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Archive for July, 2010

Our Wildlife Pond… a great Success

One of our projects at the Dublin vegetable garden , to create a habitat for frogs and other pond creatures has been very successful.

We estimated we had about one hundred happy tadpoles in our pond which we were feeding on cat food (salmon) once they had developed tiny legs and needed some meat to complement their previously vegetarian diet.

The tadpoles were growing fast and it was fascinating to watch them going through the metamorphosis and surely exhilarating to spot the first tiny froglet! Its difficult to make out the tadpoles in the picture, but there are four of them feeding off a chunk of catfood. Their favoutite is Salmon !

How many tadpoles made it to become frogs we don’t know as the froglets only stay in the pond for a few days and then hop off to spend most of their time on land until they return to mate, but we are estimating  60 or more.

Frogs are a declining species and our project has helped to spread the frog population to the Crumlin area. From the organic gardeners’ point of view frogs are also a very welcome sight as they feed on slugs!

Our little pond has also become a habitat for water skimmer, water beetles and lots of other tiny pond organisms.

One side of the pond is surrounded by a beautiful wildflower meadow that attracts bees, bumble bees, butterflies and ladybirds all which are also declining.

A few of our fellow allotment-holders at the Pearse College allotments have been inspired by the sight of our wildflowers and pond, and want to start their own, pond and wildflower meadow !

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Well, its been a few months since the last Dublin veg garden update. The main reason for this is that its a really nice place to be hanging out, and frankly its a bit addictive.

If you couple that with the fantastic weather we have been having during May and June, and also not forgetting the friendly crowd of other allotment holders at Clogher road, it makes more sense. Surprisingly for us despite our lack of experience, and general haphazard approach, the vegetables we have planted have all grown remarkably well.

We have been fortunate to have had a helping hand from an experienced gardener or two ( thanks David and Gerry) for a couple of small plants to get us growing.

We found a handy skip just beside the allotment with old wooden desktops from Pearse College, we recycled these into 2 small compost bins ( you can see them in the backround of the first photo ).

We spent and evening “skip surfing” and created some ingenious “Saloon style” entrance gates, we are amazed at the good wood that gets thrown away!You can get an idea from the picture, that one persons junk is anothers treasure.

The fencing of the site was possibly the biggest single job, and fortunatley we have a couple of volunteers to help out that day. We bought a number of fence posts ,a roll of wire , and a sledge hammer. The hardest part was making a deep enough hole for the fence posts. The land contains a lot of stones and broken glass, which had to be dug out so that the fence post could be sunk deep enough.

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