Get food gardening, large or small!
Whether you’re a child or an adult, have lots of experience or none at all, are living in a house with a huge back garden or just have a balcony and some window sills – right now is a super time to start growing something.
Obviously, you need some soil and some seeds or seedlings and possibly also some pots and maybe gardening tools.
You’ll find that many people have had exactly that idea in these lock-down times. It might take a bit of work to source seeds – but it’s not impossible, and there is, of course, always the possibility to benefit from a friendly fellow gardener. See also our recent blog post on plant sharing! Or join our Facebook group for Skerries Food Gardening.
Here are a few websites that today (10 April 2020) do have at least some seeds available for order:
- The Organic Centre – while many seeds are sold out, others are available! (Today, out of 187 vegetable seeds, 22 were available. Some really nice ones! I’m ordering the radishes…)
- The Irish Seed Savers Store is hoping to reopen their online ordering system on 14 April.
- The people of the non-profit organisation Grow It Yourself are doing their best to catch up with order volumes. Practically all of their super Growboxes (great for complete beginners) are currently sold out, but they do still have Grow Your Own Herbs. They do have a good selection of books (Grow Cook Eat is one useful book; it goes with the TV series. For everyone, including children AND adults, GIY’s Know-itAllmanac is a great and fun intro to food gardening.)
GIY still do have some seed starter packs, and also a few individual seeds.
Joanna and Klaus Laitenberger’s Green Vegetable Seeds is normally a favourite, but they have closed their online shop for now. Do check, they are hoping it will only be down for “a short period”! And let us know by email to firstname.lastname@example.org when you see it’s open again, so we can update this post. Thank you!
Where to find tips for new food gardeners
Of course you can google “how to grow radishes” (or tomatoes or Jerusalem artichokes), but the results may not always be best suited for conditions here in Ireland.
So here are a two Irish online places that we found particularly helpful.
- Grow It Yourself has lots of super-easy-to-follow texts and videos for complete beginners. Start with their month-by-month info in the grower’s calendar, consult their veg directory or watch how to do what you need to do in their list of video tutorials.
- Klaus Laitenberger of Green Vegetable Seeds sends out very useful monthly email newsletters. You can see the archive on the Green Vegetable Seeds General Garden Info page – a handy source for information on what to do in April (or May or June etc.).
There is also a video channel that I particularly like. RED Gardens Project (RED stands for Research Education and Development) consists of 6 family scale gardens each one 100m2 (1000sqf) and following a different methodology, or approach to growing vegetable. It’s based in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary (yes, the eco village!), and Bruce Darrell publishes regular, highly data-driven videos comparing different (organic) ways of growing your food.
So in the end… it’s all about the beginning!
The biggest reason that any of my own gardening projects have failed in the past is that… I had great plans, but didn’t get around to actually putting those seeds in the soil! This year, what with being at home a bit more and all that, I’ve finally managed to start some tomatoes and beetroot on the kitchen windowsill. I stuck a few potatoes into the ground. And I have more new seeds that I will make use of over the weekend. What a great way to spend Easter, planting on my tomatoes and sowing some radishes!
Join us in the Skerries Food Growing Group, subscribe to our Sustainable Skerries Newsletter and let us know how you are getting on with your planting!
PS: Want to do that little bit extra for climate action? Make your garden regenerative! https://kisstheground.com/5-ways-to-make-your-garden-regenerative/
PPS: Remember the pollinators! Read Charlie’s recent blog post here on our website.
PPPS: And these tips by Ernestine about plant sharing are also well worth a read.