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Careers in Horticulture

The Irish horticultural industry is an important economic sector in Ireland; the sector encompasses vegetables, fruits, ornamentals, flower bulbs, trees, mushrooms and protected crops. Within these sub-sectors, Teagasc research and development support this modern, progressive and dynamic sector in meeting the challenges ahead and capitalising on the opportunities of the future. This has culminated in a sector output valued at 350m farm gate. We work directly with all the sectors to advance their research agendas and meet the development needs as outlined in Food Wise 2025 and the Teagasc Statement of Strategy.

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Introduction

Overview of the Horticulture Industry

Horticulture is the art and science of the cultivation of plants.

In 2017 the farmgate value of Horticultural output was €433m. The key crops in the Food Horticulture sector include Mushrooms, Potatoes, Field Vegetables, Outdoor Fruit and Protected Crops which have a combined value of €379m. The key crops in the Amenity Horticulture sector include Nursery Stock Production, Protected Flowers/Ornamentals, Christmas Trees, Cut Foliage and Bulbs which have a total value of €63m.

The key market for the Horticultural Industry is the domestic market. The main outlet for fresh produce is the domestic retail market which is valued at €1.54bn. The other notable outlet for fresh produce is the foodservice sector which is valued at €396m at wholesale prices.

The top 10 vegetable crops (including salad lines) purchased in the retail market in value terms are Tomato (€112m); Carrots (€63m); Peppers (€58m); Mushrooms (€56m); Broccoli (€33m); Onions (€33m);  Lettuce (€30m); Cucumbers (€17m); Cabbage (€16m);  Spring Onion (€10m) – 75% value of the vegetable sector of the market (source: Kantar Worldpanel).

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Horticulture

Education for Horticulture Industry

The Horticulture Industry employs people with a wide range of skills and qualifications. People with anything from IT to Accountancy find employment in the sector. However this page will concentrate on the education paths for those looking to get into the core areas of the business.

Courses in Horticulture

Level 8 Degrees
Horticulture is the art, science, technology and business of plant cultivation for human use. If you like biology or other science subjects, or you’re interested in business studies, home economics or languages, then this course may be for you.
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Level 7 Degrees
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Apprenticeships
At the moment there is no apprenticeship option but work is being done in this area and it is hoped that an announcement may be made in 2020.
Internship in Organic
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Other Websites and Materials

Professional Organisation
We are the professional voice for horticulture, open to any professional within the horticultural industry, from those at the beginning of their education or career, to those already well established within the field.
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Publications
Stepping Stones to a Career in Horticulture
download here
Trade Website
Growtrade is published online by Mediateam Ltd the team that organises Ireland’s leading horticulture trade show GLAS and the publishers of The Irish Garden magazine.
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Colleges of Horticulture

College of Amenity Horticulture

The College of Amenity Horticulture is located at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin, 5km north west of the city centre and is accessible by the 4, 9 and 83 buses.

Having our college located in the National Botanic Gardens provides students with a unique training opportunity. There is a strong tradition of training at the National Botanic Gardens dating back to 1812.

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Kildalton
Kildalton is the largest Teagasc college. It is a leading provider of training in Agriculture, Horticulture and Equine Studies. Close links have been developed with the local Institute of Technology in Waterford (WIT) making the college a progressive learning facility in the South East. There are over 500 students currently registered on courses at Kildalton College.
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The Organic College
We are a small college of about 60 students situated in the town of Dromcollogher, Co. Limerick, Ireland. We are dedicated to providing quality courses in organic growing and sustainability.
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Students Stories of Horticulture Education

Professional Organisation
There are several videos available here. Take a look at some of the student accounts of their experience of Horticulture Education.
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Publications
Teagasc has a very active Facebook page. Click the icon to access all the latest information.

Career Avenues in Horticulture

Floriculture – This area of horticulture focuses on the cultivation of flowers (cut and potted) and foliage. Flower arrangement also fall under this header.

Pomology – If you love to eat delicious fruit, then pomology may interest you. This branch of horticulture revolves around production and cultivation of fruit crops.

Nursery/Plant Propagation – The development and dissemination of plant seeds, shrubs, trees, ornamental plants, and ground covering is the focus of this area of horticulture. Typically these plants are used in landscaping or interior plantscaping projects.

Landscape Horticulture – Ever wonder who develops those beautiful parks and indoor garden environments? Landscape horticulturists design, construct, and take care of landscapes in homes, businesses, and public areas. They choose plants for their aesthetic appeal and practicality and arrange them in ways that are pleasing and conform to the needs of their clients.

Commercial horticulture involves the growing and selling of food crops and ornamental plants. In the area of food production it is the horticulturist who faces the challenge of growing the fruit and the vegetables that we eat. The Department of Agriculture reports that growing potatoes and mushrooms are currently the two biggest areas of employment in this sector. Producing these crops is a very technical business, involving automated systems, controlled using state of the art computer technology, alongside traditional skills. Commercial horticulture includes floristry and retail horticulture too.

Amenity Horticulture includes gardening, landscaping, designing and a whole lot more. It starts with the design and construction of recreational areas. These can be parks, nature reserves, wildlife gardens, and roadside plantings, amongst other designed landscapes. Amenity areas can be public, as with local authority parks, and roadside plantings, so important to wildlife. They can also be private, as in stately homes, apartment complexes and so on.

See other sections for more information on each area and many examples of the sector.

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Horticulture Videos

There are lots horticulture related videos on YouTube. We have collected a few on this page but you can see many more here

Teagasc
Kildalton College
Botanic Gardens and WIT
Teagasc Horticulture Student
Teagasc Horticulture Student
Botanic Gardens Student
Landscape Enterprise
Propogation and Trees Enterprise
Grass Turf Enterprise
Fruit & Vegetable Enterprise

Horticulture Websites

Bulbs

Introduction to Bulb Growing Sector

The average bulb grower in Holland sells almost $200,000 worth of bulbs every year, most to cut flower growers who use the bulbs for growing flowers, then toss them out and buy new ones the next year. The Dutch bulb growers have found flower bulbs are one of the most profitable plants.

Flower bulbs are one of the best crops for the speciality flower grower who is growing for market. Besides being easy to grow, most bulbs multiply rapidly with proper care. “Bulb” is a general term used to describe both true bulbs, such as daffodils and tulips, and other underground food storehouses called corms (crocus), rhizomes (iris) and tubers.
 

Examples of Bulb Growing Sector

With 15 years experience in the flower and bulb industry, growing and supplying both flowers and bulbs to the Irish, European and International Markets, Beechill Bulbs is home to all your bulb requirements. Established in 2008, we currently provide Ireland’s largest range of Daffodils, Tulips, and other Autumn and Spring planting bulbs, most of which are Irish grown and 100% disease free.
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We are a Waterford-based business specialising in growing Daffodil and Tulip bulbs of the highest quality. We grow and pack all our own Daffodils and Tulips, and also carry a full range of other Autumn bulbs to ensure we can offer our customers a wide range of choice.
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Christmas Trees

Introduction to Christmas Tree Sector

The Christmas tree industry contributes €25m to the Irish economy, according to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

With 7-10 years of work going into producing a good quality Christmas tree,  the quality of Christmas trees produced in Ireland has increased significantly in recent years. This improvement is due to increased expertise being employed to manage and prepare trees for more discerning customers.

Click here to download report on Christmas Tree Industry …

Thinking of getting into the Christmas tree business?

Christmas trees—unlike most crops—take much longer than a single season to reach maturity. “Christmas trees can take eight to 10 years from planting until harvest,” says Tom Harbinson, facilities & hospitality manager of the Jones Family Farms and Winery in Shelton, Conn. “That is a long-term commitment to the crop that a farmer should be aware of going into it.”

Historically, farmers often chose imperfect fields for growing Christmas trees, but if you want to give your trees the best start in life, choose a field with well-drained soil. Christmas trees won’t grow well in wet conditions. And though it’s easy to think that the trees will simply grow themselves without any maintenance, that isn’t the case.

“It is a crop that does still need care, such as pruning and shaping—making sure a single leader points upward to eventually hold a star or angel for a family’s tradition—as well as being aware of diseases that can attack and diminish a tree,” Harbinson says. Each tree must be sheared every summer once they have reached 3 years of age and roughly 5 feet in height to ensure that the branches grow thickly and form a beautiful Christmas tree shape.

