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  • How to grow first early potatoes

    First early potatoes are a real treat - that melting, buttery texture; the lovely fresh taste - the surprise of the white potato from the brown earth ......  I could go on - but won't.  Instead lets learn how to grow these early treasures. Potato Timeline Earlies:   Earlies or new potatoes have the quickest maturity time and are ready 15 - 16 weeks after planting. If you have a polytunnel or greenhouse then you can plant them in December or January and have very early potatoes on the table in March and April - depending on the weather.  They have a lower yield
  • Winter solstice and Yuletide

    Bantry Bay at sunset on the shortest day 2017. The Winter Solstice on the 21st December is the shortest day of the year- the earth’s axis is tilted farthest from the sun and, therefore, is also the longest night. In terms of daylight, the day is 8 hours, 22 minutes shorter than on the Summer Solstice.  Here in Bantry the sun will rise at 8.41am and set at 16.29pm – 7 hrs and 40 minutes of daylight. Day length and plants Measuring the time of year is not just important for plants to be able to schedule flowering, but also so they know when to produce storage
  • Favourite Garden Gifts that will last

    The season of presents, mince pies, excited children and hangovers is upon us and we all want to have a good time.  Great! ... but let's stop for a minute and be a bit more mindful. (Click here to Scroll down to the bottom for our gift guide from Fruit Hill Farm!) Wrapping paper Lovely, glittery and colourful ....  but not all wrapping paper is paper - so you can't recycle it.  Then there's the sellotape and glitter on the gift tag.  What's an elf to do?              Buy recycled paper. Use brown paper and tie it with twine.  Add a sprig of
  • Top Ten Tools for Gardeners & Growers

    We stock over 300 tools from the simplest hand planter to the professional blocker and out of that we have a top ten for you to mull over. Whilst some tools on the list are newly popular, there are some that are consistent favourites with our customers over the years. Our tools are definitely for life - not just for Christmas! #gallery-1 {margin: auto;} #gallery-1 .gallery-item {float: left;margin-top: 10px;text-align: center;width: 20%;} #gallery-1 img {border: 2px solid #cfcfcf;} #gallery-1 .gallery-caption {margin-left: 0;padding-left:0;}
  • What is Seaweed Fertilizer?

    Seaweed has been used for centuries to improve soil and feed stock. The west coast of Ireland has abundant quantities of seaweed - soils on the Aran Islands are made from a mixture of sand and seaweed! It is an amazing, natural product that is rich in trace elements, nutrients and alginate – and it has the added advantage of being a renewable and completely local natural resource. Harvesting Seaweed It is easier to harvest seaweed from above the low water line - it will be less wet. Limit your impact by picking lightly from several areas. Each patch of seaweed
  • Mill your own organic flour

    We might be hearing more about our often taken for granted staple grains in the near future. Poor harvests in Europe brought on by severe drought conditions this summer are likely to have an impact on the price of this normally cheap commodity. Another thing making headlines recently are concerns around the exuberant use of chemical sprays in cereal production. Particularly, the use of glyphosate as a pre-harvest treatment. This is the tip of the iceberg. I noted at a talk from a tillage expert which I attended recently that there are 380 herbicides registered
  • Using Leafmould as a Soil Conditioner

    Leafmould is made from decaying leaves.  It is an excellent soil conditioner adding organic matter and micro-organisms to the garden.  Leaf mould is quite low in nutrients, which makes it suitable for seed germination as the seedlings develop a strong root system, which will help them remain healthy when threatened with pests and diseases.  If you have enough, leaf mould makes an excellent soil improver. The coarse organic particles help create air spaces, vital to let roots penetrate the soil. Leaf mould also makes a good mulch that aids moisture-retention and
  • Top Ten Organic Bulbs

    Conventionally produced flower bulbs are one of the most polluted crops in horticulture and are heavily sprayed with Neonicotinoids.  Research has focussed on the impact of these insecticides on honey bees. The chemicals have been found to impair bees’ communication, homing and foraging ability, flight activity and immune systems. These all have an impact on the bees' ability to survive. Neonicotinoids also have a huge effect on butterflies, moths, insects, birds, fish and soil life.  Planting organic bulbs will ensure your garden is enjoyed by all its users.
  • Seed Saving Basics

    Often considered a practice of the more geekier strain of gardener, saving seeds (of certain plants) is, however, easy and accessible to anyone. Why bother though? There are many far reaching reasons why small scale seed saving is important. In particular, the large scale loss of genetic diversity brought about by narrow breeding for commercial varieties and massive consolidation within the seed industry are a serious threat to food security and sustainable agriculture. These concerns are highlighted well by the organisations linked below. However, there are
  • 5 things to do in Autumn to Prepare your Garden for Winter and Spring

    1. Clean Up There’s more to a tidy up in the garden than just making it look neat and tidy – old plants can harbour diseases and pests so it’s wise to remove and dispose of any spent or rotting plants from your plot. You can also bury any disease and pest free spent plants into the ground which will improve soil quality by adding organic matter to it. Dig up any weeds that appeared over the summer and make sure to dispose of them completely – they will likely take root again if you simply move them elsewhere or put them onto the compost heap. 2. Prepare your

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