Updated: 02/01/17 : 13:09:32
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January Gardening News from Klaus Laintenberger

Dear Fellow Gardeners,

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to a fruitful new year.  The weather here in Bundoran is exceptionally mild and sunny over the last few days. 

We have moved to Bundoran in September after selling Milkwood Farm while we are restoring a cottage in Rossinver.  It will be a new challenge again to start a garden from scratch.

We have a few new introductions to our seed range such as the superb early carrot variety – Rocket F1, an amazing Italian tomato gourmet mix as well as an oca tuber mix which is fast becoming my favourite vegetable – both to grow and to eat. 
Our seed catalogue is now also available in PDF version which you can print out if you prefer:

Click here for our PDF Seed Catalogue

Please find below a few articles which I hope may be useful for the new growing year:

A: The most common gardening mistake – sowing or planting too early
This article includes a list of the few crops that can be sown reasonably early but warns of sowing other crops when conditions are not right.  It includes a valuable table with the minimum, optimum and maximum germination temperature for a range of crops.

Read more

B: Planning your vegetable garden
Now is the time to finally get out of the rain and start planning for the new season.  The enthusiasm for gardening must have waned by now for even the most committed gardener.  I used to worry about it a lot.  What if I don’t like gardening anymore?  What else could I do with my life?  And the sad answer was – not much.  But luckily, every spring – just like the birds start to sing again and the first growth in nature unravels – so does our urge and longing for another growing year with new promises, trials and experiments and the hope that all our crops will thrive.

Read more

C: Growing Oca
I really think that oca (Oxalis tuberosa) will soon make it to the common list of vegetables and will be widely available.  It’s easy to grow, has no pests or diseases and really tastes delicious.  It’s a fabulous crop for Irish growing conditions.  The tubers are only produced late in the year until the first frost kills of the leaves.  In many years the first frost will only come as late as December.
We have a mixed selection available for sale now while stocks last.

Find out more by clicking on the links below:

Oca Growing Instructions

Oca Seed Shop

Here are a few useful links to the vegetable growing guides and the free Vegetable Grower’s Handbook App:

Concise Guide to Growing Outdoors Vegetables

Guide to Protected Cropping

Free Android App: A Vegetable Grower’s Handbook

Charles Darwin – Of Vegetable Moulds and Earthworms 1881
I was so impressed by Matthew Jebbs lecture on World Soil Day at the Botanic Gardens.  It was mainly about our humble earthworms and Charles Darwin who studied worms all his life.  This book is available on the Darwin Online website – a great read!

Click on the link here

Flavahans Organic Oats
Isn’t it great to see a family-owned Irish company doing well and especially their organic side of their business – Organic Porridge Oats.  They have invested heavily in the organic processing or oats and it has paid back – they are the largest producer of organic porridge in Ireland and even in the UK.  The demand for their delicious organic porridge is increasing exponentially so much so that there is a massive shortage of organic oats produced in Ireland.  Being an Irish company they obviously want to source organic oats from Ireland.

Last month they organised a conference with all stakeholders and farmers trying to convince farmers to either convert to organic production or to encourage existing organic growers to produce more oats.

Flavahans is a company that can be trusted.  Any organic farmer supplying oats to Flavahans was highly impressed about their reliability and fairness.  Despite being the market leaders they continued to pay the farmers a far higher amount than for conventional oats.  Have a look at the article from the Waterford News
Waterford News.

We wish you all a wonderful and happy new year.

Klaus and family