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Examples of Christmas Tree Sector

Our plantation, set up in 2003 is a family owned business. Every year we plant thousands of non shed trees mainly of Noble fir and Nordmann fir where it can take up to 12 years to achieve just 6 ft. We are also involved in Forestry with over 25 years of experience. As a grower in Ireland our team will try to maximize in producing a high quality crop. This involves hard work all year round from winter pruning, planting to harvesting. From winter to summer months our team will take care of pruning, shearing, bud picking and fertilizer to meet our clients needs.
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We have been growing Christmas trees in Kerry for the past 25 years and pride ourselves on quality. All our trees are non-shedding. Most of our current customers have been with us since we started out and much new business is referrals. This has given us a good understanding of the demands of both the wholesale and retail markets. Out goal is to build up a long term relationship with our customers and provide a consistent and quality service.
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Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association

Ireland’s maritime climate provides idea conditions for the growing of top quality Christmas trees. The Irish Christmas Tree Growers represents those growers who are committed to producing trees to the highest standards and in an environmentally sustainable and professional manner.
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Environment

Introduction to Environment and Horticulture

The environment is an important part of everyday life. There are many things that can improve the world we live in.  One way that people can contribute to improving our habitat is with gardening. Gardening has numerous benefits to the economy. Planting seeds to produce food allows for an increase in productivity in local communities. Large gardens that grow food will increase the supply of produce in grocery store chains. It allows individuals to shop and purchase products that are fresh and healthy for their families. Here are a few ways that the process of gardening can increase the health of the environment.

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Examples of Environment and Horticulture

The National Biodiversity Data Centre is a national centre for the collection, collation, management, analysis and dissemination of data on Ireland’s biological diversity. Biodiversity data are a key requirement for understanding our natural surroundings, for tracking change in our environment and for gaining a greater insight on how we benefit from, and impact upon, the ecosystem goods and services provided by biological diversity; a national asset which contributes at least €2.6 billion to the Irish economy each year.
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One third of our bee species are threatened with extinction from Ireland. This is because we have drastically reduced the amount of food (flowers) and safe nesting sites in our landscapes. The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is about all of us, from farmers to local authorities, to schools, gardeners and businesses, coming together to try to create an Ireland where pollinators can survive and thrive.
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Wildflower Seed Mixtures – Since 1990 this micro business has supplied and assisted thousands of customers to establish thousands of hectares of meadow in Ireland. That makes Design By Nature by far the most successful Non Government or semi-state nature conservation business in Ireland. Unlike non-native plants. when you buy native sourced Irish species they flower at the same time as the wildlife that visits the plants.
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Forestry

Introduction to Forestry Sector

Coillte are privileged to be custodians of 7% of Ireland’s land. Our forests and land now extend to over 440,000 hectares. Over the last 30 years, we have cared for and developed our estate and businesses while being firmly focused on maximising the financial and social potential of these natural resources in a sustainable way.

Ireland was left with very few native tree species following the Ice Age and a changing climate. Over the centuries, Ireland experienced a near-total destruction of its forests mainly because of human activity and a deterioration of the climate: from an initial forest cover of around 80% to less than 1%. Ireland is the only country in Europe where such complete forest destruction took place.

The forests of Ireland are very diverse, ranging from commercial plantations to native woodlands, to trees and woods in and around our towns and cities. The range of benefits from Ireland’s forest cover is also diverse, extending beyond basic timber production to encompass employment, bio-diversity, wildlife conservation, environmental protection, rural development, carbon sequestration, amenity and recreation, and tourism. Although considerable overlap does occur, the forests of Ireland can be roughly divided into five basic types: upland and peatland forests; farm forests; native woodlands; amenity forests; and urban forests.

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Examples of the Forestry Sector

ForestryFocus.ie gives an introduction to Ireland’s trees, forests and woodlands. Covering all aspects of forestry it gives the reader an easy to understand overview of the Irish forestry sector, while at the same time, providing access to more detailed information on topics such as trees species, growing forests, wood processing and the public goods and services that our forests provide.
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FII brings together companies from across the forestry and timber supply chain, from forest owners and forestry companies, to timber processors, wood product manufacturers, and renewable energy producers. With a combined turnover of over €800 million, the industry is a major player in the rural and national economies. Our companies take pride in the high-quality employment we provide and the sustainable products we deliver.
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The Irish Timber Growers Association (ITGA) was formed in 1977 to support the development and expansion of private sector forestry in Ireland and to represent and inform woodland owners. The mandate of the Association is to promote forestry and sustainable forest management practices to ensure that private forest plantations achieve their maximum potential.
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Land cover plays a key role in providing living space, food, water, energy and recreational opportunities. In terms of land use there has been a significant net removal of carbon, in recent years, primarily due to an increase in forest area.
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The Tree Council of Ireland is a non-governmental voluntary organisation that was set up in 1985 as an umbrella body for organisations involved in planting, management and conservation of trees. Our mission statement is to foster a tree culture in Ireland through action and awareness.
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None So Hardy [Forestry] Ltd is a privately owned Irish company specialising in the growing and supplying of first class forestry plants to the Irish forestry market. Our nurseries are based on 530 acres of land situated at Donishall and Ballymurn in Co. Wexford. Sales, administration and distribution for both nurseries is from the company base in Shillelagh, Co. Wicklow.
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Floristry

Introduction to Floristry and Interior Landscaping Sector

Over recent decades cut flower growing has experienced rapid expansion in increasingly affluent countries. This has resulted in an increased demand for training in the skills and knowledge required by the industry. The online course provides a thorough basic training for the commercial cut flower grower.
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Qualifax Logo
There are several courses available in this area. The listing here is from Qualifax.
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The Teagasc College in the National Botanic Gardens, in conjunction with WIT, offers a BSc in Horticulture and in year 3 our students can opt for an elective in interior landscaping and floristry.
Heathrow Airport
Danske Bank
Richard Haslam

Teagasc training at the National Botanic Gardens and Kildalton

Interior landscaping is a relative new concept of indoor gardening in the form of interior gardens; potted plants and green walls (house plants, growing in specially designed irrigated vertical structures). Research has proven that there are many benefits to using plants in a commercial setting, ranging from health benefits (they clean the air), psychological benefits (calming effect on people) and financial benefits for the company (reduced sick leave, so better output).

Students learn about the different house plants, their care and what location indoors suits those best. This is achieved through IDs, lectures, site visits and assignments.

For the Floristry-element of this subject, students get hands on experience of preparing and conditioning flowers and foliage and putting together many different arrangements, such as wedding bouquets, hand ties and funeral sheaf’s.

Careers/Jobs

Uniplumo

We grow, produce, and distribute over 10 million plants from 5 hectares of heated glasshouses near Swords, Co. Dublin. We employ over 60 staff who works tirelessly to grow, design and produce the very best of nature’s colours to homes and gardens across Ireland.
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Urban plant life

Plant Life is a wholly Irish owned and managed company. Since formation in the early 1980’s, our business operations have been based on a simple philosophy – to provide our customers with the highest standard of product and service. Plants are being used in an ever-increasing number of interiors and exterior situations, to create an impressive image, to improve work areas and to boost morale.
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Universal floral

The office plants we install and maintain are a reflection of us as much as they are of our clients. That’s why we take extra special care during each phase of the interior landscaping process. Before we install the first plant, our designers visit your facility to check all factors that may create problems such as lighting, heating, cooling, traffic flow and interior design.
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Florists

Owning your own Flower Shop or Freelance Florist Business can be both rewarding and very satisfying, but like all business it requires hard work and dedication.

As a florist you touch peoples emotions with flowers, your flowers are there when they celebrate important moments and events in their lives, both happy ones and sad ones.
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The Plant People

The Plant People sell, rent and maintain an extensive range of indoor, outdoor and artificial plants and hedging for use in Hotels, Offices, Restaurants and other businesses.
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Examples of the Floristry Sector

Appassionata Flowers is renowned for creating beautifully inspired blooms and displays for the many diverse and different occasions they are intended for.
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We set up in business in 2009 and since then we have expanded across twelve acres. Our business includes growing and selling cut flowers; providing and arranging wedding flowers; providing flowers for businesses and restaurants; growing and selling edible flowers; and running training courses on a variety of flower farming, horticulture and gardening topics.
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Seasonal, scented, freshly-harvested Irish cut flowers and foliage, grown with love and arranged with flair…this is what’s at the heart of the Flower Farmers of Ireland association, whose members can be found all around Ireland, from the wilds of west Cork to the damp meadowlands of Leitrim.
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Hanging Baskets and Flowers Window Boxes Blooming Baskets Ireland is the only Irish company specialising exclusively in designer hanging baskets of flowers and window boxes. Blooming baskets Ireland supply hanging baskets of flowers to both the domestic and commercial market.
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We are Ireland’s largest Flower Delivery company/florist shop set up to make things easier for you, the customer to order flowers online and have them delivered to anyone in Ireland or around the world.
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Based on Island Road in Enniscorthy, Molly’s Florist has been serving the community for over 35 years. We’ve become somewhat of an institution in the area, and are proud to have built up a loyal returning client base that come back to us for each and every flower need they have.
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The Burren Flower Farm is owned and run by Sarah Wall. It consists of a small field, nestled within an 18 acre property, in the heart of the Burren, Co. Clare. We grow and supply exquisite cut flowers locally. Whether it’s for weddings, birthdays, family gatherings, business events or simply to say “thank you,” our flowers can help transform your space and let that special someone know you truly care.
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Our values are simply ethically grown and sustainably produced flowers in all their guises. Protecting and promoting biodiversity through regenerative practices while cultivating the most breathtakingly beautiful nectar rich blooms. All are lovingly cultivated on our farm here in West Cork.
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Links in the Floristry Sector

