From planning to planting @OURganic Gardens

Things have been non stop this month between working @HOME and now planning the community gardens that I am lucky enough to be involved with this year in Donegal . From late winter until now I’ve spent quality time making sure I have all the seed , soil and accessories for the coming months – not to mention the energy required for the planting of a fair few tress before the end of the bare root season .

The seed selecting takes place late winter so once that’s done I just need to decide what goes where – working on eight gardens this year ive had to stay really focused and not to get them mixed up but I do have a great system at this stage and with to help me out , I can hardly take all the credit ;

the garlic went in the ground late this year – two reasons . 1) I was waiting for it to get a bit colder (and it finally has ) and 2) we got a later variety that can be planted right up until march so we were under no real pressure – I made sure the bed was well drained and had no perennial weeds – I find the trick is to make sure that no water lies in your soil at all – this tends to slow down growth and the garlic stays very small


At the beginning of February I kicked off my first garden at the rainbow project in Derry – They are bringing together a great group of enthusiastic gardeners from the “spring up” project that will be running for six weeks – we hope to create a beautiful veggi patch , some colourful vertical gardens and upcycle to our hearts delight .. loving it ♥


One of the many benefits that community gardening offers is a sense of achievement coupled with a sense of hope . At the start of the year you plan , you prepare and you sow . Then you nurture , care and defend. And then when all the hard work is done you reap the benefits . For me harvesting all OUR hard work throughout the year is one of life’s pleasures that luckily doesn’t cost the earth !

Now to get back to my plans , have a root though my artfully decorated seed box that my children created and get sowing !! :))


NB This year I will be running community garden courses for six weeks in spring – locations so far are Letterkenny , Dunfanaghy , Ards , Gortahork , Portanoo , Ardara and Mountcharles – the Rainbow project is in going and will finish up mid March – for more details check my face book @ourganic gardens or comment below .


Preparing our beds

The winter work @OURganic gardens has taken longer than expected this year – I’m not sure if its because lack of time or if its because I’m actually still waiting for winter to begin !! The weather is mild to say the least .

In December, we loaded four of our raised beds with seaweed to replace nutrients and work on the soil structure – we have fairly heavy soil where we are but it has great potential !
I have eight veg beds in total and I generally give four of them a good feed every year (I alternate four on four off ) – then when I rotate the vegetables I put my heavy feeders where there is plenty of nutrients and I put the other veg into the beds fed the previous year .

Then in mid January I’ve taken the used straw from the pigs bed ( but any straw would do ) and I’ve laid it on top of the seaweed – I then covered it with cardboard to help suppress weeds and also speed up decomposition

Now I “think” this is the lazy bed system but ill have to check that one out later – but it certainly saves me a lot of digging and as this particular one is my cabbage bed this year only time will tell if the greens will reap the benefit and return the favour !!