Though I must admit it took me a while to realise there was a problem…. I had been wondering why the cosmos seedlings (sown in 96 cell plug trays, 1 seed per plug) were so slow to develop after germinating until I copped they had their heads gobbled off by sadistic slugs. I was fecking livid especially as they specifically targeted my double click snow puffs (what a mouthful) that I was beyond excited to grow after seeing Floret raving about them and anything she grows I wanna grow too! I’m also using a different compost mix than last year and the seedling are loving it. I’m using a mix of peat – free compost I bought in from Fruit Hill Farm in Cork and some cheapo organic peat - free stuff I bought in Aldi. I was really (pleasantly) surprised to see Aldi doing stocking peat – free compost as anyone will tell you I’m no fan of bog – stripping just to grow a few plants… Anyhow at €3 a bag I filled my trolley one day and decided to give it a go. It’s a lovely dark brown compost but with quite a lumpy texture. I reckon it’s too strong to use on its own for my little transplants so I’ve been mixing it 1:2 and 1:1 with the peat free seed compost from Fruit Hill and they love it. They are growing really well and all the plugs look so healthy. Win win!

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And the farm is looking good too!  Loads of flowers blooming and I spotted this wecome visitor last week :-)

And before I forget, what blooming right now (isn’t that what it’s all about really):

Last of the narcissus will be harvested this week, they had a funny start to their season with a blast of really mild weather tricking them early on followed by a really cold spell to mess them up so I don’t feel some of the varieties did as well as they should have…but overall did get a good harvest. Note to self: Grow more scented doubles next year…

Tulips, what absolute stunners! They are looking amazing right now especially the doubles Blue Diamond and the gorgeous Angeliques…Why oh why can’t their season be longer??

The wallflowers are coming into their own with some really beautiful colours, though they need to get a bit taller before they’re really ready to be harvested in great amounts.

Hyacinths have finished but the muscari are looking fantastic and with their stunning blue hues are always popular at the market…

Anemones and ranunculus are just coming into flower…..

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Anemone St. Brigid in full bloom. Stunning!!!!!

 

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And to finish...My absolute favourite picture of the year so far.  I finished work early last Sunday (as part of trying not to over do it this year and make more time for 'family time'.  I took Senan to the playground and Andy took Harry on his first fishing trip of the season - and he came home with this!! He really was absolutely thrilled with himself and I was just so proud of him.  It really is worth taking time out away from work, no matter how busy I am.