Bord Bia – The Irish Food Board

Customers around the globe recognise that Irish food and drink is world-class; that it is high quality, distinctive, and made by a diverse range of creative producers from a unique and fortuitous island location. Our purpose is to bring Ireland’s outstanding food, drink and horticulture to the world, thus enabling growth and sustainability of producers.
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Landtech Soils

In keeping with modern trends and technological development in this sector, Landtech Soils has continued to evolve and is now focused on the provision of Urban Greening Solutions. We now produce, supply and install a wide range of high technology based green roof and green wall systems which provide urban areas with new habits for improved biodiversity.
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Flowers by Moira

Our experienced team of designers will create a gorgeous floral arrangement that is sure to express your true feelings through your beautifully presented bouquet or arrangement to create an atmosphere through scent,visual pleasure & artistic creation.
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Richard Haslam

Here you will find information on Richard, his style of work, his weddings, workshops, demonstrations and training programmes.
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Fruit

Introduction to Fruit Sector

Ireland’s growers produce about 8000 tonnes of fresh strawberries per year worth an estimated 43 million Euro. The English cultivar ‘Malling Centenary’ is the most popular cultivar grown. The Dutch cultivar ‘Elsanta’ had been the most popular cultivar grown for the 40 years. Protected strawberry production is now the mainstay of the soft fruit industry in Ireland. Protective cropping has a number of distinct advantages for the grower including;

  • allowing for the supply of fruit outside the traditional short season of June and July.
  • Fruit quality is much higher, which is demanded by the consumer today.

Strawberries can now be supplied, and are in demand from March right through to November. To meet this demand many growers use a combination of growing systems

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Examples of the Fruit Sector

The Burren Flower Farm is owned and run by Sarah Wall. It consists of a small field, nestled within an 18 acre property, in the heart of the Burren, Co. Clare. We grow and supply exquisite cut flowers locally. Whether it’s for weddings, birthdays, family gatherings, business events or simply to say “thank you,” our flowers can help transform your space and let that special someone know you truly care.
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Training and Education for Fruit Business

Teagasc training

QQI Level 5 students are introduced to fruit production by covering the following crops (soft fruit, canned fruit, bush fruit and top fruit to name but a few). Both indoor and outdoor fruit crops are being covered at this level.

Within the orchard in Kildalton and in the fruit & veg garden in Ashtown which have all the fruits listed above, students’ get hands on experience a half day per week on practical skills like pruning, planting, erecting supports. The theory of growing each crop is covered and the outline of the industry as a whole. Students also visit growers to enhance their knowledge on crops and machinery.

Students get exposed to all elements of crop production, from soil preparation, crop spacing, supports, weed, and pest and disease controls by cultural & in the use of IPM.
QQI Advanced level 6 students specialise in mainly two subject areas:

• Market Gardening where all students get the chance to build on their knowledge from QQI level 5. This is a very extensive module both fruit and vegetables are covered with all growing procedures from soils, ploughing, tilling, planting, and fertilizing. Students are also encouraged to set up a maintenance programme for each crop covered.

• Horticultural Production Mechanisation is delivered to all students that take this module this will broaden their knowledge in machinery use and maintenance. Covering the use of a plough and tilling equipment.

At degree level 7

• Year 1 Horticultural skills, Plant protection, and Horticulture Mechanisation & Safety.
• Year 2 Sustainable food Production.
• Year 3 students can do a project on an area of their choice, so if they have specialised in food production and Mechanisation stream they can develop their knowledge more by completing a research project in this area.

Practical/PLP

All students undertake placement throughout the programs we offers for example:
QQI Level 5 Students they could have the choice to go to an OPW walled garden in the Phoenix park or Fruit and veg walled garden in National Botanic gardens or they can go on a 4 week placement with a registered grower.

More Detailed information on education is here …

Garden Centres

Introduction to Garden Centres

Garden centres are very traditional businesses. The combination of a wide product range and expert advice is appealing to customers, particularly those looking to undertake a significant project such as garden renovation.

Starting a garden centre will require a mix of skills. Firstly you’ll need strong business skills such as accounting, knowledge of profit and loss, awareness of cash flow and marketing and PR. As well as these general business skills, you’ll need a strong horticultural and industry background/knowledge, including:

  • Knowledge of plants, their characteristics and care requirements
  • Understanding of garden design including what flowers and plants go together
  • DIY knowledge to help customers with project requirements such as decking.
  • Knowledge of water features and components e.g. pumps, filters, chemicals
  • Plant Diseases frequently bring customers in for some expert advice.
  • Treating bug infestations, both on flowers and plants and in buildings
  • How to grow fruits and vegetables successfully, including ‘alternative’ methods such as organic farming

Modern Garden centres are not confined to just selling plants but may have a wide range of business areas.

  • Food
  • Advice
  • Expertise
  • Planning
  • Problem solving
  • Non Plant retail lines

Examples of Garden Centres

Each of our four Garden Centres offers a wide selection of quality gardening and lifestyle products backed up by knowledgeable, helpful staff. Our customers trust us to help them make important gardening choices and we repay them with dependable, jargon-free advice and excellent product guarantees.
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A guaranteed gardening and lifestyle experience, Arboretum Home & Garden Heaven, is a family run business. With dedication, enthusiasm and passion for the business we have established ourselves as one of Ireland’s leading garden centres.
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Griffins is a destination garden centre started over 32 years ago from a green field site in scenic Dripsey, Co. Cork (15 mins from Ballincollig & Blarney). It is now one of the most awarded and successful garden centres in the country, winning Garden Centre of the Year three times as well as Retail Excellence Ireland and Gael-Taca awards.
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The current Orchard Home & Garden site was once part of the vast St. Wolstan’s estate. Originally, the site housed a five acre walled Victorian orchard which provided fresh fruit and vegetables for the larger houses on the estate. Surrounded by tall, brick-built wall incorporating an ingenious system for protecting delicate plants from the frost damage, there are still hearths to be seen in the remaining original walls where fires where lit, from which hot air flowed through special air cavities, warming the bricks and radiating heat out over the orchard.
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Established in 1987, we are a family owned and operated Tree and shrub Nursery managed by Laura Shaw. Here at Longford Nurseries and Garden Centre we pride ourselves on offering a personalised service to all our customers.
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We are a well established, well known, family run business, having been on our present site since 1990, with a reputation for value, convenience and quality. Set in an attractive rural setting we are easily accessible just off the N30 south of Enniscorthy.
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John and Elsie Clarke founded Johnstown Garden Centre in August 1974, on a greenfield site in the quaint Norman village of Johnstown, Naas, Co. Kildare in Ireland. The Centre has continued to expand, most recently in 2013 and 2014 and now comprises Ireland’s largest plant selection and Garden Store in a bright airy modern shopping environment, a 200 seat café and Café Gardens and very extensive car and coach parking.
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Fernhill Garden Centre is a family run business that was established in 1978 by the Reid Family. It has developed and grown rapidly in the past 10 years to become recognised as one of Ireland’s leading Garden Centre and Landscape Contractors. Fernhill Prides itself on quality and value of its services and product range with exceptional attention to detail in delivery of these services.
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Garden Design

Introduction to Garden Design

Garden design is the art and process of designing and creating plans for layout and planting of gardens and landscapes. Garden design may be done by the garden owner themselves, or by professionals of varying levels of experience and expertise. Most professional garden designers have some training in horticulture and the principles of design. Some are also landscape architects, a more formal level of training that usually requires an advanced degree and often a state license.

