potato famine & water charges on the way?




This weekends Irish Times had two really good articles well worth a visit. The first, EPA cuts state’s emmissions allowance, touched on previously, but now confirmed we are landed with a bill for now over the original estimated €670 milion euro. What to do with such intelligence?

The second based on Dr John Sweeneys report tells us that ‘the growing of potatoes in the east and south of the country could cease by mid-century because of global warming.’ There’s a fair bit of reading in the reports but very worthwhile. By the time some realise that SPUDS ARE NO LONGER FOR SALE after 2057 it maybe too late. Time to stand up & be counted John Gormley. The article is also covered here.

The best until last… Ibec calls for homeowners to be charged water rates WHAT THE ?? again by Nicola Cooke of The Business Post [well done girl]. All I need now is that it’s cheaper to buy water from LIDL than from a [my] country I pay too much tax in already. Nice one Donal Buckley of IBEC. Not to worry, McDonalds has air conditioning, sells spuds and healthy options water.

eddie hobbs cowboys & angels

From Irelands Eddie Hobbs You & Your Money Magazine.



good reliable tradesmen are notoriously hard to find – and if you do find one, chances are they’re booked up for ages. Emily Manning gives a survival guide to beating the cowboys.

Manning suggests three websites to find the ideal contractor. and online do have a place in the ‘pay to register your business industry’, the other site mentioned is the only one I didn’t have to but can pay for – I tried them all! Oh yeah and I got ‘herself’ to put up a comment about me [none of it is untrue – I did do her garden, she did have to wait etc..]

The point I make is that I could be Pope if I got my family involved? and what the author does not mention is a registered internationally recognised association with a rigorous vetting procedure and a stern code of conduct that ensure standards are kept to the highest level possible. Here you can’t simply hand over a few pounds and the client finds the best in the country[?].

I’m a big Eddie fan and he has got the nation thinking for the better, but, if the point is to avoid the cowboys and the funny stories– in my opinion – Ms Manning has got it wrong, somewhat.

UPDATE: this link has just been mailed to me & this one. The second being possibly of more interest.

a sense of humour or too long in the garden?

good tradesmen or great trademen?

good tradesmen

It’s been a long week…. [look closely..?] But, Friday’s here again, summer time eventually came to Ireland![touch wood?!] and if you’re reading this and you’re brain is slightly sore from reading my last two posts – this should cheer you up in time for a weekend being the gardening guru. enjoy!

trees – how to plant [2]

tree planting

tree planting

I’m told [verbally] that the last post on trees, although more technical and informative, is a little on the long side [thanks Aido]. For those of who just want to know how to simply plant a tree, or tell ‘a council’ they’ve done it all wrong – this ones especially for you!  enjoy

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tree planting – what, when, how – now

tree planting

tree planting

Tree planting season has just about arrived. This doesn’t mean you can’t plant trees, it just means, like giving presents to your neighbours, there is a main season for it. Like tree planting, you can of course do this any time you like. However unlike Christmas, at this time of year it can be a little more cost effective, especially in commercial projects.

When planning for any tree planting, preparation is the golden. If you’re one of my four Sisters however and you can still bully me into doing your homework for you or like my three brothers you read a book and you can rewrite Darwinsblogs are for I suppose. theories over coffee the next morning, that’s absolutely fine [get it wrong and then ask my sister to bully me for you]. If you are none of the above… then that’s what

Whatever my sense of humour, trees are always in fashion and like The Rolling Stones at Slane Castle – always a classic, never dated, look better in the rain and I like it, like it yes I do.

Why should you buy one: Not only is a tree cheaper than that butter dish of a wedding present or those socks for your Fathers birthday, it also lasts longer and shouldn’t fit in the bin!

Trees are good for the planet. They recycle our air, block out those buildingswildlife into your garden. [neighbours] you don’t particularly like and encourage

Eventual height is so important. People often tell me that a cheaper fast growing tree is better and than they will keep maintained at a certain height. The problem for you is that the roots will wish to support a fully grown tree. A well chosen, slow growing tree bought in at the specific required height is a lot better and easier. It may be a little more costly at the start but in an era of low maintenance, little or no attention will be required.

The site. Your proposed tree planting site may have overhead cables, be too near construction [restricting the roots or damaging structures] or hinder existing plant growth. The overall character of the tree at all times must be considered at all times.

What do you actually want the tree to do? You may want to encourage wildlife, it may be privacy or even a windbreak. and whilst the tree may look really elegant in that book – it may not actually wish to grow where it is put.

What does the tree want? Mother Nature has a contract with these woody perennials and some can be quite fussy. Although they won’t actually say it, the plant will eventually tell you that it doesn’t want to live there. Apart from structural hindrances to your tree[s] do consider climatic conditions and the requirements for the growth of any plant.

Moving to a new home, for any human [and trees!] can be somewhat stressful. You should protect your tree from breaks, bruising and skin tears when transporting.

Wrap them up well with heshion sacking [old potatoe seed bags] around the main lifting area and carefully tie up the main head and branches.

Keep the roots moist [don’t drown them] in a sand pits or loose soil and in a shady, calm area until ready for planting.

Before planting your tree, as best as possible remove all existing growth from the area surrounding your tree-pit. You should dig approximately twice the width and depth of the root zone. Some soil will need to be backfilled but this will make easier for root penetration. Prepared properly, the roots will go with gravity – if not the roots may turn and force the tree to shift upwards. Poor preparation can usually be seen were the roots of old trees pass over the lawn surface of your lawn. With the scion, the point between the roots and the actual stem, level with true ground level all soil can be backfilled. This will require a good stamping down to eliminate any air pockets which may later fill with water whilst also preventing the tree from movement within its pit. Don’t allow your new investment to dehydrate and during planting give the tree a spoon of sugar to make it like you a little more. Bone meal used to be applied until some time ago but [due to modern constraints and modern science] it is better to use a slow release fertilizer.

Even vegans like tree stakes. A little support in the form of a tree stake, a strap, tie and buckle will prove so beneficial in preventing the tree in its infancy from growing askew. It should be horizontal to the ground and some added careful select pruning will prevent it ending up more like a lanky and unkempt bush. Train them well in the early days and the dividends will pay off.

Rootballed and Bare-root trees are mostly field grown trees grown for the commercial market. Due to the fact that one should wait until the roots are dormant, the task is therefore seasonal and naturally dependant an autumn/ winter temperature drop. For most varieties, these types of grown trees are usually less expensive than buying main season potted trees. Public demands, modern trends and specialisation in the tree growing now allows one to have any size, age or maturity and type of tree almost instantly.

Remember, enjoy your garden and love what you do. Your trees will appreciate it.