Richard

an image of compacted soil showing poor plant growth

What Causes Soil Compaction?

Soil compaction arises when soil particles are pressed together, eliminating or severely limiting the air pores in the soil. Under ideal conditions, soil particles are separated by air pockets (pores) that allow water to penetrate the soil and allow roots to expand and grow. When the soil is compacted, the air pores disappear, limiting the …

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how to install a land drain

How To Install A Land Drain

If you own a property, you probably have one or more areas that seem to stay soggy or damp. While this may seem like nothing more than an annoyance, it can quickly become a serious problem. Overly saturated soil could spell disaster for your home’s foundation, basement, and garden. The good news is, however, that you …

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how to dry wet soil fast

How To Dry Wet Soil Fast

All plants need moisture to grow, but too much water can do more harm than good. If your plant’s soil remains wet and soggy for an extended period, the plant will suffer and eventually die. Drying out the soil quickly isn’t always easy, but there are several techniques you can use to dry your plant’s …

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garden tiller ear defenders / ear protection PPE

Essential Protective Wear When Operating A Garden Tiller/Rotavator: PPE checklist

Powered garden tillers and cultivators are great, they save you a lot of effort and produce evenly tilled soil in less than half the time you would with a spade or a fork. They are hazardous machines and should be handled with care. To lessen the risk to the operator they should wear suitable PPE …

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important checks before using a tiller

Important Checks Before Starting A Garden Tiller/Rotavator: Be safe, not sorry

Hello everyone, today I’m going to talk about the sort of checks you should do before you begin to use your garden tiller. Buying a garden tiller/ rotovator is an exciting purchase, especially after you have realised the effort which goes into preparing your soil for planting. Preparing soil manually with a spade or fork …

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how deep to plant potatoes

How Deep Should I Plant My Potatoes: why seed depth is important

It’s the time of year again when we begin to think about next years potato crop. We may have already decided where we will grow them, what variety we will plant, and how much potato fertilizer we will apply. One aspect which can make a massive difference to the speed our crop establishes and the …

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Best type of swede

Which Is The Best Swede Variety To Grow? top 5 varieties characteristics

Swedes were first discovered growing in Sweden when a botanist called Gaspard Bauhin found them growing wild in 1620. They are also referred to as Rutabaga in US and Turnip in the UK, although they are much larger in size, take longer to grow, and have more yellow coloured flesh than turnips. Are swedes grown …

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when to harvest onions

When To Harvest Onions

Onions are usually planted in spring as bulbs. They are usually ready to harvest in late summer / autumn. You can either harvest your onions when they reach your desired size or you can let them grow until the plant stops growing. Some years your onions will grow very well and they may end up …

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rooster potatoes freshly dug laying on soil

Potato Variety Rooster: origin and characteristics

Rooster is the most popular potato in Ireland – In 2004 It accounted for 40% of the total potato crop grown. They are a dull red-skinned, yellow-fleshed maincrop potato that has an excellent taste and high yields. They are highly versatile- they can be boiled with skins on, mashed, chipped, roasted, steamed and baked with …

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russet norkotah potatoes

Potato Variety Russet Norkotah: origin and characteristics

Russet Norkotah is the second most popular potato in the US. They are a russeted, brown-skinned early to medium maincrop potato. They are very attractive potatoes with excellent processing abilities. They can be boiled and mashed but their main market is for baked potatoes or processing for French fries. Origin The Russet Norkotah were bred …

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red desiree potatoes

Potato Variety Desiree: origin and characteristics

Desiree is a red-skinned early maincrop potato. They are slightly waxy potatoes with a distinctive taste. They can be boiled, roasted, chipped and used cold in salads, they are versatile potatoes and are suitable for pre-packing and general ware. Origin Desiree was bred in the Netherlands in 1962. Yield and dry matter Expect high yields …

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kerrs pink potatoes

Potato Variety Kerr’s Pinks: origin and characteristics

Kerr’s Pink are the second most popular potato in Ireland. They are mainly cooked as boiled potatoes but are good for roasting and chipping also. They are suitable for pre-packing and general ware. Origin Although thought to be an Irish bred potato when it was introduced in 1917- it was actually J. Henry of Cornhill …

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Potato Variety Russet Burbank: origin and characteristics

