Country in Lockdown

31-3-2020
Ireland, like most countries, has to deal with a new situation as COVID-19 is forcing us into isolation. This doesn’t stop nature, however. The country is turning green as leaves and flowers are unfolding. The young Braeburn apple tree is keeping pace with its older siblings this year!
Aphrodite’s Gardens is closed in accordance with government instructions, but is, of course, keeping busy at home. Recent activities:
As the grass keeps growing, it will have to be cut at some stage. Peening the scythe blades is a good way to get ready. Using a peening jig and a hammer, the metal of the blade is thinned down to a very fine and sharp edge.
Growing exotic plants is always a challenge for the keen gardener. In an attempt to find out which method of seed treatment works best, I stored some seeds in the fridge for cold stratification, let some seeds float in water for early germination, and sowed some directly into seed compost in a DIY cold frame. I’m now waiting patiently for results.
A client came up with a great idea! He cut up last year’s Xmas tree and used the branches as mulch around his acid-loving Blueberry bushes. The needles of the old tree will add to the acidity of the soil and thereby feed the live bushes. At the same time, the dry branches will suppress weeds. And it looks very tidy, too.
All the best to everyone, stay safe!

Peening gear
Cold statification of seeds in fridge
Seeds floating in water
Seeds sown into seed compost in DIY cold frame
Blueberry bed mulched with last year’s Xmas tree

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