News - Page 36

Dare to plant your new potatoes

Dare to plant your new potatoes this week: as frosts look less and less likely, you can take the risk to bring forward the moment when you can harvest those mouthwatering little nuggets of sheer flavour for your tea.

If you haven’t already got a tray or two chitting (forming sprouts) in eggboxes on a windowsill, it’s not too late to pop down to the garden centre here in Listowel and pick up a packet of first early seed potatoes.

Prepare your bed well...

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Bonsai lovers in Ireland are in for a treat

Bonsai lovers in Ireland are in for a treat as the National Botanic Gardens at Glasnevin is showing off its fantastic collection from Irish bonsai artist Andrew J. Murray in the Teak House. Visitors can marvel at about 40 miniature maples, flowering quinces and cherries bursting into blossom on a tiny scale.

Andrew likes to reproduce Irish native trees in bonsai form, and it’s something you can have a go at yourself at home. Raise your own from seed, buy a bo...

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Persuade your strawberries to fruit earlier

Persuade your strawberries to fruit earlier by popping a cloche or fleece over your plants, trapping every last scrap of sunshine underneath and raising the temperature by a few degrees – just enough to bring them into flower weeks ahead of schedule.

Early varieties like ‘Honeoye’ work best for this, as they’re already bred to flower sooner than most types of strawberry. You’ll also need a cloche (easy-to-use clear polythene tunnel cloche are available from o...

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Give fruit bushes and trees a good feed

Give fruit bushes and trees a good feed so you send them into the new season in tip-top health, ready to provide you with a bumper harvest later this summer.

After a long winter hunkered down against the elements, gooseberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants and whitecurrants will be starting to wake up as spring warms up. Top fruit, too, like apples, plums and medlars are all sending out new leaves.

It’s at this time that they really benefit from a dose o...

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It’s time to prune your late-flowering shrubs

It’s time to prune your late-flowering shrubs including Buddleja davidii, Caryopteris and hardy fuchsias.

These shrubs are a mainstay of the summer garden, producing waterfalls of flower for months at a time, from mid-summer onwards. They’re also incredibly easy to grow, requiring little care other than a spring cut-back to keep them young and flowering well.

All these shrubs flower best on the growth they will make this year, so you can cut them back...

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Get ready to plant the first of this season’s potatoes

Get ready to plant the first of this season’s potatoes, starting by stocking up on seed potatoes from the mouthwatering selection now on sale at our garden centre here in Listowel. You can risk planting fast-growing new (first early) potatoes from mid-March; slower-maturing second earlies and maincrops go in from early to mid-April.

Save yourself some work – and backache – by trying no-dig potato growing this year. It works in the opposite wa...

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What to do in the garden in March

What to do in the garden in March:

The main question this month is where to start! Don’t worry - we’ve got it sorted with our list of the essential jobs to be getting on with over the next few weeks.

 

General tasks:

  • Steep freshly-cut nettles in water for a few weeks and decant the rich brown liquid for a potent, nitrogen-rich plant food
  • Start hoeing weekly to catch annual weeds the moment they appear so they never...
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Ireland is gearing up for its big annual celebration of trees

Ireland is gearing up for its big annual celebration of trees, as the ESB Tree Week kicks off from next Sunday. Tree Week has been going since 1985 and is a week long programme of events in honour of the biggest, most-loved and most important plants we grow.

Hundreds of fantastic fun days out for all the family are taking place all over the country, so visit the Tree Council website at www.treecouncil.ie to find out wha...

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An orchard of ancient cider apple trees has been saved for the nation

An orchard of ancient cider apple trees has been saved for the nation after its owners gave it to the National Trust to look after.

The internationally important collection of 300 cider apple varieties includes evocatively-named apples like ‘Slack-ma-Girdle’, ‘Netherton Late Blower’ and ‘Billy Down Pippin’, put together over 25 years by collector Henry May at his Herefordshire orchard.

Material from each variety is being used to propagate new trees to...

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Make this the year you get the kids into gardening

Make this the year you get the kids into gardening - it’s a wonderful way to spend time with them as well as teaching them all sorts of things from the way the natural world works to where their food comes from. 

All you need is a small area, say 1m x 1m, marked off with a low fence or coloured pebbles. A raised bed defines the area clearly - railway sleepers double up as comfy child-sized seats.

Let the kids choose what to grow: you can always br...

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