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  • Square Foot Gardening

    It’s easy to forget here in spacious West Cork that not everybody has the luxury of a big garden to grow vegetables in. Square foot gardening is a method for helping those with smaller gardens to maximise their space. In square foot gardening, the growing area (typically a raised bed) is marked out into smaller square sections. This helps to plan and create a well planted and neat vegetable garden in minimal space. Generally, a bed is divided into a grid of 12” sided squares. So for example a 3’ by 3’ raised bed could be divided into 9 squares and a 3’ by
  • Vegan NPK Fertilizer

    Vegan organic gardening/farming  methods use no animal products or by-products - eg bloodmeal, fish products, bone meal, animal manure, feathers or other animal-origin matter -  because the production of these materials is viewed (by Vegans) as either harming animals directly, or being associated with the exploitation and consequent suffering of animals. With this in mind we have decided to stock  a Vegan NPK 5:3:8 fertilizer. This is approved for use on organic holdings and will keep your garden growing healthy and strong without compromising your principles. 
  • How to be a better Gardener

    Plant native trees and shrubs - they support more wildlife. Have a variety of heights - much more bird friendly. Chose 'open' flowers that are easily accessible to bees . Think before you use a petrol machine - does the grass really need cutting? Do I need a chain saw for that branch? Consider alternatives: push mower, scythe, saw, loppers. Do not rush to tidy up in autumn. Dead flower heads often provide homes for overwintering friends. Use green manures. They improve the soil as well as providing colour and interest eg. Phacelia, Clovers, Buckwheat. Bees love
  • Raised Beds

    A raised garden bed is a mound of soil raised above ground level and contained by a frame that is used for growing herbs and vegetables. Raised beds can be made from timber, stone, logs or bricks. They are different from container gardening in that they do not have a base and cannot be moved. Advantages Earlier cropping as the soil is warmer. Improved drainage. Plants are more accessible and maintenance is easier. Easier to plan and manage a rotation system. Greater yield as crops are closer together. Soil can be tailored to specific crops. Soil is not compacted as
  • March Seasonal Table: Nettles

    What's not to like about nettles! Urtica dioica  - the humble stinging nettle is a wonder plant and every garden should have a patch. Nettles in the garden Stinging nettles support more than 40 kinds of insects, for whom the sting can form a protective shield against grazing animals. Many nettle patches hold overwintering insects which swarm around fresh spring nettles and provide early food for ladybirds. These same aphids are eaten by blue tits and other woodland birds that dart around the stems.  Nettles are the number one destination for ladybirds with eggs to
  • How does your garden grow - featured March garden

    Olivia from Carrigaline is our featured garden for February Congratulations and a BIG thank you go to Olivia for sharing her story and pictures of her lovely garden with us. It's great to hear about the great variety of plants she is growing and the story of how she has created her garden and the problems she has  encountered and overcome. We hope she continues to add to it and keep it growing! We love looking at your gardens and hearing all about them so keep them coming in and you'll also be in with a chance of winning a €50 voucher to spend here at Fruit Hill
  • All About Onions

    The onion plant has been grown and selectively bred in cultivation for at least 7,000 years. Onions are part of the allium family - along with shallots, garlic and leeks. Onion Sets Onion sets are available as white or red for spring planting and as white onions for autumn planting. (Onion Sets are grown by sowing onion seed thickly late in the summer. The plants are allowed to grow just until they start forming bulbs. These immature bulbs are dug, cured like regular onions, then held in temperature-controlled warehouses until spring, when they are sold as onion sets).
  • How does your garden grow - featured February garden

    Peter from Meath is our featured garden for February We love that Peter has transformed his garden from a waterlogged field to a haven for pollinating insects. Well done Peter and we hope you enjoy spending your €50 voucher for Fruit Hill Farm "It started 38 years ago as a waterlogged acre field, devoid of any vegetation apart from some hedgerow scrub, it's now a dynamic resource maintained for pollinating insects . Early intervention included land drainage and growing Alder shelterbelt to break up soil pan., these have being felled and provide some years of logs
  • February Seasonal Table: Leeks

    LEEKS: OVERVIEW Leeks are one of the most underestimated of all winter vegetables. Once dubbed “Poor-man’s Asparagus” the leek is one of the world’s oldest known vegetables, with its own set of nutritional benefits and flavours, leeks have been part of the human diet for thousands of years. Leeks are part of the allium family and are closely related to onions, garlic, shallots, and scallions with a milder taste and larger in size. Health benefits Leeks are a phenomenal source of vitamins and of antioxidants: They contain powerful antioxidants for staving off
  • Crop Rotation

      January is a good time to think about your crop rotation and what quantities you will be growing.  What was a success last year, what did you have a glut off – and what did no one like?  (Bridget - what is wrong with courgettes?) Taking photos throughout the year is a good idea too as it is so easy to forget what everything looked like on a dark January day! What is Crop Rotation? Crop Rotation is the practice of growing specific groups of vegetables on a different part of the vegetable plot each year. This helps to reduce a build-up of crop-specific pest

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