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  • February Seasonal Table: Leeks

    LEEKS: OVERVIEW Leeks are one of the most underestimated of all winter vegetables. Once dubbed “Poor-man’s Asparagus” the leek is one of the world’s oldest known vegetables, with its own set of nutritional benefits and flavours, leeks have been part of the human diet for thousands of years. Leeks are part of the allium family and are closely related to onions, garlic, shallots, and scallions with a milder taste and larger in size. Health benefits Leeks are a phenomenal source of vitamins and of antioxidants: They contain powerful antioxidants for staving off
  • Crop Rotation

      January is a good time to think about your crop rotation and what quantities you will be growing.  What was a success last year, what did you have a glut off – and what did no one like?  (Bridget - what is wrong with courgettes?) Taking photos throughout the year is a good idea too as it is so easy to forget what everything looked like on a dark January day! What is Crop Rotation? Crop Rotation is the practice of growing specific groups of vegetables on a different part of the vegetable plot each year. This helps to reduce a build-up of crop-specific pest
  • What does Organic mean?

    Organic food is food produced by methods that comply with the Standards of organic farming. Standards vary worldwide, but organic farming in general features practices that strive to cycle resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Organic Growers do not use any chemical fertilizers, insecticides or herbicides on the crops they grow.  Neither do they use Genetically Modified seed. The emphasis is on working with nature to produce a healthy soil environment through the addition of natural inputs (for example seaweed) and green manures.
  • Propagation

    If you want to get you seeds off to an early start you will need to create a nice warm and protected environment.  There are 4 ways of doing this - soil warming cable, heated propagator, heating mat, hot press. Soil warming cable   Soil warming cable. Early propagation requires a consistent soil temperature of 12ºC to 16ºC. Germination and root development are very slow below these temperature levels. If you have a large area to heat up then a soil warming cable is ideal.  The cables are ready to use and can be plugged into a thermostat for complete temperature
  • How to grow Potatoes

    What to plant Earlies:   Very good if you only have a small area. As they are lifted earlier, they are less likely to encounter problems such as wireworms, slugs and blight. Earlies are ready 15 - 16 weeks after planting in March onward.  Only plant when the conditions are right - be patient! Second Earlies:   Second Earlies take 16-17 weeks to mature after planting in April Maincrops:   Maincrops take 18-20 weeks to mature after planting in mid-April onwards. These take up the most space in the garden, but they are the best varieties to store.  They also
  • What are Green Manures?

    Green Manures, also referred to as fertility building crops, may be broadly defined as crops grown for the benefit of the soil. A wide range of plant species can be used as green manures. Different ones bring different benefits. If the most is to be made from green manure crops it is important that they are carefully integrated into the crop rotation and proper attention paid to their cultivation. Advantages -  Increased biological activity  Improved soil structure and drainage  Reduced erosion and leaching  Increased supply of nutrients available to plants
  • Chitting Potatoes

    What does chitting mean? Chitting is basically another word for sprouting. By exposing the seed potato to light and a small bit of warmth you are encouraging growth.  The eyes of the potato will start sprouting - the sprouts should be small, knobbly, and green/purple in colour. If you end up with long, white coloured sprouts, it means there’s not enough light. Why do you chit potatoes? By getting the potato to sprout you have started off the growing process so that the plants will have a head start when you put them in the soil.  In theory you will then get your
  • January Seasonal Table: Kale

    Kale - Overview, Health benefits & Cooking with Kale Kale is an amazing vegetable packed full of goodness and with some amazing health benefits, Kale is the king, of all the super healthy greens. It is one of the healthiest and most nutritious plant foods in existence - loaded with all sorts of beneficial compounds, some of which have powerful medicinal properties.  It is also very easy to grow. WHAT IS KALE Kale is a popular garden vegetable, very low maintenance and a member of the cabbage family (Brassica Oleracea). It is related to vegetables like cabbage,
  • How does your garden grow - featured January garden

    John from Antrim is our featured garden for January We don't often get to see our customers gardens so it is a treat to get to see what you are growing and where you are growing it! John sent us these great photos along with his story of how  he started out gardening and details of what he grows in his Dad's garden. We were delighted to receive John's photographs and his description and we hope the €50 voucher will help keep his garden growing! "I qualified in horticulture in 2010 from Greenmount college in Antrim. I then did 4 months work experience in Blarney
  • Cleaning your greenhouse or polytunnel: equipment and methods

    Cleaning the polytunnel and your pots Not the most popular of tasks but one that must be faced to avoid pests and diseases later.  All plant pots, seed trays, propagation trays and tools should be well and truly cleaned.  Don’t brush over this advice because you think they are going to “get dirty” anyway.  Pots that are dirty can contain pests, bacteria, and fungus that can harm your plants before they even get started.  Same is true for your glasshouse or polytunnel.  As well as letting in extra light you will get rid of all the overwintering red spider

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