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Margaret's Blog

 

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Blog

Potty about Potatoes
potato-plant
There are so many different potato varieties, usually described as early, second early and maincrop potatoes.These names indicate when they crop and also give you an idea of the space you'll need, how closely and when they can be planted.

First Early :

First early potatoes are perfect if you want to grow small, new potatoes and should be planted from the end of February to late May. They'll be ready to harvest in about 10 weeks from the planting date. It's a good idea to 'chit' these varieties before planting - this produces long shoots from which the plants will grow. First early potatoes are ideal for growing in potato patio planters or containers. If you are short on Space and would love to Grow Potatoes The PotatoPot is ideal for you.
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A few of our most popular First earlies are 

Sharpes Express,: ‘Sharpe’s Express’ is a favourite early in Ireland for good reason. It is unusual amongst ‘earlies’ in that it is a floury potato . Ideal for steaming

HomeGaurd :  a superior potato with excellent flavour

Pentland Javeiln: A lovely soft waxy-textured new potato with white skins and flesh that is ideal for boiling as a salad or new potato

 It's also worth remembering that earlies are less likely to encounter pest problems as they're lifted so much earlier in the year. 


SECOND EARLIES
Second earlies take 16 to 17 weeks to mature after planting, so you should be able to harvest them from very late June through to the start of August. 

Kestrel - An exhibition winner – with outstanding taste 
Pink Fir Apple – Wonderful nutty flavour – RHS Award
 British Queen : This  variety is over 100 years old and still highly prized for its yield, shape, floury texture and delicious flavour.


Maincrop 
Maincrops are ready 18 to 20 weeks after planting, so they can be lifted usually from July through to October. Maincrops take up the most space in the garden, but they tend to be the best varieties to grow if you want some for storage.

 Sarpo Mira : Blight resistant winner:  unprecedented blight resistance, good slug resistance and it grows well in a wide range of soils. Potato 'Sarpo Mira' produces huge yields of tasty, floury tubers that have a long storage potential. 

Cara : An allotment Favourite:  Excellent for baking and Chipping. 

Rooster: the good old favourite in Ireland . Its the most widely grown potato in Ireland Ideal for the novice gardener


How to chit : Chitting simply means encouraging the seed potatoes to sprout before planting.. Start Chitting Now . Each seed potato has a more rounded, blunt end that has a number of 'eyes'.  Stand the tubers with the blunt end uppermost in trays or old egg boxes, with plenty of natural light . Keep this room cool.   The potatoes are ready to be planted out when the shoots are 1.5-2.5cm (0.5-1in) long.


How to plant

Plant your chitted potatoes when the soil has started to warm up, usually from ST PATRICKS DAY.  
Plant early potatoes about 30cm (12in) apart with 40-50cm (16-20in) between the rows, and second earlies and maincrops about 38cm (15in) apart with 75cm (30in) between the rows. 
Handle your chitted tubers with care, gently setting them into the trench with the shoots pointing upwards, being careful not to break the shoots. Cover the potatoes lightly with soil. 
As soon as the shoots appear, earth up each plant by covering it with a ridge of soil so that the shoots are just buried. 
You need to do this at regular intervals and by the end of the season each plant will have a small mound around it

Every Gardener should grow the potato tree
 
Solanumn Glasnevin
The potato tree, Solanum crispum 'Glasnevin'  is a plant I wouldn't be without. Also The Solanumn Alba.  These are incredible Climbers that flower so well.  
solanum  glasnevin chilean potato tree pruning
 
This Beautiful Image of this wonderful tree is by Simon Davis from his vibrant, informative blog  http://lifebetweentheflowers.blogspot.com/
Photo Reference: Solanum crispum, Chilean potato plant By Simon Davis

Cork School Garden Competition Launched

 
The Cork Schools Garden Competition was officially Launched today by Dr.Mary Stack of Cork County Council Environmental Awareness and Research Unit at Griffins Garden Centre Dripsey.
The competition which is organised by Muintir na Tire is now in its fourth year has gone from strength to strength with over 40 entries last year.
 

Dr Stack said that awareness and the promotion of upcycling and biodiversity are key elements of the Councils Environmental strategy going forward to 2020 and that the Cork School Garden competition  fits all the boxes with regard to the environment

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Conor Nelligan Heritage Officer Cork County Council said the competition gave students a chance to interact with the environment and nature in a positive way. He stressed the importance of every one doing their bit to protect our native bees by providing a place for them in our gardens both at home and in school. 

 

Deputy County Mayor Councillor Kevin Conway praised the co-operation between Cork County Federation Muintir na Tire, Cork County Council and Griffins Garden Centre in organising the competition. He said the aims of the Cork Schools Competition' in supporting pupils, teachers in County Cork to bring nature, wildlife, plants and colour into their school garden/grounds was bearing fruit as many schools around County Cork were now developing gardens to grow vegetables and flowers.

 

Mr Sean Holland Chairman of the Organising Team thanked Cork County Council and thanked Miriam and Margaret of Griffins Garden Centre for hosting the launch. Miriam said if schools need any advice they would be willing to help.

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Teachers and pupils from Scoil Chroi Iasa Blarney and Aghabullogue National School were on hand to help Mickey Mouse with the launch. Mickey Mouse was keen to point out chemicals, pesticides and herbicides endangered all small animals and that natural methods were better for our environment.

To plant a Garden is to believe in tomorrow

The key to a successful school garden is in the planning. No matter the size and style of your garden, you will need to answer important questions about who will use the garden, where it will be located in order to sustain the plants you plan to grow, and how it will be maintained

Where to start ?

This is a lot to do with the space the garden is been created. The size of the garden, the soil type and the location.