Value to the economy

This market has two elements, domestic services and commercial services. It is estimated that the domestic services market will be worth a total of €136m in the year ending December 2018, which would represent an increase of almost 10% on the estimated value of €124m for 2016. There are four main service type categories in this market and their estimated values for 2018 are Garden Design €17m, Garden Maintenance €52m, Garden Makeover €38 and Tree Surgeon €30m. The commercial landscaping services market had attained a recorded level of about €800m before the recession. It is now estimated to have recovered to about €500m and is growing annually. (Bord Bia)

Garden Design Academy of Ireland
Our courses have been carefully designed to provide an up-to-date and practical educational experience to ensure that you are primed to succeed upon graduation.
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The GLDA is Ireland’s association of professional garden designers, horticulturists and landscape architects. Individual members provide garden and landscape design services nationwide. Every Full Member is assessed by an external panel of professionals, made up of experts from the design, horticultural and academic sides of the profession.
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Teagasc training

Level 5: Garden Design

Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture and Kildalton College provides a module in Garden Design as part of their QQI Level 5 Certificate in Horticulture. Garden design module will equips the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to devise basic garden designs using the principles of design.

Yasmin Bonner – Teagasc Horticulture Student – https://youtu.be/mfGFr8T3m9A

Level 6: Landscape design & Construction Stream

The level 6 Advanced Certificate in Horticulture provides students with the opportunity to specialise in landscape stream including design & construction modules. Video Level 6 design site visits 2019/2020… https://www.facebook.com/TeagascHortNBG/videos/585501815372646

Level 7: Landscape design

This is a three-year, full-time BSc in horticulture which consists of lectures, integrated practical skills, projects and an industry placement. The course is run in partnership with the Waterford Institute of Technology. All components of the course are delivered and examined in the Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture, National Botanic Gardens and Teagasc Ashtown or in Kildalton College. Students will have an opportunity to specialise in a particular area and perfect new skills with a practical learning period either in Ireland or abroad. In the second year of the course students can undertake a module specialising in Landscape Design. Watch this video our student Holly speaks about the course https://youtu.be/uVoYtrBeoWI

Study horticulture with WIT https://youtu.be/jp4XGn-X8-4

More information on Education for the Horticulture Industry here …

Examples of Garden Design Sector

Based in Galway, we provide professional garden design and landscape architecture services in Dublin and throughout Ireland. View our broad range of garden and landscape design services which can be tailored to suit our clients individual needs. Our aim is to achieve Design Excellence which exceeds client requirements and stands the test of time.
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A guaranteed gardening and lifestyle experience, Arboretum Home & Garden Heaven, is a family run business. With dedication, enthusiasm and passion for the business we have established ourselves as one of Ireland’s leading garden centres.
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Damien Keane is one of Ireland’s leading garden and landscape designers. His bespoke design and build concepts allow for the seamless fusion of structure and exquisite planting in the timeless spaces he creates.
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Gorse Lodge Garden Ornaments is an up-and-coming family owned manufacturer and supplier of high-end concrete garden statues and ornaments. We have an elegant range that is appreciated for its flawless finish, intricate moulding and magnificent designs.
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Horticultural Therapy

Introduction to Horticultural Therapy Sector

Horticultural therapy (or therapeutic horticulture) is the engagement of a person in gardening and plant-based activities, facilitated by a trained therapist, to achieve specific therapeutic treatment goals. The visual aesthetics of plants are known to elicit feelings of inner peace, which generates positive emotions toward a meaningful appreciation of life. Direct contact with plants guides the individual’s focus away from stress enhancing their overall quality of life.

Social and therapeutic horticulture is the process of using plants and gardens to improve physical and mental health, as well as communication and thinking skills.

Course in Social & Therapeutic Horticulture – TU Dublin

Course in Therapeutic Horticulture – Organic Centre

Courses in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture – Thrive UK

Becoming a Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Practitioner – Horticulture Connected

Horticulture Therapy Courses – learning cloud

Examples of Horticulture Therapy

We offer a variety of training and education opportunities, both online and offline, ranging from introductory workshops to our extended learning opportunity.
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The purpose of this website is to inform readers about STH in Ireland, increase recognition of the profession in Ireland, and provide a space for networking and sharing of practice among members of the organisation.
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Videos on Horticultural Therapy

Organisation. Coventry University

Interior Landscaping

Introduction to Floristry and Interior Landscaping Sector

Over recent decades cut flower growing has experienced rapid expansion in increasingly affluent countries. This has resulted in an increased demand for training in the skills and knowledge required by the industry. The online course provides a thorough basic training for the commercial cut flower grower.
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Qualifax Logo
There are several courses available in this area. The listing here is from Qualifax.
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The Teagasc College in the National Botanic Gardens, in conjunction with WIT, offers a BSc in Horticulture and in year 3 our students can opt for an elective in interior landscaping and floristry.
Heathrow Airport
Danske Bank
Richard Haslam

Teagasc training at the National Botanic Gardens and Kildalton

Interior landscaping is a relative new concept of indoor gardening in the form of interior gardens; potted plants and green walls (house plants, growing in specially designed irrigated vertical structures). Research has proven that there are many benefits to using plants in a commercial setting, ranging from health benefits (they clean the air), psychological benefits (calming effect on people) and financial benefits for the company (reduced sick leave, so better output).

Students learn about the different house plants, their care and what location indoors suits those best. This is achieved through IDs, lectures, site visits and assignments.

For the Floristry-element of this subject, students get hands on experience of preparing and conditioning flowers and foliage and putting together many different arrangements, such as wedding bouquets, hand ties and funeral sheaf’s.

Careers/Jobs

Uniplumo

We grow, produce, and distribute over 10 million plants from 5 hectares of heated glasshouses near Swords, Co. Dublin. We employ over 60 staff who works tirelessly to grow, design and produce the very best of nature’s colours to homes and gardens across Ireland.
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Urban plant life

Plant Life is a wholly Irish owned and managed company. Since formation in the early 1980’s, our business operations have been based on a simple philosophy – to provide our customers with the highest standard of product and service. Plants are being used in an ever-increasing number of interiors and exterior situations, to create an impressive image, to improve work areas and to boost morale.
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Universal floral

The office plants we install and maintain are a reflection of us as much as they are of our clients. That’s why we take extra special care during each phase of the interior landscaping process. Before we install the first plant, our designers visit your facility to check all factors that may create problems such as lighting, heating, cooling, traffic flow and interior design.
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Florists

Owning your own Flower Shop or Freelance Florist Business can be both rewarding and very satisfying, but like all business it requires hard work and dedication.

As a florist you touch peoples emotions with flowers, your flowers are there when they celebrate important moments and events in their lives, both happy ones and sad ones.
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The Plant People

The Plant People sell, rent and maintain an extensive range of indoor, outdoor and artificial plants and hedging for use in Hotels, Offices, Restaurants and other businesses.
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Landscaping

Introduction to Landscape Sector

Landscape Contractors carry out a variety of landscaping works for private, commercial and public authority clients. These include the design and construction of gardens and public spaces, hard (driveways, walls, stone work, patios, paving, etc) and soft (lawn installation, planting) landscaping,  the maintenance of landscapes and grounds (grass & hedge cutting, weeding, etc), and more specialist services such as tree planting and care, water features, outdoor lighting.

The branch of horticulture which deals with the art and knowledge of development and plantation  of ornamental plants by arranging them in such manner with the existing plants and structures to beautify a place maintain natural scenery, maybe called landscape horticulture.

On the other hand, landscaping may be defined as the use of plants outdoors to fulfil aesthetic and functional purposes. The term is identified with the outdoors, even though plants can be used to accomplish similar objectives indoors.

Landscaping is an activity in which beauty as well as function, may be determined by the customer.

To one person, landscaping may mean a couple of fruit trees or just plants on the property. To another customer, plants in the landscape must not only be careful selected but also strategically arranged. A beautiful home or an institution with well  landscaped ground not only increase the value of the property but also increase the usefulness of the property.

The area of amenity horticulture is a vast area, it includes many facets of horticulture from design, fruit and vegetable production, plant identification, plant propagation, soil science and growing media, these all are essential for working in Amenity horticulture.

This market has two elements, domestic services and commercial services. It is estimated that the domestic services market will be worth a total of €136m in the year ending December 2018, which would represent an increase of almost 10% on the estimated value of €124m for 2016. There are four main service type categories in this market and their estimated values for 2018 are Garden Design €17m, Garden Maintenance €52m, Garden Makeover €38 and Tree Surgeon €30m. The commercial landscaping services market had attained a recorded level of about €800m before the recession. It is now estimated to have recovered to about €500m and is growing annually.

Plant Identification
Historical Gardens
Plant Propagation
Ground Maintenance
The National Trust
Biodiversity
Teagasc training at the Botanic gardens
Training in Kildalton

The Level 5 course delivered at the Botanic gardens offers a wonderful foundation to students embarking on a career in horticulture. Our students spend one to two days a week working in both private and public gardens/parks; here they have a great opportunity to work alongside craft gardeners who teach our students essential skills required to become a manger or gardener in the relevant areas of choice. Excellent experience working with some of the best gardeners in the country.

