Gardening - By Debby Looney
Debby is available for advice and garden consultations, just call 086 6088156 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Potatoes are the most rewarding crop to grow One thing I love about February is the appearance of seed potatoes. There is a great feeling of new growth and fresh starts associated with spuds! Every year I write about them, and it might be a little boring for seasoned gardeners, but I know that there is a new crop of gardeners every year, who are planting potatoes for the first time, and who find the process, and terminology confusing. First of all I would say, anyone can grow potatoes, and it is the single most rewarding crop you can plant, especially if you are planting with children as there is always something to do! Start by chitting. This is the process of starting them off while the ground is still too cold to plant them out. Place your seed potatoes in empty egg cartons or on a flat surface where they will be in a bright and cool position, such as a utility or garage. There is generally one side of a potato which has more ‘eyes’ than the other, and this is the side which should be turned upwards. Eyes are the little buds from which the shoot will grow. Don’t worry if they are not apparent to you, they will soon sprout and you can turn them. In the meantime, you can prepare the bed in which you are planting them. Add plenty of well rotted farmyard manure, Growmore or potato fertiliser. If your ground is very heavy, adding sand will help also. Take out as many stones as possible as you are turning the soil! Cover with black polythene
if possible, this will help warm up the ground. Generally St Patrick’s Day is the traditional day to start planting out potatoes. All potatoes will do well in pots, there are even special potato pots and bags, which work really well. There are several types of potatoes, apart from the many varieties. There are earlies, first earlies and maincrop, these take different lengths of time to mature. In other words, if you plant a few of all of them, you will have a long harvest. The following is a short description of each: First earlies: plant out in mid-March, harvest June/July (90 days to mature), plant 25cm apart, 50cm between rows. Second earlies: plant out in April, harvest July (110 days to mature), plant 25cm apart, 50cm between rows. Maincrop: plant out in late April, harvest late October onwards, (160 days to mature). Some varieties to try are: first earlies; Sharpes express, Lady christl – blight resistant, waxy Bintje, good chipping potato, Desiree, Arran pilot – waxy, Homeguard, Red duke of York. Second earlies: Charlotte – waxy salad potato, Orla, Smile – red skinned with white eyes, Anya – fingerling variety. Maincrop: Arran victory – blue skin, Cara – resistant to blight, Golden Wonder, Nicola – waxy salad potato, Pink Fir Apple – long skinny potato – good crop, Sarpo mira – blight resistant, Setanta – Irish, blight resistant.
Concert to be live streamed from St Mary's Cathedral | By Michelle Crean A special COVID compliant concert will be live streamed from St Mary's Cathedral next week. In a bid to lift people's spirits, a group of musicians and singers will come together - at a social distance and in compliance with COVID regulations - for ‘A night of songs and music to lift the spirit’. It'll take place online only, live-streamed from Facebook on the 'Lillie & Jean Foley Music' page on Wednesday, February 24 at 8pm, and also live-streamed from the website for the Killarney Cathedral, www.killarneyparish.com. Singers Lillie and Jean Foley, pianist Noel O’Sullivan, and violinist Olwyn Trant will be featured. Words of welcome, comfort and reflection will be provided by Father Niall Howard. Lillie and Jean are sisters that love music and sing all genres from classical to musical theatre, R&B, Pop, Jazz and everything in between and are members of Killarney Musical Society. They have made a few TV performances down through the years including ‘BEO show’ for RTE 1, 'Realta agus Gaolta' and 'Junior Eurovision Live' on TG4. Both are Cantors with the choir in the Church of the Resurrection and are delighted to be joining Noel, a teacher in St Oliver's NS and plays the piano in local hotels and restaurants,
and violist Olwyn, a local teacher in Holy Cross Mercy School. Olwyn has been a performer with the Killarney Musical Society and she also worked with Noel during the Teen Spirit shows a number of years ago. Noel accompanied Lillie and Jean for the Dr Croke’s Mass which was live streamed from the St Mary’s Cathedral earlier this month. Out of that event there was some enquires whether a concert could be put on to showcase the talent of the Foleys, as well as provide people with a much-needed lift during this challenging lockdown. "We are delighted to bring some entertainment to people even if it is only virtually, and hopefully lift people's spirits," Lillie told the Killarney Advertiser. "I hope everyone will tune in, join us online and even sing along from the comfort of their own homes." Jean added that "it will be an enjoyable evening, we hope to bring some happiness to people". Fr. Niall has been very helpful in making this unique event happen, they added. There is a unique connection between all the performers in this concert. Noel O’Sullivan’s father, also Noel O’Sullivan, Olwyn Trant’s grandfather, Jim Trant, and Lillie and Jean Foley’s grandfather Bryan O’Connor would have all worked together teaching in St Brendan’s College.
Gap of Dunloe consultation findings delayed due to COVID Residents and business owners near the Gap of Dunloe will have to wait a little longer to see what, if anything, will be done to enhance road safety and reduce traffic congestion in the area. At a recent Kenmare Municipal District meeting, Kerry Mayor Patrick O'Connor Scarteen asked for an update on road safety plans in the area. The Council has just completed a public consultation process and the various submissions are now being examined by its
officials. “The Council will be carefully considering the submissions received and the initiatives and actions that may be required to ensure a sustainable future for the Gap of Dunloe,” an official told the meeting. “Kerry County Council recognises the need to develop a sustainable approach to managing the Gap of Dunloe into the future.” However, the Killarney Advertiser understands that the publication of the results of the consultation will be delayed as a result of current Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions.