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Quick to grow, healthy to eat, a versatile ingredient and not associated with unpleasant bodily functions, what’s not to love? Last week’s veg (Jerusalem artichokes) provoked much hilarity and farting jokes so we’re back on safer ground this week with lettuce. Beyond the bog-standard butterhead and iceberg, it’s difficult to find really great quality, fresh… Read more »

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It really is hard to believe that it’s already October, and the year is winding down inexorably towards Halloween and that other mid-winter festival that will remain unmentioned. Thankfully there’s still some sowing activity to do this month that helps us to hang on to this year’s growing for a little longer. The way I… Read more »

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Successful food growing is as much about time spent in the kitchen as in the veg patch and at this time of the year that point is usually in sharp focus. The garden is at its most productive and you’re unlikely to be able to use all of its bounty straight away. So, storing the… Read more »

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I own more cookbooks than is sensible, and though I can sometimes be accused of being a little slow on the uptake, I’ve spotted a trend in them of late—yes my fellow laggards, I bring you astonishing news: to an increasingly large number of our fellow citizens, carbs are bad. But fear not—if you’re finding… Read more »

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Early this month I will be sowing my parsnips outside in the veg patch. Unlike carrots, they are relatively easy to grow (once you have persuaded them to germinate), and since they store well in the soil over the winter they are a valuable winter storage crop. I grow around 40 parsnips which is more… Read more »

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And so it begins. Another season starts with the determined act of seed sowing in the potting shed. A bag of compost opened and tipped out on the sowing bench. Cold black plastic pots filled with even colder blacker compost. Seed labels lined up awaiting a scrawl of information. Seed packets fished out from my big box of… Read more »

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September is one of the best gardening months of the year. Don’t be discouraged that the summer is over—your garden can still remain full of colour and life through the next season. Jobs in the garden in September September is an ideal time to reseed or to sow a new lawn using lawn seed. Kill the… Read more »

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After a couple of quiet weeks it’s time to get busy in the veg patch again, this time with harvesting. Our onions are ready to pick so it’s a job for a quiet Saturday, if the weather plays ball. Gathering onions and getting them ready for winter storage is one of the bigger harvesting jobs… Read more »

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A horticulture open day will take place in the new horticultural unit of the Parkmore Industrial Estate on May 27 from 10am to 3pm. The open day is in relation to a two year QQI certified course now on offer. The course is designed to provide students with a broad range of skills and knowledge… Read more »

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A few months ago, I was giving a talk about growing things (as you do) to a GIY group and was discussing the growing of spuds when a woman put up her hand to comment. She told us about a tradition in her family when the first new spuds of the season were being harvested…. Read more »

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Tomatoes have a long growing season so to get good fruit you need to get the plants started early (if you are growing from seed). I sow my tomatoes on a heating mat in the potting shed in mid February, so by early March they have germinated. This year I am sowing five varieties of… Read more »

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New Year’s resolutions sometimes get a bad wrap, because they seem to represent the folly and flightiness of the human spirit. We start off the year with grand intentions to eat only salads, walk/run/swim 100 miles a week, and to do Bikram yoga in a sauna until we weigh as much as a baby sparrow…. Read more »

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