Garden and parks supervision is a component of a the Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Horticulture(Landscaping), all elements learnt in Level 5  such as Plant ID and Use, Biodiversity and the natural environment, Plant propagation, Soil science and growing media, Plant Protection, Landscape construction and maintenance, Garden design will feed directly into this module. During the year at the college the students will be able to learn what is involved in the management of a park or garden through visits to private and public estates and meeting the managers.

Practical/PLP:

Within all our courses students undertake placements, many students working in the parks and gardens have gained valuable experience working alongside passionate gardeners who have shared generously there knowledge all  the day to day workings of their profession.

Examples of Landscape Sector

As a successful nationwide business, Peter O’Brien and Sons Landscaping LTD are always looking for talented, experienced, professional and hard-working individuals to join our team. We have been delivering world-class landscapes for well over half a century and it says a lot about our staff ethos some members of our team have been with us for over 40 years.
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The Association of Landscape Contractors of Ireland (ALCI) was founded in 1971 as a representative body for the landscape sector. From its inception it has endeavoured to improve the quality and standards in the landscape industry in Ireland and is today the leading professional body for landscape contractors with over 150 members across its Northern and Southern Regions.
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SAP is the only Irish Landscaping and Grounds Maintenance company with dedicated horticultural professionals and H&S experts to ensure we meet all requirements of your company. We offer a One Stop Shop for all landscaping requirements including design, construction and complete aftercare.
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The GLDA is Ireland’s association of professional garden designers, horticulturists and landscape architects. Individual members provide garden and landscape design services nationwide. Every Full Member is assessed by an external panel of professionals, made up of experts from the design, horticultural and academic sides of the profession.
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For over 20 years Noel Dempsey Landscaping has been involved in the design, landscaping and maintenance of private gardens and open spaces in Dublin and its surrounding counties.
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In business for over 30 years, Avondale Landscapes specialise in award-winning commercial and domestic landscaping across Ireland. Our qualified Horticulturist and experienced installation team specialise in constructing large-scale commercial projects, sports ground construction, and residential housing landscapes, through to domestic garden design, planting, and landscape maintenance.
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Castleview Landscapes is an award winning design and landscaping business based in O’Callaghan’s Mills, Co Clare, covering counties Clare, Limerick, Galway and Tipperary.
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Cropcare is a leading supplier to the fine turf industry and sports fields. It provides a range of specialist fertilisers, seeds, pesticides, protective workwear, line-marking paint and equipment, coupled with a consultative backup.
Cropcare prides itself on its comprehensive product range, excellent service and technical backup. Cropcare’s philosophy is to prosper from helping course managers bring their courses to perfection.
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We are producers and suppliers of; Laurel, Escallonia, Griselinia, Bay Laurel, Portuguese Laurel and Holly Evergreen Hedging, as well as; Beech, Hornbeam, Dogwood, and Willow Deciduous Hedging. We also produce a range of Evergreen and Deciduous Trees. All of the above are carried out from our 20 acre Nursery premises on the outskirts of historic Oulart village in the heart of rural County Wexford, Ireland.
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John Anderson (Keeper Windsor Great Park) With over 4,800 acres for you to explore at Windsor Great Park you will discover a Royal history spanning over 1,000 years, including – historical monuments, ancient forests and stunning horticultural displays, as well as rare wildlife, plants and fungi.
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People in the Landscape Sector

Links to Organisations in the Landscape Sector

IRHS – Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland

The Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland (RHSI), founded in 1816, is a charity, dedicated to promoting and improving the knowledge, skill and practice of horticulture, arboriculture and floral art while encouraging respect for the environment and creating a sense of community amongst our members. The vision of the RHSI is to foster and develop an appreciation and love of gardening in all its forms and thereby enrich the beauty and sustainability of our environment and national heritage. The RHSI is run by its members on a voluntary basis with membership spread throughout the island of Ireland.
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IGPS – Irish Garden Plant Society

  • We take the lead in researching, finding and propagating Irish plants to ensure their survival
  • We research great Irish gardens and garden history
  • We have a hands-on role in a number of garden restoration projects
  • We actively promote Irish horticulture, with recognition for our exhibits at major international shows, including the Chelsea Flower Show
  • Last but not least, we enjoy Irish gardens through regular talks, lectures, workshops and garden visits
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GLDA – Garden and Landscape Designers Association

The GLDA is Ireland’s association of professional garden designers, horticulturists and landscape architects. Individual members provide garden and landscape design services nationwide.
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OPW – Office of Public Works

It also has responsibility for caring for 780 heritage sites, including national monuments, historic parks, gardens and buildings.
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Bord Bia – Irish food Board

Customers around the globe recognise that Irish food and drink is world-class; that it is high quality, distinctive, and made by a diverse range of creative producers from a unique and fortuitous island location. Our purpose is to bring Ireland’s outstanding food, drink and horticulture to the world, thus enabling growth and sustainability of producers.
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Mushrooms

Introduction to the Mushroom Sector

Mushrooms: The mushroom industry is the largest horticultural sector in Ireland. It has a farm gate value of €119 million, of which approximately 80% is exported to the UK. It currently employs over 3,500 people. Bord Bia indicate that the UK market for mushrooms is growing steadily in recent years at about 2% per year. Button/Closed cup mushrooms hold the largest share of the market followed by Flat/Breakfast mushrooms, value mushrooms and then the sliced and exotic mushrooms.

https://www.teagasc.ie/crops/horticulture/mushrooms/

Click here for more information …

Download Mushroom Advisory Newsletters here …

Examples of Mushroom Industry

CMP is one of Europe’s leading horticultural producer organisations, representing 90% of Irish mushroom production and growers. Our business is focused on developing a quality, sustainable and competitive industry in Ireland. We have a passion for excellence and determination to achieve a sustainable future for those involved with the Irish mushroom industry. We offer technical advice and assistance, packaging, training and on-farm investment.
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Monaghan Mushrooms are one of the world’s leading mushroom producers. This video tells the story of how we produce over 1.8 million Kilos of mushrooms every week, for sale across Ireland, the UK, Europe and North America. It was filmed at our headquarters in Tyholland, Co. Monaghan in Ireland.
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Mushroom growing and marketing division: Walsh Mushrooms are one of the largest suppliers of mushrooms to the UK marketplace. Our integrated supply chain ensures that we always deliver the highest quality mushrooms to our customers.
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The Codd Family have been growing the finest quality mushrooms from their farm located in Tullow, Co. Carlow since 1989. Starting from a small growing shed, we now have progressed to a modern, purpose built mushroom production and packing facility. We are the largest supplier of mushrooms into the Irish Market supplying the major retailers and food service sector.
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Fancy Fungi Mushrooms began and has developed from a hobby in 1998 to a profitable enterprise. It is the only specialist in the region of cultivation, development and production of edible, exotic and gourmet mushrooms which go directly to wholesalers, restaurants, shops, markets and consumers around the country.
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At Kerrigan’s Family Farm, we’re big on Mushrooms. Nestled just outside the historical town of Kells, Co. Meath, Kerrigan’s Farm was established in 1981 as growers of quality mushrooms and still remains a family run farm to this day. We grow and pack all of our own mushrooms and our dedicated, passionate team work towards exceptional quality standards in order to deliver best in class products.
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Training and Education for Mushroom Business

Teagasc training

Teagasc offer Fruit and Vegetables production module at QQI level 5. This is a foundation module to food production and is the building blocks for progression to QQI Advanced level 6. At advanced level 6 two modules are offered by TEAGASC Education to broaden their knowledge of food production they are Market Gardening & Horticultural Mechanisation.
At Degree level 7 Sustainable Food productions is offered in year 2 of the degree course.

Practical/PLP

Students go on work placement in their chosen industry to improve their skills in food production, producing vegetable plants from seed, spacing & planting, irrigation pest & disease control harvesting and sales
Going to growers of different Vegetable and fruit farms.
OPW walled garden. Botanic gardens, Phoenix park walled garden.

