Saint Patrick’s Day Permaculture at Bealtaine Cottage

Saint Patrick’s Day! The middle of March in the West of Ireland…and there is much to celebrate! For we have enjoyed a mild winter and fast warming Spring.

According to  the old Irish annals, Patrick died in AD 461 on March 17.

And so, it is today that we celebrate the greatest non-Irish person as the greatest  of the Irish… for it is in Patrick that the Irish nurture their sense of national pride.

Much of the landscape of Ireland is awakened into Spring at this point in the year as you can see from the photographs taken this morning here at Bealtaine Cottage.

It has been traditional to plant potatoes on saint Patrick’s Day or thereabouts, so this morning, this is what I shall be doing, having prepared the beds at the beginning of the week, (and sliced through the water-pipe!).

Potatoes in Ireland were traditionally planted into mounds, a form of raised bed.  

Potatoes are planted into the mounds as they have a lower tolerance to frost and this way of planting affords a certain amount of protection. Other more hardy crop,s are Peas, Beans and Cabbage, all of which can be planted out regardless of frost.

Permaculture planting takes into account these variants and straw is placed over the beds of potatoes as both a mulch to exclude weeds and a protection against late frosts, which can be expected right through to May!

All these pics were taken this morning and as you can see, it is a perfect planting day in the west of the country.
The celebrations and parades will all take place this afternoon, so the morning is planned for a little light work, planting!

So, it just suffices to say…A very Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to you all, with blessings and love to each and every one of you, from Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland.


  1. Another beautifully captured post. I’m working my way through the Bealtaine blog and am constantly coming across so much that inspires and uplifts me. Many thanks for sharing, Colette, you are a truly gifted teacher. X

  2. mm looks like the cats whiskers to me. Tell me, do you get much problem with blight? The first year I tried potatoes in my garden they had blight, since then my toms have been useless as well.

    • I have found that by planting the potatoes in separate spots…some in this bed, some in that, keeps the blight away…and lots of different plants around the spus too! The same for the Tomatoes…lots of biodiversity rather than tidy rows!

  3. That’s just so lovely Colette, all blessings to you as well from your friends here, from all over the world who admire Beltaine cottage’s little permaculture paradise!

Your comments are welcome!