Added: 12/03/14 : 08:47:19
Dear Fellow Gardeners
Spring must be round the corner by now. It hasn’t come up to Leitrim yet, but when I was
down in Skibbereen last week I got the first glimpse of it. Going for
a lunchtime walk I felt my back warming up with the spring sunshine and
the birds were beginning to sing. This is my favourite time of the
year when nature starts to wake up from its long slumber. This is also
the time when gardeners get itchy fingers.
Sky Garden in Liss Ard, Skibbereen, Co. Cork
Don’t be too tempted though – these days are just teasers. There
are not many crops that can be planted outdoors in March. I always
argue that one of the biggest mistakes gardeners make is to be too
impatient and sow or plant too early. Below is a short chapter on what
to sow or plant in March.
Outdoor sowings and plantings in March:
Early potatoes (mid March), onion and shallot sets, garlic bulbs (mid March to early April), broad beans (Witkeim), Jerusalem artichoke.
Indoor sowings for planting outdoors later:
Lettuce, scallions, early cabbage, celery, celeriac, leeks,
coriander, dill, parsley, beetroot, calabrese, oriental salads,
perpetual spinach, chard (from mid March onwards).
Indoor sowings direct into tunnel or greenhouse:
Early potatoes, radish, turnip, oriental salads, beetroot, carrot, annual spinach, coriander, dill.
Indoor sowing in trays for planting into tunnel or greenhouse:
Tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, chilli peppers, climbing French beans,
sweetcorn, lettuce, scallions, celery, coriander, dill, parsley,
calabrese, oriental salads.
On Saturday 1st
March there is a seed and plant day at Killrudderry House in Bray, Co.
Wicklow. It will be held in conjunction with their wonderful weekly
market which is well worth a visit in its own right. The seed and
plant fair will take place from 10.00am-4.00pm.
We will be there with ‘GreenVegetableSeeds’ and as well as our seed
selection we’ll also have a great range of organic seed potatoes and
onion sets available on the day.
I recently visited their Walled Garden which is currently under
restoration. A lot of work has already taken place in this garden and
it’s always great to see that organic vegetables are being grown there.
It will be well worth a visit once spring arrives.
New Book: ‘A Vegetable Grower’s Handbook’ by Klaus Laitenberger
have just published our third book ‘A Vegetable Grower’s Handbook’.
It’s a smaller publication (164 pages) and is designed to be taken out
into the garden with step by step information on how to grow a wide
range of vegetables both indoors and outside. It is full of wonderful
illustrations by Dympna O’Driscoll making it a very easy to follow
The book is available from our website and independent bookshops throughout Ireland.
Irish Garden Magazine
I’m delighted to have been asked to be a monthly contributor to the
Irish Garden Magazine. The March issue is now in shops and – as usual –
is packed with wonderful articles and gardening advice.
Joy Larkcom ‘Creative Vegetable Gardening’
This is really great news! My favourite gardening book of all times
has finally been published again. For many decades Joy has inspired
vegetable gardeners all over the world. She travelled throughout the
world in search of new vegetables and new varieties. In my mind
‘Creative Vegetable Gardening’ is the most inspirational gardening book
ever written – a must for every vegetable gardener.
Genetics is the partnership between plant breeders Simon Crawford and
Mark Rowland. They are the breeders of the wonderful tomato ‘Sweet
Aperitif’. Their breeding programme focuses on varieties which have
outstanding flavour and quality especially for the amateur market, where
there is a real need for modern, high quality open pollinated
Last week they sent me samples of their other tomatoes ‘Rosella’, ‘Black Opal’, ‘Bite Size’ and ‘4th
of July’ as well as a their whole range of chilli peppers. I’m so
excited trialling all these new varieties. That’s the beauty with
gardening – we’ll always learn! I’ll keep you updated.
Glor Na Mara – Ecological Initiative in Bundoran
have been working at this amazing project for the last 7 years on a
part time basis. It is run by the Mercy Sisters Assumpta Butler and Mary
Kate Hagan. It’s based on a two acre site in the middle of Bundoran
and is always a hive of activity.
There are various strands to the project – a community garden
project, allotments, primary school garden – as well as a spiritual
element. They are inspired by the stunning new insights of the awesome
story of the unfolding universe, the story of planet Earth and the
sacredness of the whole community of life. They believe that there is
an urgent need for education and awareness-raising to bring about a new
relationship with the earth. Their commitment is to honour the
interconnectedness of all life.
If anyone travels up to the North West you can have a stroll through the garden or call Sr Assumpta on 086 3938630
The Science Delusion – by Rupert Sheldrake
If you have an hour spare, please have a look at this amazing lecture
by Rupert Sheldrake. It could possibly put science on its head. It
could change the way we think.
Enjoy your garden!