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Now is a good time to take stock on the year that was and start thinking about the months ahead.

Look back at notes you may have made and any photos you’ve taken. What worked, what didn’t? Is there a certain element lacking or is there an overbearing shrub that could do with a bit of a tidy up, or even complete removal?

Was there a certain vegetable or flower that you raised from seed that performed particularly well? If there was then please do share your story with us. We'd love to hear from you on Facebook, Twitter or email us as

Consider growing something new. We have lots of different flower and veg seed in store and all the paraphernalia you need to go with it. Growing your own couldn’t be easier. And if you’re unsure, any of the in-store horticulturists will be more than happy to give advice and tips on growing from seed.

If like me you’re itching to get sowing, sweet peas are a good one to start now. Their heady scent is something that never ceases to amaze me. Bear in mind they are hungry plants so prepare the ground where they are to go with very well-rotted manure. And make sure there is support in place that they can grow up along. The plants can reach 6ft or more.


For easier germination soak the seed overnight. Sow 2 seeds, 1cm deep per 7.5cm deep pot, in free draining, moist compost. If you have a propagator pop them in that or alternatively cover with a polythene bag and place at 20-25  ̊C in full light. Germination takes anything from 7 to 21 days. Pinch out the tips of the seedlings after the second set of leaves appear. This encourages sturdier, bushier plants which will produce more flowers.

Start to harden off your plants after the last frosts. This means bringing the plants out during the day and bringing them in at night, for about a week so they can acclimatise to outside conditions. Then plant out to their final position. They will flower from June to September, but remember to keep picking them to keep them producing!

(Seed packets ranging from €2.69 - €5.69)

Our winter birds will be needing a little extra padding at this time, so we can help by leaving some food out for them. Place fatballs and birdfeeders with nuts and seed somewhere you can look out to watch and appreciate them.

Check out our new range in store of Peckish Bird Food and Accessories:


On a final note I would just like to wish everybody a very happy and productive new year in the garden. Happy growing!

Orla Twomey

Horticulturalist, Bandon Co-op Enniskeane


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