January tends to be the coldest month but there is still plenty of preparation you can do for the coming growing season. Our 2019 seed catalouge is available for free download so planning crop rotations and ordering seeds should be high on you list. If you have any beds that have not been ‘dug over’ now is the time to do it before the growing weeds creep in and remember to mulch bare soil. Wash pots, trays, polytunnels to get ready for spring sowing. January is the ideal month to plant bare-root fruit trees but also to prune any existing fruit trees and bushes. Our Top Tip for January is to use a cloche to warm up areas of soil that you plan to use for early peas.
January is the month our gardening staff get most of their indoor jobs done. Developing our conservation KPI’s for the department of agriculture while we research extensive international collections looking for elusive Irish Heritage varieties. When the weather is good we are very busy winter pruning in the orchards, while our nursery staff ship the hundreds of bare-root apple tree orders. The variety requests that have come in throughout 2017 will be put into our 2018 grafting plan. With over 80 varieties of bare root heritage apple trees for sale on our website (here) this is one of the biggest selection in Ireland.
Our supporters orders have built up over the Christmas period so a great deal of our time is spent packing up our supporters orders of FREE seeds. January see’s most people renewing their subscriptions or signing up as a new supporter so they can avail of their FREE seeds before the spring. Out on the farm our polytunnels will all get a good wash, inside and out, and we’ve already begun to fix edging on our beds. As we grow for seed our work never stops at harvesting, the over wintering crops, planted in August last year need constant care, selecting leeks and carrots for their second year of growth.