Russet Burbank potatoes are one of the most popular potato varieties in the United States. They were bred by the US plant breeder Luther Burbank (Massachusetts) in 1902 in a bid to improve the disease resistance of Irish potato varieties being used at that time. Beginnings Russet Burbank potatoes were not an immediate success when …

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roast potatoes

Which Are The Best Potatoes For Roasting?- Top UK and US varieties revealed

Roast potatoes can go well with several dishes, ranging from barbecued chicken to pot roast, among others. While seasoning makes a tremendous difference, you should also consider the type of potato you’re using. This is especially the case since they don’t all roast the same. So, which potato types are the best for roasting? What …

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wild mushrooms growing on moss on a log in the forest

Are Mushrooms Producers Or Decomposers: and what’s the difference?

Many gardeners associate mushroom growth with dead and decaying organic matter and may even try to eradicate them from the garden thinking they are bad for the soil. But this notion isn’t based on science. While it is true mushrooms do sprout in areas rich with dead organic matter, they aren’t doing damage to your …

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potato plants grown in the garden

Copper Sulphate As A Potato Blight Spray: what is it and is it good?

Blight is a common fungal disease that affects potatoes. It can destroy the entire crop in less than a week if left unattended. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to save your potatoes once they have been infected with blight. This makes prevention key to raising healthy potatoes. While the best prevention for potato blight …

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blight on the leaves of a potato plant

Blight Resistant Potato Varieties: background and examples

Blight is a fungal disease that can affect tomatoes, potatoes and other members of the nightshade family. Early Blight is caused by the Alternaria solani fungus while late blight is caused by the Phytophthora infestans (p. infestans) fungus. Late Blight was responsible for the Irish Potato Famine between 1845 and 1849, destroying nearly 80 percent of Ireland’s potato crop. This …

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a big pile of swedes sitting in a field

What Are The Differences Between Turnips and Swedes

There is a lot of confusion in mainstream circles over the difference between swedes and turnips. Swedes and turnips are just different species in the brassica family. So naturally, they have similar growth patterns and shapes that make these two root crops easily confused. The most relevant differences to gardeners between swedes and turnips is …

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eelworm damage on a potato

Eelworm In Potatoes: what is it and how do I remove or prevent it?

Eelworm is a parasitic nematode that lives in the soil and feeds on plant roots. Its host plants are nightshades and they particularly like potatoes and tomatoes. If you’re growing potatoes, it is extremely important to educate yourself on eelworms. If you like to grow a lot of potatoes and tomatoes, you’ll definitely want to …

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planting potatoes in our garden in the month of march

What Month Do You Plant Potatoes?: explaining when and why

There is nothing quite like the creamy texture of a homegrown potato. The difference in taste between homegrown and store-bought is so dramatic, that I try and grow most of my potatoes. What month I plant potatoes in is key to how many potatoes I can harvest. Since potatoes store easily for the rest of …

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seaweed half submerged in sea water

How To Make Your Own Seaweed Fertilizer For Growing Potatoes

If you love tasty new potatoes as much as I do you’d probably do nearly anything to improve their taste and yield. That’s why you owe it to yourself to try using seaweed fertilizer to grow bigger and tastier potatoes this year. Is seaweed fertilizer good for growing potatoes? Yes, seaweed fertilizer provides potatoes with …

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two large dandelions in a garden

How To Get Rid Of Dandelions

Dandelions are perennial weeds that die off in the winter and return bigger and stronger than ever in the spring. The cheery yellow flowers quickly go to seed and form a puffball of seeds that are then carried to new locations in the wind. To get rid of dandelions you need to kill the entire plant …

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beech tree leaves in autumn laying on the forest floor

Is Leaf Compost Good For Vegetable Gardens?

Growing a vegetable garden is a rewarding and relaxing pastime. However, everyone can agree that a green thumb may not come automatically to every wannabe gardener. Successful gardeners know the answer to this question: is leaf compost good for vegetable gardens?. What is leaf compost? Leaf compost is the by-product when tree leaves and other …

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how to mix compost into soil man holding soil mixed compost in his hands

How To Mix Compost Into Soil

Compost is sometimes referred to as ‘black gold’. Why? Because it is the best thing you can add to your soil. While other amendments only solve one or two issues, compost has enormous benefits that builds the soil, increases water retention, and feeds the plants. Knowing how to mix compost into soil is a massive …

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field potato harvest landing

How Many Potatoes Per Plant

For most varieties of potatoes you should expect to harvest between 8 to 14 potatoes per plant. The size of these potatoes will vary due to how well you have met the growing needs of the plant. Lets examine the background details to the question “How many potatoes per plant? Your yield will be a …

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beautiful rhododendron

What Type Of Soil Do Rhododendrons Like?