News in Horticulture

Latest News in Horticulture

Horticulture Connected is the leading source for news, analysis and trends in landscape, garden retail & edible horticulture in Ireland. We provide you with the latest breaking news from the horticulture industry.
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Nursery

Introduction to Nursery Sector

The nursery stock and ornamental sector produces a wide range of plant material; bedding, hardy shrubs, herbaceous perennials, trees and pot plants. The most up to date technologies and equipment are used to grow high quality products to meet market demand, produced in increasingly shorter timescales. The farm gate value of the sector is estimated to be worth in excess of €40 million per annum. There is scope for import substitution and acknowledging Brexit to increase supply to the substantial market in UK. Between the years 2007 and 2014 there had been much rationalisation of the market, with the top 5 producers in the sector making up 40% of the market. The main outlets for this sector are garden centres, DIY stores and there is increasing demand from the landscaping sector. Online retail sales are in their infancy but show annual increases.

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Examples of Nursery Sector

We started to grow forest and hedging plants in the townland of Cappagh – which is about 4km to the west of Aughrim village – in 1967 where we still grow plants to date. In 1990 we acquired land at Tinnakilly, just outside the village of Aughrim on the main road to Dublin, where we further developed our nursery and sales outlet.
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Flynn’s Nurseries & Garden Centre is proud to grow and supply an extensive selection of horticulture, which includes plants, trees, shrubs, hedging and more. All of our horticultural products are offered at a competitive price, with a delivery service available to customers based throughout Meath, Kildare and Dublin.
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Rentes Plants is one of the longest running nurseries in Ireland, having been established on just two and a half acres back in 1979.
We specialise in the wholesaling of Colourful shrubs, trees, roses and climbers to the retails and landscape markets in Ireland and the UK.
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Since the mid 70’s, Tully Nurseries has grown to become one of Ireland’s leading wholesale nurseries supplying landscape contractors, garden centres, DIYs and supermarkets in Ireland and the UK.
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We grow, produce, and distribute over 10 million plants from 5 hectares of heated glasshouses near Swords, Co. Dublin.
We employ over 60 staff who works tirelessly to grow, design and produce the very best of nature’s colours to homes and gardens across Ireland.
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Fána Nurseries is a wholesale, specialist tree nursery. Our business is located in the fertile Blackwater Valley on the N72 between Fermoy and Mallow in Ballyhooly Co Cork. We have a wide range of mature and semi-mature trees and hedging.
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Annaveigh Plants Ltd, based in New Inn, Co. Tipperary lies just south of the heritage town of Cashel. It is run and operated by Irelands most experienced nursery team, who have a combined 80 years experience in the horticultural business. All have worked in many aspects of the industry in Ireland, Holland, Germany and the UK and together have a wealth of knowledge in the growing and supply of plant material.
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We are a family run business who are very much inspired and influenced by previous generations of Nursery expertise. Mick Hennessy and his wife Bridget began the business in Kilfinane in the early 1900’s, they specialised in cottage garden plants and vegetables and sold their produce locally.
They branched out and developed what became a very successful wholesale trade supplying the newly established Garden Centre market which tended to be located close to urban centres.
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The Irish Specialist Nursery Association was established to represent the smaller more specialist Nurseries in Ireland. The site gives an excellent list of smaller nurseries around the country.
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Organic

Introduction to Organic Sector

Organic horticultural production in Ireland takes place on holdings varying from intensive market gardening enterprises, with production of high value crops, e.g. tunnel production, to field scale operations with a high level of mechanisation. Field scale production is limited to areas of good arable soils with a suitable climate, with most production occurring in the midlands or south east. Intensive production, particularly tunnel production, is possible in a wider range of areas.

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Examples of Organic Horticulture

Fruit Hill Farm is Ireland’s specialist for environment friendly house, farm and garden supplies. All our products are carefully sourced to meet the needs of organic producers and gardeners. We stock high quality garden tools, organic vegetable seeds, green manures, potatoes, onions, garlic, composts, propagation equipment, organic plant feeds, organic crop protection products and much more.
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At Springfield castle we aim to be as sustainable as possible with our own woodlands, organic farm and gardens. In line with our sustainable ethos we are reducing our carbon footprint at Springfield Castle. Our heating is 95% run using wood grown in our 50 acres of broadleaf forest which we are managing under a continuous cover forest system.
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We started growing commercially in 2002, gradually building up the business since then. We now have 5 polytunnels, 2 tractors, a refrigerated delivery van, a rotovator, a student house, a packing shed, a large cold room, and a variety of other equipment. Our polytunnels cover 16000 sq feet of protected cropping, for vegetables that need more heat to grow well.
In the polytunnels we have: courgette, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, and root fennel. In the polytunnels in summertime we grow: scallions, celery, peppers, french beans. Outside we grow: beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, kale, lettuce, onions, parsnips, potatoes, romanesco, and turnips.
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Gortbrack Organic Farm is an award winning, innovative centre for Environmental Education, Local Organic Food Training and Development, Eco Landscaping and Cabin Accommodation, based on a 9 acre site overlooking Tralee Valley, Co. Kerry, Ireland.
The farm has a diverse range of ecological & native Irish habitats, ranging from ponds to wild bog land, wildlife habitats including native hedgerows, woodlands, ditches and stonewalls, to organic vegetables, herbs, tunnels (all weather), composting, willow features, reed bed systems, cabins and ducks and donkeys.
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Manna Organic Store can be found on the Island of Geese, Strand Street, Tralee. It is owned and managed by Claire and Thomas O’Connor. It is a fully certified Organic Shop, selling a wide range of delicious organic fruit, vegetables and organic wholefoods.
With produce from our own farm, and other local organic farms, Manna is a shop with a difference. It is ALL about the taste. At Manna we sell all kinds of organic fruit and vegetables, some depending on the season. We bring in as much stock as possible from the local organic farms, including our own.
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Outdoor Fruit

Introduction to Outdoor Fruit Sector

Apples

Total apple production area in 2012 is 615 hectares, which represents a 6% increase from the previous census (579 hectares in 2007). Half (50%) of the total production area is accounted for by the culinary variety Bramley’s Seedling. Culinary varieties in total account for 51% of total production area, followed by cider varieties at 29% and dessert varieties at 20%.

Culinary apple production area increased 18% since the 2007 census, while cider apple production area increased 12%. Production area of dessert apples continues to decline, down 20% from the 2007 census and 40% since the 1997 census. The value of Irish apples harvested in 2011 is €4.88 million. This is a 24% increase in farmgate value since the last census. Culinary apples account for 49% of total production value, dessert apples account for 35% and cider apples 16%.

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Examples of Outdoor Fruit Sector

Clarke’s Fresh Fruit is a family run business in Stamullen, County Meath (M1, Exit 7) currently growing 60 acres of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.
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In 1988, we purchased two acres of land to provide employment for our teenage family. Following the advice and support of the local Teagasc office,we decided to grow strawberries on the two acres. The business has now grown to twelve acres and provides a wide variety of soft fruit and other products to the general public, retail,hotel and restaurant trade.
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The Apple Farm is located in county Tipperary in the south of Ireland. Apples have been grown in this area for hundreds of years, and since 1968 we have been planting more orchards to increase our supply. As well as apples, we grow pears, plums, sweet cherries, strawberries and raspberries. We also have a Camping and Caravan Park on the farm. And when we are not busy with this, you will find us making apple juice, and mixed juices from our other fruits; all done here on the farm. We even make a sparkling apple juice, and cider vinegar here too.
We have a farm shop from which our produce is available all year round.
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Ballycross Apple Farm, situated just outside Wexford in Bridgetown, is the perfect destination for a fun family day out. Home to the award winning Ballycross Apple Juice, this real working apple farm is bursting with activities for big and small kids alike.
Kearns Fruit Farm was established over forty years ago on the family farm at the foothills of Mount Leinster. Originally started by Pat Kearns, we began growing fruit for jam production and canning back in the 1950’s. The farm has now developed into a large family run business producing and growing soft fruit for the Irish market.
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Plant Propagation

Introduction to Plant Propagation

Plant propagation is the technique of creating new plants from existing plants and this be done in a number of ways.

Sexual propagation
Seeds and spores can be used for reproduction (through e.g. sowing). Seeds are typically produced from sexual reproduction within a species.  Because genetic recombination has occurred, a plant grown from seeds may have different characteristics from its parents. This kind of reproduction is the basis of the plant breeding industry which tries to develop new or better versions of plants. It is widely used in the Nursery and Rose Sectors. Some species produce seeds that require special conditions to germinate, such as cold treatment to break dormancy.

Asexual propagation
Plants have a number of mechanisms for asexual or vegetative reproduction. Some of these have been taken advantage of by horticulturists and  gardeners to multiply or clone plants rapidly. We use these processes as propagation methods, such as tissue culture and grafting.  Plants are produced using material from a single parent and as such there is no exchange of genetic material, therefore vegetative propagation methods almost always produce plants that are identical to the parent. Vegetative reproduction uses plants parts such as roots, stems and leaves. Several of these techniques are used in the Nursery Sector.

