May is just the best, isn’t it? Especially this year when the Winter has been stubbornly holding on for all it’s worth. The buds are finally popping on the trees and the grass is beginning to grow. Forget the winter blues and think vibrant yellow/green spring leaves. Forget root vegetable stews, think tomatoes, basil, salt (not too much) and olive oil!
Here we go! My tomato plants are in the polytunnel getting settled in, I’ve other new guests too – dwarf and climbing French beans, cucumbers, yellow and green courgettes, and delicious squash ‘Delicata’ and ‘Uchiki Kuri’ and beautiful Hungarian Wax chili peppers. Continue reading
We’ve got some cool new stuff on our site that you might find interesting as well us some less exciting but very handy consumables for this time of year. Let’s go cool stuff first:
The Storm Kettle
If your interest in the outdoor life coincides with an interest in hot beverages then this device is what you’ve been waiting for! We had one of these when I was a child and used to make tea on the beach in Summer (only the Irish!, imagine the Spanish or French making tea on a beach….). I know I can be accused of getting over excited about seemingly mundane products but this thing really is amazing. I’ve been kind of hinting we should stock them for ages and slipped it in on the sly the other day, someone better buy one! Continue reading
O.K., so you’ve managed to produce your own seedling plants or have bought in some promising looking specimens. You have hardened them off and are ready to put them out into your garden or in the case of warm climate crops to plant them in your greenhouse or polytunnel. You want to make sure they get off to a good start and hopefully produce abundant supplies of delicious home grown vegetables. It’s not difficult, especially if you have good plants but there are a couple of tips which might be helpful. Continue reading
I had a call from Dermot Carey (my personal vegetable guru) over the weekend as he wanted to pick up a couple of rolls of fleece. “I hope you don’t mind me calling on a Sunday morning” says Dermot “No problem” says I, “you might stick the head in and have a look at my tomatoes while you’re here”.
‘Having a look’ at my tomatoes meant having a look at some tomato seedling plants in their pots, an empty bed, some twine and all the tools Dermot would require to plant them. I also thought he might like to ‘have a look’ at some cucumbers and French beans while he was at it. Continue reading
To compliment Dorcas Barry’s great energy boosting smoothie featured in this months newsletter I’m covering the leafy green part of the recipe to show just how easy they are to grow. We’ll be looking at Kale as it’s the new trendy ‘superfood’ (with good reason as it happens) and is relatively trouble free for the first time grower.
I’ll tell you straight off that Kale is one of the easiest things to grow, it was one of the first things I ever tried and is a pretty bullet proof crop. Let’s look at what’s so good about it first and then I’ll tell you how to grow it. Continue reading
Er, from us. Well, as far as I know we are the only Irish supplier of garden ready vegetable plants. We deliver nationwide and we grow great plants (though I say myself). If you don’t have the time to read why our plants are so great you can skip straight to our ‘Vegetable seedlings for sale’ here.
Buying plug plants is the key to easy vegetable growing as veg seedlings already started cut out a lot of the tricky stuff that can put off a novice grower. New gardeners who haven’t tried vegetable growing before get caught out as many plants like tomatoes, celery, leeks and peppers need to be sown early in the year, long before you would think it’s warm enough to do so. You need equipment to start off seedlings early like propagators and heat benches so why not save yourself a headache and the expense and let us supply them for you. Continue reading
Growing your own can be tricky business for someone new to vegetable gardening but there are a number of ways you can stack the odds of a successful harvest in your favour. My number one would be to start your seedlings off indoors in modular trays where they have a better chance of survival and of producing a strong and healthy vegetable plant. The magical transition from seed to seedling is a rocky road for baby vegetable plants so, just like us, it makes sense to protect them in their early stages of life.
Most vegetables, with the exception of root crops like carrots and parsnips, will do much better if started off indoors and planted out at about 4-6 weeks old. It makes sense to start seedlings off in a protected environment so they don’t have to face the elements in their early stages and can be planted out when conditions are more pleasant. There are things you need to look out for when growing vegetable seedling plants indoors but they do bring you a little bit closer to the elusive dream of hassle free vegetable growing! Continue reading
If you’re getting a bit upset that the vegetable growing season is over you might like to try growing some sprouting seeds. O.K. they’re never going to replace a large bushel of carrots or a bowl of tangy fresh tomatoes but they just might be enough to keep the growing ‘monkey’ off your back for the winter. Sprouting seeds can be grown all year round for a nutritious addition to salads or sandwiches for a tasty snack. They are also brilliant first crop for children and are great for showing seeds germinating in a classroom setting as part of a school garden module. Continue reading
When Dorcas Barry agreed to contribute to our blog I couldn’t believe my luck. I met Dorcas at the G.I.Y. (Grow It Yourself) gathering in Waterford last year where she was talking about fresh and healthy food while treating us all to kale smoothies.
You might think a smoothie made from kale tastes revolting and is only for the most hardcore raw food evangelists, you’d be wrong by the way, but that’s where the magic comes in. Dorcas is a cookery writer, lecturer and all round healthy eating genius but she also seems to have the sorcerers touch of knowing exactly which unlikely ingredients can be mixed to produce a fantastic flavour. I saw people hold their noses when sampling the bright green kale smoothie only to look completely stunned when this tropical tasting elixir reached their taste buds. Continue reading
The numbers of people having a go at producing some of there own fresh produce is on the increase every year. Home vegetable growing has become fashionable with many people with gardens or those lucky enough to have an allotment giving it a try. The latest revolution is the small space urban gardener who takes advantage of every square inch of space in their back yard or apartment balcony to produce some of their own fresh food.
The champion of the U.K. urban growers has to be Mark Ridsdill Smith of the excellent blog Vertical Veg. Mark set himself a challenge back in 2010 to see could he grow as much produce on his balcony and window sills as a London allotment. According to the National Society of Leisure and Allotment Gardeners a 330 square yard allotment produces £1,564 (€1,837) worth of crops a year. As Mark figured the average London allotment is half that size he set his target at half that figure at £782 (€918). After his 12 month trial he estimated he’d grown almost £900.00 (€1,057) worth of produce. Not bad for the first year! Continue reading