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  • Unusual Tubers

    Walk on the wild side this season and grow some unusual tubers Organic Yacon - Smallanthus sonchifolius  These perennial tubers from south America, look like a potato, grow like a Jerusalem artichoke, and taste a bit like a pear.  Easy to grow and store, high-yielding, super nutritious and crunchy like an apple. Growing Yacon Yacon is a perennial plant, so once you have planted it, so long as you look after it, you will have it forever.  It is easy to grow in most soils where there is reasonable rainfall and moderate heat.  They are large plants growing to a
  • Early Starters

    There’s a grand stretch in the evening and when it stops raining we should all be able to get out in the garden.  For the early starters it’s definitely worth covering the ground before planting to warm up the soil a little and protect it from the rain.  Either put up a small cloche or cover the soil with plastic or ground cover. All early crops will feel the benefit of protection with crop cover as this will provide some gentle heat and also increase light levels. Keep an eye out for slugs and use slug pellets  - those fresh new shoots are very tasty! As the
  • All About Onions

    The onion 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). For
  • Blight Resistant Potatoes

      Blight Resistant Potatoes Given that blight can so quickly destroy an entire crop it makes sense to consider planting blight resistant varieties.  Blight resistant maincrops are particularly useful – high yielding with no threat or worry that blight will take your crop!  Take a look at the fantastic range available from FHF - Vitabella is a delicious oval yellow skinned, yellow fleshed, early/second early firm potato with high blight resistance. Great storage characteristics and flavour. Superb for boiling, roasting and chips.  Exclusive to Fruit Hill
  • Planting Early Potatoes

    Earlies or new potatoes are quick off the mark 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. Chitting potatoes Chitting is basically another word for sprouting.  By getting the potato to sprout you have started off the growing process so that the plants will have a head start when you put them in the soil.  In theory you will then get your potatoes a bit earlier. Shoots on a chitted potato
  • What is a Biostimulant?

    A plant biostimulant is any substance or microorganism applied to plants with the aim to enhance nutrition efficiency, abiotic stress tolerance (abiotic factors are the non-living parts of an environment and include sunlight, temperature, weather and altitude) and/or crop quality traits.  Biostimulants promote plant growth without being a fertilizer.  Biostimulants are available in many formulations and with varying ingredients. The most popular ingredients are seaweed extracts, beneficial bacteria, and beneficial fungi and humic substances (humic and fulvic
  • What is Basalt or Rock Dust?

      Basalt is an igneous rock created through the cooling and solidification of magma and lava. When ground down into a fine powder, it makes a very good soil improver. Igneous rocks like basalt and granite have the highest mineral content, with basalt providing a greater balance of nutrients for optimal plant health and vitality. Basalt, or rock dust, continues to deliver a steady flow of nutrients over time, even as it decomposes. Basalt’s slow-release benefits make it an effective way to minimize deficiencies, particularly with fast-growing crops that
  • Put the buzz back! Seeds for bees and other pollinators.

    Put the buzz back with bee friendly seeds from FHF • GREEN MANURE SEEDS to improve the condition of your soil and attract bees, pollinators and put life into you soil. Crimson clover and bee.   • BEE MEADOW SEEDS to attract bees and add colour to your garden Annual      This Bee Meadow will provide a continuous display of nectar and pollen-rich legumes, brassicas and wildflowers.  A selection of organically sourced seed (97%) which will provide a continuous display of nectar from pollen-rich legumes and wildflowers guaranteeing a rewarding honey
  • Practical ways to help the Bees

      In Ireland, there are 98 different species of bee. There is the honeybee (a managed pollinator) 20 bumblebee species and 77 solitary bee species. In 2006 scientists published a Red List of Ireland’s Bees. It showed that one third of our 97 wild bees are threatened with extinction and ufortunately a third of all bee species in Ireland could be extinct by 2030. This problem can’t be solved simply by increasing the number of honeybee hives. Bumblebees make their nests on the surface of the ground or just underneath, often in long grass, bracken, or at the
  • Love your soil - learn about soil conditioners

    Is your soil good - or bad? Does it have a good diet, can it hold its drink?  Could it quite simply just be better – well behaved, good crops, good drainage and structure etc.  Most soils can be improved both in nutrient content and in structure by following good gardening practices.  Soil that is in good heart will be free-draining, easy to dig, have a crumbly texture and a healthy earthworm population. How to improve the condition of your soil Gathering leaves for leaf-mould Add organic matter as a soil conditioner. Compost and strawy animal manures provide

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