Location ideally your garden should be getting 5-6 hours of sunlight. If you garden is located in a dark corner, it will make it much more difficult. Keep an eye on the direct sunlight for a few days to get an idea of the garden. If it is in a semi shaded area then you will be able to grow shade tolerant plants and herbs. Ideally you will be hoping for a south facing garden.

The soil: Is it a hard or soft surface. When planting a vegetable garden raised beds can be a lot easier and can be placed on either hard or soft surfaces. Be creative creating a raised bed. There are great products on the market. If you have budget restrictions you can create raised beds with up cycling. Parents, Local mens sheds and other organistaions may be a great resource to do this part for you.

Access to water. It is a good idea to try a position you school garden near to an outside tap for ease of watering. But an alternative is to harvest rain water.

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Small Garden.

Even if you have a small garden, you can have great success?

Firstly plan what you would like to achieve. Vegetable garden, sensory garden, Bio diversity garden or elements of all.

Look at the whole area. How much ground space has the garden. Is there a wall or fence that can utilised or can one be erected. Vertical gardens are an alternative for gardeners who don't have a lot of horizontal space or want to cover an un attractive wall.

Vertical gardening can save a lot of space. A few ideas for vertical gardening is a Living wall, Hanging baskets (for vegetables and herbs) wall hanging containers like pots, hayracks, drainpipes or unusual containers like wellies, bottles or shoe organisers. See images below for inspiration.

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Container Gardening: Most trees and Shrubs and Vegetables can be grown in Pots and Containers. If you have a small Garden look at dwarf varieties. For example a cornet apple tree is a miniature tree. An old wheelbarrow can be a a lovely salad or herb container. (make sure it has lots of drainage) Window boxes for Salads, watercress , herbs, rainbow chard to name a few.

Climbing fruit and Veg up a wire fence : Peas, beans, cucumber, tomatoes , Trained blueberries, rasberrerries, Grapes

 

Top tip in small Gardens. Make sure that the containers and beds will get enough feed and water to produce a bounty for the season.

 

Rockery gardens. Most herbs including lavender are naturally rockery plants. They can grow in areas that other plants wont thrive as long as the have sunshine. There is varieties of ground cover thyme and rosemary that can be grown in between slabs and pavings. The release a fabulous aroma when stepped on. Too much traffic on these plant is detrimental to them.

 

Be creative, Use bold colours in a small garden. Create a garden that is big on Colour

unique garden ideas-2bag-plantersunique garden ideas-2 

Happy gardening

From all the team at griffins of Dripsey

 

If you would like any advice please email Griffins of Dripsey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

Camellias – who can resist them? 

Camellias are one of the most popular winter and spring flowering shrubs, providing a vivid splash or colour when little else is in bloom. Although they needs acidic soil, some camellias can be grown really well in containers, with a camellia compost.

Site and soil conditions: Camellias are woodland plants that grow best in shelter and light shade, although with careful watering, they can be grown in a sunny position. Camellias hate to be too dry, so the use of mulch is advisable.

This is the time to buy your Camellia? You can choose from a large range of colours and size flowers.   Here are a few of my Favourites:

Camellia Donation

camellia-donation

It’s not an exaggeration to say that this has long been considered one of the finest camellias ever bred. ‘Donation’ produces large, semi-double orchid pink flowers in abundance. The flowers show well against the deep dark green shiny foliage.

Camellia Debbie:

camellia-debbie

Debbie is a large, vigorous evergreen shrub of open growth, with peony-form double, rose-pink flowers to 12cm in width This vigorous, evergreen shrub is particularly resistant to cold weather and is easy to train against a north-facing wall or fence.

 

Camellia Anticipation


camellia anticipationThis is the most popular and easy to grow Camellias. Produces large, ruffled, peony-form, crimson flowers in late winter and early spring. Narrowly upright in habit, it's ideal for use in a large patio container. A beautiful house-warming gift.

Camellia Brushfield’s Yellow

brushfirld yellow

Medium size flowers with a double centre of pale yellow, circled by antique white petal.   Brighten up that dull corner with this beautiful Evergreen shrub.

Camellia William Bartlett

william-bartlett

'William Bartlett' produces the most beautifully, fully petalled double pale pink flowers, with random red flecks in. The flowers are incredible in the detail of the row after row of petals, perfectly formed.

Margaret's Tip:

 Avoid a position that will get early morning sun and feed with a good slow release fertliizer and mulch this time of year.

Did you know?

 Tea leaves are from the common Camellia? The leaves are dried to be make the hot drink we all know and love.  Used tea bags or tea leaves will give back some of the nutrients (especially potash) to any plant and especially Camellia, as they are the same family.

happy 2015

Griffins of Dripsey are absolutely thrilled to be nominated for not one but two awards in the Cork Digital Marketing Awards 2015. Their "Griffins is Happy" Video and their inspirational facebook page have been nominated in the following categories

  • Best Use of Facebook
  • Best Use of Video

Run by the Cork Chamber of Commerce, the Cork Digital Marketing Awards 2015 are among the most coveted and sought after awards in digital marketing. Along with other leading businesses in Cork, Griffins will be  anxiously awaiting the results at the Cork Digital Awards cermony on October the 24th. 

Griffins have also been one of the leading businesses in Cork to work with Google trusted Photographer Ian Flavin in creating a "Google Business View"  of their award winning business. You can now take a virtual stroll through Griffins. Experience the magic  of what Griffins has to offer by virtually walking in their front door, strolling around the Home store and garden centre , into relaxing restaurant and into the playground.  Margaret Griffin believed this was the perfect method to Showcase their newly revamped Home and Living store to the world.  And the reaction to it online  shows the strenght of  digital marketing to SMEs. 

Take your virtual tour of Griffins  now https://goo.gl/maps/5LBA8