You will find more information in the sites listed below.

The University of Maine has an extensive article on Plant Propagation.
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The Certificate in Horticulture (Plant Propagation) is a vocationally oriented course comprising a core of studies common to all horticulture certificates, plus specialised studies in plant propagation.
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With a little knowledge and a secateurs you can grow your own plants simply from cuttings. The techniques explained here are exactly what is used in commercial nurseries except on a larger scale.
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Plant propagation requires some different equipment if it is to be successful. This site lists lots of these items.
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Protected Fruit

Introduction to the Protected Fruit Sector

Ireland’s growers produce about 8000 tonnes of fresh strawberries per year worth an estimated 43 million Euro. The English cultivar ‘Malling Centenary’ is the most popular cultivar grown. The Dutch cultivar ‘Elsanta’ had been the most popular cultivar grown for the 40 years. Protected strawberry production is now the mainstay of the soft fruit industry in Ireland. Protective cropping has a number of distinct advantages for the grower including;

  • allowing for the supply of fruit outside the traditional short season of June and July.
  • Fruit quality is much higher, which is demanded by the consumer today.

Strawberries can now be supplied, and are in demand from March right through to November. To meet this demand many growers use a combination of growing systems.

The soft fruit sector is dominated by strawberry production, which accounts for 89% of soft fruit production value. The key trend in strawberry production is increasing production area in glasshouse and in fixed/mobile polytunnels, and a move away from outdoor production and production under cloches. Production value of strawberries is €28.3 million, a 7% increase since the 2008 census (€26.5 million in 2008) and a 30% increase since 2004 (€19.6 million in 2004).

There are 57 (outdoor and protected) strawberry growers in 2012 (down 7% since 2008) with a total production area of 169 hectares (down 25% since 2008). The primary counties for strawberry production are Dublin and Wexford. Strawberry production is primarily under protected structures, especially polythene structures. The sector is dominated by larger growers. Of the 47 protected strawberry growers, the seven largest growers account for 77% of protected strawberry production area. 73% of protected strawberry production area is under polythene structures and 27% is under glass.

Click here to download report …

Report on Ireland’s Thriving Soft Fruit Sector …

Examples of the Protected Fruit Sector

Keelings is a family owned Irish company. Our family’s expertise in growing dates back to 1926 when we established our farm & in the 1930s, we began growing fruits & salads and supplying them to the local Dublin markets. With such a long history of growing, we like to think we know a thing or two about fruit and we look forward to sharing our knowledge, passion and love for healthy produce and recipes with you & your family.
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Our family farm is set in a uniquely unspoilt part of the country, just a short distance from the award-winning village of Abbeyshrule, Co. Longford. Here we grow our strawberries in the traditional way, slowly and in harmony with nature. We then work quickly to ensure everything is picked and delivered within hours. To give you the freshest, sweetest strawberries – just like you remember them.
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Welcome to the home of Greens Berry Farm. For over 20 years our family business has grown fresh, juicy, premium quality Wexford strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and gooseberries from our fruit farm in Gorey, Co Wexford.
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Kearns Fruit Farm was established over forty years ago on the family farm at the foothills of Mount Leinster. Originally started by Pat Kearns, we began growing fruit for jam production and canning back in the 1950’s. The farm has now developed into a large family run business producing and growing soft fruit for the Irish market.
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We are a family run fruit farm based near Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford. At Greenhill Fruit Farm Ltd our aim is to provide some of the best fruit farm produce available in Ireland and make it available to the public, to local markets and for wholesale at affordable prices. Greenhill Fruit Farm grows fruit in the traditional method as well as in the table-top system.
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Protected Vegetable

Introduction to Protected Vegetable Sector

Protected vegetable production includes vegetables such as tomatoes, lettuce, peppers and other vegetables grown under glass and polythene protected structures. It excludes vegetable crops that are grown outdoors without protection. The key trend in the protected vegetable sector is increasing production area but decreasing production value. Overall, production area in 2012 is 190 hectares, a 14% increase since the last census (166 hectares in 2008). Grower numbers have increased slightly, from 67 in 2008 to 73 in 2012. Production value of protected vegetables has, however, decreased 17% since the last census, from €25.2 million in 2008 to €21.0 million in 2012. 92% of protected vegetable production area is under glass and 8% is under polythene structures. 69% of protected vegetable production area is in county Dublin.

Tomatoes are the most important protected vegetable crop in terms of value. The number of tomato growers increased from 21 growers in 2008 to 38 growers in 2012. However, both production area and value have declined. Production area in 2012 is 10 hectares (14 hectares in 2008) and production value is €6.9 million (€9.2 million in 2008). Of the total of 38 tomato growers, the largest five growers account for 77% of protected tomato production area. 94% of protected tomato production is under glass and 6% is under polythene structures.

Lettuce is the second most important protected vegetable crop in terms of value. The number of lettuce growers has also increased, from 24 growers in 2008 to 32 growers in 2012. Lettuce production area is relatively unchanged at 118 hectares in 2012 (113 hectares in 2008) but production value has decreased by 19%, from €7.4 million in 2008 to €6.0 million in 2012. Of the total of 32 lettuce growers, the largest five growers account for 74% of protected tomato production area. 99% of protected lettuce production is under glass and 1% is under polythene structures.

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Examples of Protected Vegetable Sector

Salad Ways is a limited company, which started as a family run business in the mid 1960’s, producing various glasshouse crops for the Irish market. In 1989, the company began to specialise in Round Lettuce production and has grown in acreage and market share ever since.
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Roses

Introduction to Rose Sector

Roses are the most grown flowers in the world, but have you ever stopped to wonder if they are actually being cultivated for profit purposes or just for its sentimental value? Roses are one of the most economically important ornamental crops in the world.

rose is a woody perennial flowering plant of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae, or the flower it bears. There are more than three hundred species and their cultivars run in thousands. They form a class of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing, or trailing with stems that are most often times equipped with sharp thorns. Flowers vary in size and shape and are usually large and conspicuous, in colours ranging from white through yellows and reds. Most species are native to Asia, with smaller numbers native to Europe, North America, and northwestern Africa.

Virtually all Garden Centres and Cut Flower outlets would carry a range of Roses. Roses are a Summer flowering plant and in Ireland shops need to import stock out of season.

Getting into the Rose growing business requires that you have

  1. Sandy loamy soil (with proper PH level of about 6 or 7.5, 30% organic matter and very high oxygen level)
  2. Greenhouse – to manage stock in colder weather
  3. Nursery – to grow on stock prior to marketing
  4. Irrigation system – only if you are in dry climate
  5. Fertilisers (chemical or organic)
  6. Cutting tools (like clippers, scissors etc)
  7. Labour – at all stages both skilled and non skilled
  8. Climate (temperature and sunlight) – you hope for the best
  9. Patience – simple propagation will give a saleable plant in three years. Breeding new types may require up to six years from start to selling.

Examples of Rose Growing Sector

Hughes Roses is Ireland’s Premier Rose Nursery, growers & suppliers of Top Quality Roses to Garden Centres, Multiples, Wholesalers, Retailers & Landscapers nationwide. We are a family owned Nursery, repeatedly building on our expertise & professionalism in production & we are constantly on the look out for new rose introductions available to us from worldwide rose breeders which will not only appeal to our customers but will grow well & be suitable for our Irish climate. Every crop we produce is grown on fresh land here in Garristown, Co. Dublin, thus ensuring strong, healthy plants.
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Just Roses established spring of 2012 at Woodview, Kilfinane by Alan and Josie. Alan after a successful 22 years as proprietor of the well recognised Garden Centre, Granagh Nurseries joined forces with Josie at her award winning gardens in Kilfinane and together have established a Specialist Rose Centre open to all garden rose lovers every day including weekends and offering a vast range of top quality containerised roses of every colour and blends, habit and style, fragrance and beauty.
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We are a Donegal supplier of trees & shrubs based at Dunwiley, Stranorlar, for the landscape and private gardener. We are a large producer and supplier of an extensive range of bare root and containerised planting material which covers all aspects of gardening and landscaping requirements. Excellent, experienced and knowledgeable sales staff to advise you on all your gardening needs.
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Sports Turf

Introduction to Sports Turf Sector

Sports Turf maintenance is an essential practice for all sports turf surface for natural turf and Synthetic surfaces in Golf, Football (GAA Soccer and Rugby), Tennis, Cricket, Bowls, Athletics Tracks, Horse racing tracks. Maintenance is an essential requirement to ensure safety of players, to prevents injuries and to increase usage and fixtures played on the facility.

