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Dear Fellow Gardeners,
February is generally the month when I get out of my gardening hibernation.  Finally there is work to be done.  The days are getting noticeably longer and every day we can notice the beginnings of new growth and new life.
I often think a seed is the most symbolic and miraculous being.  If you think of an annual plant, a seed is the end of its lifecycle and at the same time the beginning of its new life.  No scientist has ever managed to create a new seed in a laboratory.  They can tamper with existing seeds and add or delete some information but they have never managed to create a seed from scratch.  Isn’t it great that there are still some miracles on earth?
The same miracle happens in a compost pile.  We throw in all our unwanted gardening and household waste -the end of many lifecycles. In the compost pile new life is constantly being created.  I would go as far as claiming that good compost is the beginning and a requirement for new life in the garden.
Getting started
Keen gardeners can really make a great start in February especially if you have a polytunnel or greenhouse.
 In a tunnel you can now plant your first early ‘chitted’ potatoes, sow early carrots and beetroot directly into the ground. 
Outdoors you can now plant garlic and Jerusalem artichokes and sow broad beans directly into the ground as soon as the soil is workable (when it doesn’t stick to your boots).
If you have a heating bench (or a large windowsill in your house) you can start off a lot of crops that will later be planted outside or into the tunnel.  Crops that will be planted outside later include leeks and very early cabbage.  Crops that will be planted in a tunnel include tomatoes, peppers, chillies and aubergines and these ones you’ll need to spoil them with warmth.
 You can also sow lettuce, scallions, dill, coriander, chervil, oriental salads, kohlrabi, early cabbage, spinach for planting in a tunnel about 4-5 weeks after sowing.  It’s great to get an early and reliable crop from a tunnel. 
Jerusalem Artichokes
Jerusalem Artichokes are such a superb vegetable both in ease of growing, taste and yield that I can’t believe that they are not more widely grown.  I often say that if you fail to grow Jerusalem artichokes you may as well give up gardening for life and hang up your spade!
In fact, they are the only vegetable that could survive without a gardener’s care while most others would become extinct very soon.  So be careful where you plant them – ideally at the back of the garden as they grow quite quickly and may shade the crops behind.  There is also no need to use a crop rotation, simply harvest them in winter and replant in the same bed again in early spring.
All you need to do is to plant the tubers from late February until late March into good soil about 10cm deep and 30cm apart and then earth up the stems as they grow.  From late October and right through the winter you can get lots of delicious tubers.
Jerusalem artichoke tubers for sale:
We offer a mixture of different varieties of different shapes and sizes.
7 tubers – €7.00

Jerusalem Artichokes – Mixed Varieties – Green Vegetable Seeds

Black Mashua tubers for sale:
These are quite a rarity.  It’s a special type of the tuberous nasturtium which originates around Lake Titicaca on the Peruvian/Bolivian border.  The tubers can be planted in pots on arrival and placed in a greenhouse or windowsill and planted outdoors in May.  The plants grow up a trellis or as a ground cover.  The tubers have a very spicy peppery taste which is used more for medicinal purposes than as a food.  I grow it mainly as an ornamental.  It likes to grow in poor moist soil.
5 tubers – €5.00

Mashua – Black Mashua Tubers – Green Vegetable Seeds
Online Gardening Course – Spring in the Garden – starting Saturday 19th February
We finished the last course with planting apple trees and with a short session on pruning.  See below the link for this session in case you are interested:
Day 10: 5th January 2022
You can simply book the spring course on our website this year.  It will run from mid February to May, more or less on a weekly basis so you can follow what Assumpta and myself are doing in the garden. 
It costs €70 for 10 sessions and each session is about 45 minutes long.  You can watch the sessions whenever it suits you.
For more information click on the link below:
Online Gardening Course with Klaus Laitenberger – Spring Session – Green Vegetable Seeds
Other Courses:
An updated link to all other courses I give throughout the country can be found here:
Gardening Courses – Green Vegetable Seeds Organic Gardening Courses

There were a couple of cancellations for the courses this Saturday 19th Feb and Sunday 20th February in Coolamber Gardens in Co. Westmeath.
For bookings contact: 
Ann Marie on 0871436292
Home | Coolamber Garden Workshops
Commercial Polytunnel Course with NOTS
Following on from the success of our Growing in Polytunnels course in 2020 and 2021, Klaus Laitenberger is back with a more in-depth, “next step” course that covers a commercial angle to growing in polytunnels and field scale. This year’s course will follow a new, in-conversion organic business, with Klaus guiding the business, and the participants, along the way. The course will allow you to learn in real time along with the tutorials and Q&A sessions.
The course will be a minimum of 12 ALL NEW tutorial videos, with Video 1 being released on Wednesday March 9th. The course will also include monthly live, interactive Q&A sessions with Klaus Laitenberger focusing on the topics of the videos, and answering the burning questions of our participants. The exact dates and topics of each subsequent video will be flexible – but you can see an overview of what will be covered below.Start Date: Wednesday March 9th 2020Format: 12 Video Tutorials + Monthly Live & Interactive Q&A SessionsCost: NOTS Funded Rate: €50  
Click below on the link for bookings and more information
Commercial Polytunnel Growing 2022 – NOTS – National Organic Training Skillnet

Organic Farming Scheme opens

Any farmer/grower who is interested in becoming officially organic – you can find out more on the farm walks that are organized by the Organic Trust.  Don’t miss Clive Bright’s amazing farm in Co. Sligo!