Address: Irish Seed Savers Association, Capparoe, Scarriff, Co. Clare, Ireland   Phone: +353 61 921866   Email:

Most Recent ISSA News

Planting early Potatoes

The ‘chitted’ potatoes are ready for planting when the sprouts are about 2cm long and they can be planted outside towards the end of March.  Plant either in a drill or in individual holes in the soil, 7-15 cm deep, with the sprouts pointing upwards and cover with at least 2.5 cm of soil.  Space ...

Steve Marsh – Our very own grass roots potato expert from Athlone. He traces the origin of the potato, from central and South America to the present day (recorded on the 25th May 2008 on Biodiversity show day).

Today I will talk about the potato in history, and how it spread to England, Ireland and the other countries of Europe.  The potato belonged to a family called Solanum, and included in that family there was a wide range of food plants, particularly tomatoes, peppers and aubergines as well as the ...

Raised beds lazy beds

A neat construction of a "lazy-bed" ridge - the ubiquitous traditional method that allowed enormous crops to be grown in often very hostile environments. It was soon discovered that potatoes thrived on seaweed and the potato soon became one of the main staple foods. The thin soil also prompted the invention of 'lazy beds': a potato is ...

Lazy beds, by Peter Bourke, 7th April 09

A great way of cutting out mowing and starting some growing is to turn your lawn over to potatoes. Irish potato growers have used the lazy-bed system for centuries as it is a very easy, or indeed lazy way of putting in a crop of spuds. In places with little top-soil it maximises the ...

Blight problems

We can now see the early potatoes lifted by rows, with their haulm taken to the compost heap. Before planting anything after them dig them over thoroughly to collect any stragglers, leaving them in will only encourage them to grow again and carry any blight spores into next years crop. Blight shows as rounded ...

The joys and woes of growing spuds

The potatoes have once more been planted and it’s time to reflect on the humble spud as the first signs of the earlies appear, peeping their heads out of the beds in the gardens, scanning the horizon for any lurking frosts. Unlike many things, there is a completeness with potatoes that is easy to ...


I was asked for information on getting rid of an awful attack of Wireworm in a garden. I spoke with Steven Marsh (a potato grower) and he relayed this information.Get hold of some poor tubers, either those which have started to sprout in the bag, or left overs that were too small to plant. Cut these ...

Horsetail Tea (Equisetum Arvense, Equisetaceae family)

We have had enquires about 'Horsetail tea', so here is the recipe, because of it's high silica content if you make a tea from the plant and spray it on the soil or plants, it can help prevent fungal diseases. Method: Collect the whole green plant on a sunny day and spread thinly in an airy ...

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