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  • Unusual Tubers

    Walk on the wild side this season and grow some unusual tubers Organic Yacon - Smallanthus sonchifolius  These perennial tubers from south America, look like a potato, grow like a Jerusalem artichoke, and taste a bit like a pear.  Easy to grow and store, high-yielding, super nutritious and crunchy like an apple. Growing Yacon Yacon is a perennial plant, so once you have planted it, so long as you look after it, you will have it forever.  It is easy to grow in most soils where there is reasonable rainfall and moderate heat.  They are large plants growing to a
  • Early Starters

    There’s a grand stretch in the evening and when it stops raining we should all be able to get out in the garden.  For the early starters it’s definitely worth covering the ground before planting to warm up the soil a little and protect it from the rain.  Either put up a small cloche or cover the soil with plastic or ground cover. All early crops will feel the benefit of protection with crop cover as this will provide some gentle heat and also increase light levels. Keep an eye out for slugs and use slug pellets  - those fresh new shoots are very tasty! As the
  • Spud you like!

    How do you like your potatoes? Soft and fluffy, pale and interesting or firm and flavoursome?  Whatever floats your boat we have a spud for that. Early   First up with the shortest growing cycle - no summer table is complete without a bowl of freshly dug tatties covered in butter!  New potatoes are quick off the mark and are ready 15 - 16 weeks after planting. If you have a polytunnel or greenhouse then you can plant them as early as January and have very early potatoes on the table in April/May - depending on the weather. Salad  Salad potatoes are ideal boiled
  • All about Tomatoes

    Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) are the taste of summer - here's how to sow, grow and enjoy! How to sow Sow tomatoes indoors eight to ten weeks before your last frost date. The temperature of the compost should be approx 20- 22C for the seeds to germinate.  A propagator or heat mat is very useful here.At lower temperatures germination will take a little longer. Try to keep temperatures from fluctuating too much during he early stages of growth. Tomatoes can be sown in seed trays, modular trays or mini blocks and pricked out to larger 10cm pots after the third leaf
  • Success with Seeds

    Back to basics with seeds!  Don't let past failures put you off - read our refresher course on seed sowing for growing success! Seeds Chose good quality seeds from a reputable supplier - preferably organic.  Store your seeds in a cool, dark, dry place for best results. Remember to read the instructions on the back of the packet regarding sowing dates. Keep an eye on the use by dates of your seeds - most will keep for several years but there are exceptions as the following list shows: Viability of common veg seeds - 1 year   -  onions, parsnips, parsley,
  • Thoughtful gifting with a 20% discount

    Gift ideas with a 20% discount for you and a big smile from the recipient! Magnifier for insects etc Magnifier - 10x magnifier for examining insects. €17 discounted to €13.60 • Lens 20mm diameter. • Lightweight, pocket handy. Rain Gauge Rain Gauge - Handy instrument for measuring rainfall. €9.61 discounted to €7.68 • Large diameter for precise measuring. Easy to read • Place directly into the ground or mount on a post. Digital thermo/hygrometer Digital Thermo/Hygrometer - Checks temperature in/outside and inside humidity. €23.80 discounted to
  • Winter Pruning

    Winter is an ideal time to prune, as the lack of leaves on deciduous trees and shrubs enables you to see what you’re doing.  As the trees are dormant cuts are less likely to bleed and will quickly callous over before growth begins again in Spring. Reasons for Pruning Removing dead, diseased or damaged material will help keep the plant healthy Opening up trees by removing branches stops branches crowding together. This allows more air to circulate, which is important for reducing disease, and also allows a good level of light to reach the growing parts of the
  • Fermented food for great taste and good health.

    Before frozen foods, refrigeration, and cheap transport from warmer countries preserving the bounty of summer for winter consumption was essential.  Canning, bottling, pickling, fermenting and drying were (and are) skills known to many who wished to preserve their harvest for winter. Of all these preserving methods the one that packs the biggest punch and really adds value to your food is fermenting. Properly made fermented vegetables contain very high levels of probiotics, much higher than the best probiotic supplements. This makes them ideal for optimizing your
  • Plant now - enjoy in Spring

    It's October - still lots to harvest in the garden - and lots to plant NOW for enjoying next year. Optimism keeps the winter blues away! Overwintering Organic Garlic Garlic comes from the mountainous regions of Central Asia and has adapted to extreme changes in temperature including very cold nights. As a result, garlic performs best when subjected to a cold period of one or two months. Ground temperatures of between 0 — 10º celsius encourages optimum clove formation making it very suited to our Irish climate and autumn planting often produces better crops than
  • Harvesting and Storing Maincrop Potatoes

    Potatoes are one of those staples that can keep us fed all year round. Maincrop potatoes are used for stashing away and eating through Winter and Spring when little else is available in the garden. These potatoes generally produce thicker skins and have longer dormancy periods which inhibits them from sprouting too soon. However, to keep your maincrop potatoes in good shape for a long storage it is also important to store them well. In-Situ Tubers, being underground plant organs, are most at home in the soil where conditions are dark, moist and cool (but not too cold).

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