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A Kiwi moving to Kildare!

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Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree

Joined: 13 Oct 2008
Posts: 2
Location: New Zealand, moving to Kildare

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:46 am    Post subject: A Kiwi moving to Kildare! Reply with quote

Hello there, nice to meet you all. I'm a long-time and fairly successful vegetable gardener from New Zealand, planning an enormous change by moving to Kildare.
I've had it easy for so long, can grow almost anything here, loads of sun, my main problem has always been lack of water, so you can understand my apprehension at what lies ahead!!
My first thought is a grow-tunnel would be a sensible idea?
I have always grown beautiful heirloom tomatoes outdoors and saved the seed. I get about 3 months worth of fruiting from them and fill the cupboards with jars full of goodies.
Can anyone advise whether there is a supplier of seed suitable for the local conditions, and if anyone has grown Roma, Riesentraube, Black Krim, Tommy Toe or Brandywine successfully, or if they have recommendations for good old fashioned varieties with lots of flavour?
Have not come across any mention of growing capsicums, courgettes or chilis. Any comments?
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Rank attained: Orchard owner

Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 705
Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:48 am    Post subject: Welcome carolineC and regards to Kiwi-land Reply with quote

Depending on what part of NZ you're coming from, you may find Kildare very similar. It also depends on what part of Kildare you are moving to. Ireland is notorious/famous for micro-climates and a move of ten miles can be a quantum leap for a gardener. Much of Kildare has acid-tending soil. But don't bet on it as Ireland in the main is limey and so are parts of Kildare. (The geology of Ireland is carboniferous and parts of County Kildare are on the Esker ridge) Along its eastern border, County Kildare gets less winter frosts than along the western border.

By the way, the only known hot spring in Ireland is in the County of Kildare about two miles from "The Auld Bog Road"! Not a lot of people know that.

Air temp. across the year, ranges from about +5 to +25. Ireland is surprisingly mild in Winter but on clear nights "The Midlands" can drop to -10, whereas along the East Coast it is rare to see -3 on the clearest winter night . Summer rarely hits +25 mid-day and when it does, the whole country practically shuts down. If they get +30 two days in a row, we are into national emergency territory. However, we rarely have to worry about that.

Although you'll hear that tomatoes can be grown outside in Ireland don't bank on it. They WILL, but may grow slowly and produce fruit late and in small quantities. I've had experience of growing outdoor AND under glass in counties Dublin. Waterford, Clare and Offaly and found it best to always insure against the 'cold night' problem. My best returns were always under glass! You will find a highly developed nursery industry in Ireland and distances are very small when you travel. The furthest point on Kildare is less than an hour from the centre of Dublin. So you will have ready access to garden centres anywhere. Even Galway is only a two-hour drive and every town you pass through has a worthwhile nursery or garden centre. Kildare itself is very higly developed in the nursery business and Kildare residents are big into tending gardens.

Retired trouble-maker. twitters @walltoall and dreams of being promoted to Pedunculate Oaker.
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