Instant colour for your borders with foxgloves. €1 special

Sunday Special, up to this Sunday you can buy Mature Foxgloves 3ft High for €1.

Why: This is a project to show our clients about supply and demand. They bought and sold their target, now they want to engage and gain repeat customers.

The Students took on a training project where they made ‘Nettle Fertilizer’, they bottled it, labelled it and sold it through the Garden Centre. From that money they bought compost, Foxglove seeds and grew the Foxgloves in their tunnel in Kilcannon. Over the last few week’s they have been selling at €6.50. Their quota has now been reached as a training project and they want to share the experience with our customers.

Nettle Fertilizer – the project started – how to make nettle fertilizer

The students followed these instructions to make it. Firstly, harvest nettles by cutting young stems, which have not flowered yet. Cut before June, these are full of sap ideal for fertiliser production. Chop them up with the clippers and crush them with your gloved hands as you place them into the net bag or hessian bag. This will speed up the release of nettles fertiliser elements.

They tied off the top of the bag once it is filled with approx one kilogram of nettles, and then place it in the base of the drum. Before pouring in your water, you should place a brick or two on top of the sack to prevent it floating to the top.Nettle fertiliser, organic, intuition, training, vt training

Don’t forget to place the tight-fitting lid on to the barrel, as nettle brew tends to get rather smelly. In fact, if you have an issue with bad smells, then I suggest the barrel is located way down the garden.

Leave the mix to brew for about three or four weeks before you consider applying it. When the time comes, mix it in your watering can at a rate of ten parts water to one part nettle brew, then water liberally around your plants.

As the resulting feed is high in Nitrogen, it is recommend watering it especially onto those plants which require leafy or upright growth, e.g. lettuce, cabbage, lawns, sunflowers etc., but virtually all plants will receive a welcome boost.

Foxglove Development

The students then used the revenue from the nettle fertiliser to buy all the materials to grow the foxglove plants.seedlings, seeds, propagation, coldframe, hotbox, hot bench, dibber, widger, seed compost, vermiculite

They took a seed tray and over filled it with gro-sure seed and cutting compost. Levelled the top using a piece of timber, and then pressed the compost down by around half an inch (1cm). The seeds were evenly distributed in the seed tray, and covered by sieving compost over the top of the seed tray and again levelled off using a piece of timber. The seed tray was then placed into a tray of water to soak up water from the bottom so as not to disturb the seeds. And then put on a heated propagation bench (10-15°C).

The seeds germinated in about 14 to 18 days. It was then time to divide out the seedlings this is known as pricking out. The seedlings were gently separated and potted into small 9cm pots. These grew on for around five months indoors over the winter. they were then potted into their final pot and labelled ready for sale.


Buying in Kilcannon, Bellefield Design and AstroActive is buying into the future of the people that we need to support, silently, quietly and to give meaning to. All sales, all funds, all fundraising go directly into funding further training programs, all are commercial business’s ….but the focus is about training ability. If you don’t know what this means ask the team. It’s not about commerce, its about ability.

Paul S- a mere helper

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