The 2021 SuperValu National Tidy Towns Awards are being held on Friday 12th November, 2021 at a ceremony in the RDS in Dublin at 11am.
The awards ceremony will be live streamed. Be sure to watch.
The link is
The remaining Pole Planters were removed and are now back at the Allotment where they were emptied and cleaned.
The contents were gathered by Ger, Adrian and John and brought to the Bays at the Allotment for composting.
The summer inserts for the Railing Planters have been emptied, washed, dried and are ready for 2022.
Last Sunday morning twenty-three Volunteers and seven Transition Year students gathered for the weekly Litter Pick.
Several Litter Picks were also carried out by some of our Volunteers during the week.
The total amount of rubbish collected for the week was – twenty-one bags of Litter, one bags of Plastic, 1 bag of Cans and 1 bag of Glass.
We also collected one car child seat, one bicycle and one crutch (all broken and dumped on the roadside).
Three Transition Year students began sweeping the fallen leaves from the footpath in front of Westcliffe Estate and then spent time bagging them for the Compost Bay.
They filled 3-ton bags.
The Residents of Beech Road gathered Forty bags of leaves and we collected them on Sunday morning.
We also collected three of bags leaves from Leo Murphy Terrace and three bags of leaves from Fr Sexton Park.
Sixteen bags of leaves were collected from Carrigdeen. Three bags were collected from Martin Power Pine Walk. Six empty one-ton bags were delivered to Glendower for filling.
Compost Bay 1 is filling up quicker than previous years. This is as a result of so many Residents collecting fallen leaves from their Estates. Ballincollig Tidy Towns is very grateful to everyone for their continued community spirit.
WHAT WE CAN DO – GARDENS
Creating and maintaining an eco-friendly garden helps us enjoy nature while remaining mindful about our environmental impact.
Being creative can go a long way to creating a self-sustaining garden. Sticking with organic materials, recycling materials and resources are some of the ways to make an eco-friendly garden.
Choosing to grow herbs and vegetables offer more benefits to eco-friendly gardens as they can be used in home cooked meals. It’s good to know that the food grown is grown by ourselves and organic.
1. Conserve Water. As water is our most precious resource, critical to keep the eco-system healthy, we must make sure we don’t use too much. Instead of using water from the tap to water plants, collect rain water in a barrel or other container. Before watering your garden dig a small hole, about two or three inches and feel if the soil is moist. If it is hold off on watering until it is drier.
2. Recycle plastic bottles and containers. Plastic waste is a major cause of environmental damage. Recycling plastic in the garden can help the fight against plastic. Convert plastic bottles into watering cans, create plant protectors around vulnerable or new growth. Get more creative, for example use an old ice cube tray for seedlings.
3. Choose the right plants. This is very important as native plants will require less maintenance and, in most cases, less water, too. Plants needing less resources to thrive, helps a garden stay self-sustaining and healthy.
4. Attract the right bugs. Many insects can damage a garden, but there are plenty of other bugs that will help the garden thrive. Certain plants attract specific bugs.
5. Create and use your own compost. Making your own organic compost is quite easy. It is a great way to give plants the nutrients they need without relying on artificial or synthetic fertilizers. Used coffee grounds contain nitrogen which help plants grow and are a great start to any compost pile. Fruits and vegetables, egg shells, leaf clippings, straw, and untreated wood chips are other useful composting materials.
6. Companion planting. Whenever possible try to do companion planting. It will help your garden thrive without having to use extra resources. Growing basil or cilantro next to tomatoes can make them more flavorful. Daylilies can help protect carrots and lettuce from rabbits. There are many other plants that have symbiotic relationships with one another.
7. Use natural fertilizers and herbicides. Many fertilizers and herbicides can be harmful to our ecosystem, especially as they mix with rainwater and seep into the ground. There are many natural options you can use to both fertilize plants and remove unwanted weeds. For fertilizer, use natural compost, or other organic options that contain ingredients like fish meal, alfalfa meal, rock phosphate, and greensand. When it comes to getting rid of weeds, combine salt or white vinegar with water, which won’t cause any adverse damage to the garden’s ecosystem when used in moderation.
GROW NATIVE TREES FROM SEEDS AND HELP POLLINATORS
This is the perfect time of year to start collecting seeds from Ireland’s native trees. The Rowan, Hawthorn and Elder berries look splendid in autumn and the flowers from these native trees are a valuable food source for our Pollinators in the spring.
By collecting and growing seeds from healthy trees in Ireland it is the best way to ensure local trees can flourish, restoring gaps with native species. At a time when trees and native plants are under attack from imported pests and diseases this is especially important.
When collecting seeds, it is important to know when to pick or gather. Collect too early, the seeds may not have had time to fully mature, wait too long and the birds might have eaten them all. The Hawthorn and Rowan look vibrant on the trees right now. If you get to know your local area you can watch the berries develop and know when to collect.
When collecting berries, it is important to keep in mind that some species rely on them for food, so pick sparingly, leaving plenty for birds, insects and mammals to feast on.
How to collect native tree seeds
Develop your own technique on how best to extract the seed from the berries. This can be a messy process of mashing, scraping and cleaning to extract the seed. It can then be stored at the back of the fridge or stratified outside in a big flowerpot.
This cold storage is a way to mimic the natural process of breaking seed dormancy also known as stratification. Some seeds will need to be stratified. It doesn’t need fancy equipment and can be done at home with a few pieces of basic equipment.
Check what pre-treatment the berries need, (Rowan need 1 winter and Hawthorn need 2 winters). The seeds can then be sown in the Spring to become native tree saplings for the garden or farm.