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Latest news from Fruit Hill Farm.
  • Klasmann organic compost for reliable results

    Unfortunately, not all composts are created equally and unfortunately you only discover this when you have poor germination.  Valuable time has been lost and there will be no early tomatoes or cabbages.  As with all things in life you get what you pay for - cheap compost=poor results. The only way to get consistent and reliable results is to use a consistent and reliable compost.  In our experience the only compost that delivers consistency, traceability, reliability time after time is Klasmann-Deilmann.  What’s so great about Klasmann? Good strong plugs with
  • Open Pollinated Seeds

      We have over 200 vegetable, herb and flower seeds – enough to keep you busy for years! If you are canny you can save all your future seeds from our seeds because not only are they organic but they are open pollinated! What are Open Pollinated seeds? • Open pollinated varieties are those that come true from seed, as opposed to hybrid varieties which are produced by crossing two inbred lines of plants for seed. • Are naturally pollinated (no enforced pollination or in-breeding). • Contribute to food plant bio-diversity (of which we have lost 80% in Europe
  • Successful Seed Germination

    What do you need for the successful germination of seeds? Heat Seeds will germinate across a wide range of temperatures but as the temperature falls below - or rises above - the optimum range, the length of time it takes for them to germinate increases and the percentage germination rate falls. Long germination times also make the seeds more vulnerable to disease. You can warm up the soil outside by a few degrees if you cover it with ground cover. A soil thermometer will give you an accurate soil temperature figure. A warm day does not mean warm soil. Beware sunny day
  • 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! 10. Hand planter Useful for planting hands but also very good for cabbages and other plug grown plants. 9. Swiss sharpener This Swiss sharpener is small enough to fit in your pocket to make sure your shears and secateurs always have a good
  • 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
  • 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.

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