September Gardening Newsletter

Dear Fellow Gardeners,

There is a distinct autumn feel in the air with a refreshing chill in the morning and already some trees are changing colour.  Nature is starting to withdraw into itself.  However, there are some crops that seem to prefer this time of year and can still be sown or planted.  We now have the very popular autumn planted Troy onion available as well as some excellent  home-produced seed garlic.  For some unknown reason, Bundoran seems to be a wonderful area for growing garlic.  We grew a wonderful range of soft and hardneck garlic varieties and managed to bulk them up.  Stock is very limited though.

I’d also like to let you know about 2 upcoming events:

Saturday 29th September 2018 – Woodville Walled Garden, Kilchreest,  near Loughrea, Co. Galway

I will give a talk/powerpoint presentation on my Nuffield Travels  and on the Lost Crops of the Incas.  The Incas bred the potato as well as many other lesser known food crops of which many could be grown in Ireland.  For more information contact Margarita on 087 9069191 or Marie on 087 2711970.


12th/13th November 2018  Soil Biology Conference

NOTS is organising a 2 day conference on Soil Biology in Tullamore

Keep the dates free and details will follow in the next newsletter or contact Sean or Margaret on

NOTS are organising a Soil Biology Conference on 13th &14th November in The Bridge House Hotel Tullamore Co Offaly.

The conference is for farmers, growers and anyone else passionate about soil to learn about the little miracles beneath our feet and how they impact on  growing crops and livestock.


The event will feature experts from the US and Canada as well as experts and pioneers from Ireland


Presentations will be provided by

Gary Zimmer

Joel Williams

Dan Kitteridge


The event will feature presentations from cereal growers and horticulture specialists such as Jim Cronin, on the value of soil biology and green manures and composting.

An event not to be missed.


Onion sets and Garlic Bulbs

We have the following onion sets and garlic bulbs available now:

Have a look at our website:


Onion set – Troy

Troy is one of the most reliable autumn varieties. The sets can be planted in a polytunnel or outdoors.  The indoor crop should be ready in May while the outdoor crop is ready in June – over a month earlier before the spring planted types.

Spacing: 10cm in the row

25-30cm between rows

Plant in firm ground with tips sticking out.  You may need to protect the sets from crows or jackdaws with a cloche or netting until they have rooted.

A few tips for growing good garlic:

Plant garlic cloves about twice their depth into well prepared soil.  Space the plants about 20cm apart each way or even further if you want extra large bulbs.  Harvest garlic when it is still standing (around June/ July next year).  Keep the best bulbs for re-planting the following year.

Garlic – Carcassone Wight  (hardneck)

One of my favourite hardneck varieties which performed best in Bundoran.  It has pink cloves and exceptional flavour.  Plant the cloves from September to February.  Harvest in June/July

Garlic – Early Purple Wight  (softneck)

A brilliant softneck variety which produces large bulbs.  Always the most reliable softneck variety as well as the earliest.  Plant cloves from September to November. Harvest in June.

Garlic – Red Czech (hardneck)

Originates from Moravia in the Czech Republic  A tall plant with purplish striped cloves and intensive flavours.  The earliest hardneck variety giving a great yield.  Plant from October to November.


People often comment that their garlic has bolted.  Garlic doesn’t bolt.  If a hard stalk appears on your garlic you simply have a hardneck variety and they are meant to be like that.  Many people prefer the hardneck types for their more intense flavour.  There is also a new vegetable to be had – GARLIC SCAPES.  You simply cut the hard stalk above the leaves about 3 weeks before harvesting the garlic.

These are becoming popular with chefs and can be cooked in many diverse ways – be inventive.


Winter  Salads

September is also the best time to sow you oriental salads.  These are hardy and will survive any Irish winter.  They perform exceptionally well if you have a tunnel or greenhouse and even outside with the help of a cloche to keep the leaves clean.

The following varieties are my favourites: Oriental Mustards – Red Frills, Green Frills, Salad Rocket, Wild Rocket, Mizuna, Bloody Mary and the more milder Claytonia (or Winter purslane)

Happy Gardening,