This is a list of some of the areas of work in Sports Turf Management:-

  1. Horticulture Machinery,
  2. Plantcare maintenance,
  3. Plant propagation
  4. Greenkeeping

Course in this area …

Examples of Sports Turf Sector

The GCSAI try to run as many educational events for its members as it can. Ideas and sponsorship are always welcome from its trade members. Details of any forthcoming events will be sent to members in due course.
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Established in 1968, Lely Turfcare (now Reesink Turfcare) is Ireland’s leading turfcare machinery and equipment supplier, providing the turfcare industry with an extensive range of professional equipment manufactured by its highly reputable business partners.
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We are and Irish firm who specialise in the construction and remodelling of Golf Courses and Sports Fields.
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Cropcare is a leading supplier to the fine turf industry and sports fields. It provides a range of specialist fertilisers, seeds, pesticides, protective workwear, line-marking paint and equipment, coupled with a consultative backup. Cropcare prides itself on its comprehensive product range, excellent service and technical backup. Cropcare’s philosophy is to prosper from helping course managers bring their courses to perfection.
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TurfCare is dedicated to supplying innovative products and services in a professional manner to the golf, leisure and amenity industry. We will carry this out using environmentally sound practices in order to provide a sustainable and profitable future for our people and our industry.
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We specialise in the installation of irrigation systems, golf course and sports ground renovation, maintenance, and installation of water supply and distribution systems. As a company we pride ourselves as being an independent irrigation contractor, meaning that although we hold a number of main agencies, we have the advantage of being able to supply and install all brands of irrigation equipment.
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Boro Landscapes is headed up by Tim Harrington who holds a Diploma in Horticulture and who has worked in the landscape industry for the past 30 years in both the public and private sector. Tim has gained considerable experience in both landscape design and all ancillary works which are required to bring the vision which you have for your garden into reality. We work with the natural environment of your garden and will utilise design and plant material to manage biodiversity. Emphasis is on creativity and attention to detail with personal supervision on site.
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Support Products

Examples of Support Products for Horticulture

NAD was established in 1979. The company is dedicated to providing its customers with quality branded products and professional advice. It is constantly striving to improve its service to its customers. The company operates from a modern purpose built office with adjacent sales counter and dedicated customer parking. The warehouse is purpose built to IASIS standard for the storage of pesticides.
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Composite Decking Ireland, are proud to be the specialist supplier and installer of recycled wood & plastic composite decking in Ireland. Made from reclaimed and recycled materials including wood fibres and plastics, composite decking is an environmentally friendly alternative to timber decking.
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With state-of-the-art LED lighting technology and precise hydroponic growing methods, our expert team provides the platform for our clients to produce a wide array of fresh, pesticide-free, non-GMO, produce and non-traditional crops 365 days a year. Our agricultural system recycles 100% of unused water and nutrient consumption while significantly reducing environmental impacts.
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Fruit Hill Farm is Ireland’s specialist for environment friendly house, farm and garden supplies. All our products are carefully sourced to meet the needs of organic producers and gardeners. We stock high quality garden tools, organic vegetable seeds, green manures, potatoes, onions, garlic, composts, propagation equipment, organic plant feeds, organic crop protection products and much more.
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We offer quality crop nutrition products comprising of foliars, powders and liquid fertilisers: All are created to deliver the highest efficacy and to maximise crop potential for the grower.
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Vegetables

Introduction to Vegetable Sector

In Ireland 4,500 ha of vegetables with a farm gate value of €73m are grown annually. We supply well over half our requirements but as our climate does not allow for all-year-round production, the remainder is imported. The main period for imports is from April to June.

Traditionally vegetable production took place close to the main centres of population, such as Dublin and Cork. It’s no surprise that Dublin is the county growing the most vegetables, followed by Meath, Wexford and Cork. Vegetable growing is a very specialised and labour intensive enterprise. There are about 200 growers, many of whom have been in the business for generations. The industry gives employment to around 1,000 people.

A wide range of vegetables are grown in Ireland, the most popular being Potatoes, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, swedes, cauliflower and parsnips. Harvesting of vegetables takes place every week of the year but the main season of production is from July to March. Growers have made great strides in recent years to extend the seasons. For example carrot growers protect their over-wintered crop with straw and plastic to allow harvesting in April and May, whilst brassica growers cover their early crops with fleece for a June harvest.

Vegetables grow on a wide range of soil types and in every county of the country. Most vegetables are conventionally grown but there is a small but increasing acreage of organic production. Outlets include supermarkets, local shops, farmer’s markets, restaurants and direct sale via the farm shop.

Vegetable growing is a tough business mainly due to the pressures of supplying the multiples and coping with the vagaries of the weather. This has led to a consolidation of the business in recent years with some growers leaving the industry and others scaling-up to reduce unit cost. However, there is tremendous satisfaction in successfully getting a product to market that looks great, tastes good and is bursting with goodness: that is Irish, locally grown vegetables.

National Field Vegetable Census 2015

Potatoes

Potato is the world’s third most important food crop with global acreage rising faster than that of any other crop due to its high yield potential and excellent nutritional characteristics. For more Irish industry related information and statistics click here. Teagasc has been conducting research on potatoes since the 1960s. Currently there are four primary research initiatives along with a Knowledge Transfer programme.

Potatoes breeding Programme https://www.teagasc.ie/crops/crops/potatoes/research—-breeding-programme/

Genomics Research:   https://www.teagasc.ie/crops/crops/potatoes/genomics-research/

GM Research:   https://www.teagasc.ie/crops/crops/potatoes/gm-research/

Late Blight Disease Research: https://www.teagasc.ie/crops/crops/potatoes/potato-blight-disease-research/

Potatoes – Knowledge Transfer:  https://www.teagasc.ie/crops/crops/potatoes/potatoes-agronomy-/

Tayto:: https://taytocrisps.ie/about-tayto/

O’Donnell Crisps: https://www.odonnellschrisps.com

Examples of Vegetable Sector

Doyles Veg Prep is Dublin’s number one supplier of fresh produce. Conveniently located just off the M50 motorway in South Dublin the business is situated at the heart of city’s road network providing excellent access to the Capital and surrounding areas. Doyles Veg Prep is a one hundred percent Irish owned family run business that supplies to the catering industry.
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Group strategic vision in Total Produce is inspired by the conviction that, in bringing together the collective resources and core competencies of diverse produce providers worldwide, the global fresh produce consumer is best served. Local at heart, Global by nature, in Total Produce we are distinguished by our capacity to deliver the best of both worlds; the resources of a global multi-national alongside the local expertise and experience of on the ground people and operations in key markets globally.
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Iverk Produce is one of the largest suppliers of fresh fruit and vegetables in Ireland. From our base in Piltown, Co. Kilkenny, we deliver daily to retail outlets across Ireland, and also restaurants, hotels and food manufacturers. We are closely aligned with Total Produce – Europe’s largest fresh produce provider – O’Shea Farms – our main supplier of potatoes and carrots – and Meadowfresh Foods – a major supplier of prepared vegetables.
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Meade Potato Company are proud to be leading the way when it comes to creating new markets for our fresh produce. We were the first company to export Irish potatoes abroad by the boatload, and have since initiated shipments abroad of Irish product whenever export market conditions were suitable. Innovation is a core value of the company; we seek new products and services to cater for the changing tastes and requirements of our customers and consumers.
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At Irish Micro Greens we grow the finest and freshest range of micro greens on our farm in the heartland of Castletown Co. Meath. Because of the unique way our produce is grown it is available 52 weeks of the year through our network of fresh produce wholesalers and catering supply companies. If it’s not available, then tell us and we’ll get it sorted!
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Students at Belvedere College SJ are currently growing crops, farming fish and cultivating fungi in a glass-roofed science laboratory called the GROWlab, featuring an aquaponic and hydroponic farm with an innovative system of teaching sustainability in the city, a year-round space where students can learn about plant life cycles, green technology, and sustainable farming practices.
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Ballygarron Farm is a family owned and run Vegetable Growing Business based in The Spa Tralee Co. Kerry. For three generations the Hanafin Family have worked the rich fertile land of The Spa and surrounding areas producing high quality freshly home-grown vegetables for our customers to enjoy.
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Videos on Horticulture

Videos on Horticulture

There are lots horticulture related videos on YouTube. We have collected a few on this page but you can see many more here

Teagasc
Kildalton College
Botanic Gardens and WIT
Teagasc Horticulture Student
Teagasc Horticulture Student
Botanic Gardens Student
Landscape Enterprise
Propogation and Trees Enterprise
Grass Turf Enterprise
Fruit & Vegetable Enterprise
Languages
UCD Quinn
IADT Generic
Languages top
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