Rhododendrons are native to Asia, North America, Australia and Europe. There are over 1,000 species of this plant and they are widely cultivated for their beautiful and fragrant flowers with ornamental leaves. Understanding what type of soil rhododendrons like is essential if you are planning on growing these beautiful plants. The flowers have a funnel, …

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red sweet potato

How Many Sweet Potatoes Grow From One Plant?

Sweet potatoes are definitely worth considering as part of your diet. They are packed with minerals, fibre, vitamins and phytonutrients which can improve your body and mind.You can use sweet potatoes boiled, baked or raw. They also can be used in desserts, breads, stir-fries and casseroles. Do you know how many sweet potato plants grow from …

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peat moss cut on moss bank

What Can I Use Instead of Peat Moss: Great Alternatives

Using peat-free products in the home and garden is one of the simplest yet most effective ways that people can make a positive environmental impact and reduce their carbon footprint. For most uses in the garden, for example, pots, growbags, hanging baskets, digging into or tidying up flowerbeds, peat-free alternatives are just as good as …

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green hedges in the garden

Best Time to Cut Hedges Back: when and how

Hedges are one of the most common features in many prestigious and established neighborhoods. Because of their versatility – coming in a variety of sizes, shapes, and even species – they can fit beautifully into almost any landscape. But shaggy, overgrown hedges are far from beautiful. Regardless of their sizes, or whether they’re evergreen or …

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bowl of boiled white potatoes with skins on

Can Dogs Eat Potato Skins: raw or cooked answers

Eaten by cultures the world over, potatoes are a staple in most diets. They provide a plethora of important nutrients. Fiber, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins such as C and B6 with a relatively low caloric content. Their complex carbohydrates provide plenty of slow-burning fuel for your body. But are potatoes as beneficial to our canine …

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a ccoked baked potato cut into quarters at the top with a white background

The Nutritional Value Of Baked Potatoes: the facts

They are one of the most versatile and widely used root vegetables in the world. Because they are inexpensive and fairly easy to grow in rich soils worldwide, potatoes have long been a staple food for many cultures. In fact, in the mid-19th century, most farmers in western Ireland and parts of the Scottish Highlands …

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identify your soil type

What Kind Of Soil Do I Have In My Area: description and photos

To achieve greatness in any sphere, you must start with – and master – the basics. Begin with the fundamentals, and build upon your foundation in order to succeed. It goes without saying that the foundation of any thriving garden is the soil – here’s the dirt on identifying what kind of soil you have …

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frshly dug potatoes about to be stored

How Long Are Potatoes Good For: storing and eating

The length of time potatoes last is mostly dependent on the temperature they are stored at. In normal home cupboard conditions the temperature will be roughly 60 fahrenheit / 15 degrees centigrade. At this temperature the potatoes will remain firm for up to two weeks. After this time they will start to soften or begin …

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When to harvest potatoes

When To Harvest Potatoes: when are they ready?

How do you know if your potatoes are ready to harvest? As straightforward as this subject may sound, there are different considerations you should be aware of before you begin harvesting. How to grow potatoes Before I begin this article – If you would like more information about growing your own potatoes, please read my …

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best gas cultivator

Best Gas Cultivator: Mantis 7940

With gardening season in full swing, it’s important to keep your soil weed-free, nutrient-rich and well-aerated. This will help maximize your crop yield and have your flowers looking their best. And one tool can help you do it all: cultivators are the most efficient multi-purpose tools for any gardener. What is a cultivator? While similar …

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Cultivator vs Tiller

Cultivator vs Tiller: what are the differences?

A cultivator is a small tiller designed to be used in raised beds and already tilled soil. Tillers are much larger than cultivators and has stronger tines and a more powerful engine. A tiller is a large machine designed to be used on the ground in lawn areas such as vegetable gardens or creating larger …

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