Research for a novel. Info needed......
gerrymadden75 Posts: 2
in Fruit & veg
I'm writing a novel set in Ireland 1940. I'm not a gardener so I'm lost here and don't want to make a basic mistake that would make the story seem wrong. The story is set over one year. The end of the story will mention a garden coming good. Simple things like potatoes, cabbage, apples and things that an inexperienced gardener in the story could manage. Which month(S)would these simple fruit and vegetables be planted and which month would they be ready to harvest. How would slugs and pests have been tackled in the 1940's?
Any help greatly appreciate.
I think that during the war, slug and pest control would be to handpick the pests off. DDT came in for general use after the war.
Potatoes would be planted in march(usually Easter time) and maincrop such as King Edwards (introduced 1902) would be dug up from September to end of October
For Irish apples try here
clicking on each apple will give you info on date introduced and cropping times.
cabbages are planted from spring onwards and cropped from late summer through the winter.
That's perfect. Hand picking the slugs is a great detail. Would seeds for a garden patch of vegetables be readily available then? I can see you all rocking with laughter. A single women planting a garden........how would she start?
I was doing that all last summer picked 100s.. I know the plants they prefered to hide under. They were the ones they did not eat.
'You must have some bread with it me duck!'
THERE ARE LOTS OF OLD PAPERS RELATING TO BRITISH, RATHER THAN IRISH, WARTIME GARDENING METHODS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE DIG FOR VICTORY LEAFLETS SUCH AS THIS ONE.
AND WARTIME MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FILMS.
SUCH AS THIS.
IRELAND MUST HAVE HAD SIMILAR METHODS EVEN THOUGH IT WAS NOTIN SUCH A PREDICAMENT AT THE TIME.
Last edited: 21 January 2017 11:44:00
If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
This is probably set too late for you, but here's a programme on the changes in gardening practices after WWII. They do mention some WWII practices, so you could extrapolate.
There are lots of people who are really into the 40s and 50s era, you might get more information from them rather than from a general gardening forum. They have festivals, too. A big one is Twinwood, in August. I didn't see anything about gardening there (I'm *not* into this kind of thing, I was there for other reasons), but I find they are more than happy to talk about their hobby and tend to be very careful about even the smallest details, which is just what you need, I expect.
Unless she's going to 'land' in an already cultivated garden, she'd have to dig over soil, get hold of some manure or the like to enrich the soil and then beg or borrow seeds from someone (or possibly find them in a drawer, if that fits the story better). If you go on the Real Seeds website - realseeds.co.uk - they have lots of information about how to go about saving seeds in order to have ones to plant the following year, how to test viability of old seeds and that sort of thing. They also have lots of info about what to plant when. Ireland isn't hugely different from the UK, in the main.