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gardening in Thurrock


 
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walltoall
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 705
Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:19 pm    Post subject: gardening in Thurrock Reply with quote

Día díbh go léir! And Hello to the rest of ya. Well it sez introduce yourself! So here goes.

I migrated to Thurrock in Essex a few years ago and inherited a garden full of London clay. We used to call this 'soil' MARLA in Irish. You don't dig it. You excavate it. and as soon as it gets the chance it morphs back to the original. It's very rich in nutrients. Locals told me not to grow in it but grow on it. So I did for a few years. But not much root crops. They also told me it can take ten years of working to get the tilth you take for granted in Lusk, Doon, Shannon, Rathfarnham or Muckinish for that matter.

I've been fighting the marla for about five years and it's winning hands down. If I tell you that a 16 sq metre piece of the garden gobbled 25 bags of stable manure in 2003 and by 2007 that space was back to good old marla.

Don't even suggest peat. Peat has to be imported from Ireland and I could use a lorry load. But at £5 a bag, a lorry load is out of the question. Eventually this year I started raised beds in the hopes that next year........ Mine are made of bricks (about 500 got very cheap) but without mortar so I can chop and change!

I surfed into this here site looking for Irish gardening solutions! I'm totally new to this forum-ming whatsit. Be patient with me. I'll excavate myself eventually or make a raised bed for my lap-top.

I love the idea of growing spuds for Christmas in a plastic bag.

Anyway, to where I'm at right now? Global warming came to Thurrock early. We have a micro-climate where the rainfall is somewhat less than Jerusalem! (semi-arid) though I'm not so sure after this 'Summer'. The garden is all nooks and crannies, so there's total variation in growing conditions. I can have my white currants north-facing and my fig south-facing. Bamboos in a shady area that hardly gets any sun and a mulberry in partial shade which will fruit about 2012. I trap whatever rain comes store it for droughts and hosepipe bans. Oh! Sorry! You don't have hosepipe bans in Ireland? Just you wait. You will. AND! You will pay for your water.

This year I've tomatoes, runner beans, figs, blackberries (Yeah! I know but they are a special variety with vicious dawks to keep villians from coming over the wall). Earlier I had black and white currants. And if I was a panda I could have bamboo shoots. They grow in a dark corner behind the garage

I've a three year old grapevine and this year I've let it go to 25 bunches. Now if the bleeding starlings or parrots don't get them in October I'll be flying. I think the burds have a calendar of my holiday times. Last year and in 2006 they nicked all the half ripe grapes while I was away in September.


[b]Now a question for someone used to garden in windy conditions. Years ago (Before Internet) I used to live on Muckinish Hill in the Burren and did an amount of 'gardening' there. Being exposed (on a clear day you could see Newfoundland) when the wind blew it could flatten you. I had this special filament net that I bought somewhere way out beyond Clifden. It could take any wind and stuff grew behind it as if there was no wind. Does anybody know whether or where it can be got nowadays.[/b]

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Retired trouble-maker. twitters @walltoall and dreams of being promoted to Pedunculate Oaker.


Last edited by walltoall on Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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cooler
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree


Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Posts: 292

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, what an introduction. Welcome walltoall. I think the netting you are speaking about is called netlon windbreak. Netlon is just a manufacturers name and there should be various other similar netting products like it available. All good garden centres should have rolls of this available in various heights, some will even forsake selling a whole roll, just to cut you your required length.
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walltoall
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 705
Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:37 pm    Post subject: netlon windbreak etc Reply with quote

Thanks cooler. You are totally right on with your advice. I can get a suitable solution in the UK without travelling to Seaside Gardens Claddaghduff (which I also re-discovered thanks to you). By the way, this garden centre specialises in bullet-proof shrubs for seaside gardens as well as windbreak netting. Pity about their website but I reckon they don't care. As providers of tough plants they are out on their own.

You would not believe the range of prices you can pay on the net for the net [puns fully intended.]

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BlackBird
Rank attained: Ash Tree
Rank attained: Ash Tree


Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Posts: 227

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep fighting the good fight against the marl. Welcome walltoall. Sounds like an interesting garden, any pics?
How exactly does Self-sufficiency attract burglars? Very Happy
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walltoall
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 705
Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:40 am    Post subject: fightin the marl Reply with quote

Morning londubh!

Your profile does not admit where you hang out. Are you shy?

"Self-sufficiency attracts burglars" is my signature on this forum. In England with the recession biting there is already plenty evidence of stuff being nicked from allotments. As more of us grow our own, the nicking will move to private gardens.

Bugs and slugs and bloody wood-pidgeons can be a nuisance but they won't clear out a garden overnight. So! I reckon I'm flagging up a future gardening problem?

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BlackBird
Rank attained: Ash Tree
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Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Posts: 227

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:06 am    Post subject: Re: fightin the marl Reply with quote

walltoall wrote:

"Self-sufficiency attracts burglars" is my signature on this forum. In England with the recession biting there is already plenty evidence of stuff being nicked from allotments. As more of us grow our own, the nicking will move to private gardens.

Bugs and slugs and bloody wood-pidgeons can be a nuisance but they won't clear out a garden overnight. So! I reckon I'm flagging up a future gardening problem?


Ah get you now. Seems to be on the rise alright, even as far back as 2001, and not just from allotments http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20010415/ai_n14381983

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