Dublin, Kilkenny, Carlow, Kildare, Belfast (UK)
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10 May 2016

Summer Roses

Now that summer is around the corner one of the sights and smells of the summer garden are garden roses. Taking care of roses is relatively easy with a few simple tips. Firstly make sure to use plenty of mulch.

Mulch is fairly easy to come by and if you have a compost bin or plenty of autumn leaves and grass clippings you can make your own! Mulch will ensure the soil around your roses stays cool and moist and also works as an effective weed barrier. The number one benefit of mulch is that the rotting organic matter provides important nutrients ensuring your roses are more likely to stay vibrant and healthy throughout the season.

Many people dread the thought of pruning roses, after all they can be awfully prickly to handle, although this may take some practice its benefits for the plants are second to none and take into consideration that even if you get it wrong at first unlike many other species it’s awfully hard to kill a rose. The benefits of pruning include improving air circulation, removing dead wood from the plant, and encouraging new growth. So give it a go!

04 May 2016

Dealing with Pests

The most effective way of dealing with pests in the garden is to make sure the garden is clean of debris and hiding places for pests and disease. In reality it’s much harder than this but some inexpensive tips can really help. For example make sure your soil that you plant in is enriched with good quality compost to naturally fertilize your soil, this will make your soil that much more healthy and able to compete against many fungal diseases.

Also as previously mentioned remove all garden waste including weeds, including leaves and branches from and around your garden, slugs snails and other creepy crawlies will love nothing better to make a home here, and they usually also like to feast on your plants and vegetables. If you plan on growing under glass this summer ensure your cold frame or glass house is clean at all times.

People are often amazed at how clean my glass house is and it’s simply because the cleaner the area is the less chance of disease spreading. When watering your glass house limit this to either early morning or late at night away from direct sunlight to prevent both disease and the burning of foliage from the sun. Many of these tips are simple to implement and natural by avoiding chemical sprays.

Some insects such as ladybugs are excellent protectors of the garden as their favourite snack is Aphids, make sure to plant some daisies in your garden, where you find daisies you will also find ladybugs. Finally make sure not to throw out your soapy water from the wash basin, instead throw this over your vegetable plants, if there are any insects which can cause harm to your vegetables they will fall straight off.

Happy Gardening!

04 May 2016

Early summer

We have had a mixed spring with plenty of rain, and perhaps cooler than usual conditions. This dampish weather can cause blackspot to occur on roses. This problem can be controlled by using ‘rose spray’ after a period of rain purchase from your local garden centre. Some shrubs are already losing their flowers, shrubs such as flowering currants and forsythia for example will benefit from a good prune now, especially if they are becoming misshapen.
If you are a keen gardener you may have grown from seed this winter, and are now seeing the fruits of your labour, carefully prick out these seedlings to grow on in larger pots or grow out in the final flowering position.

When pricking out seedlings make sure to hold the leaves and never the stem to avoid causing damage. A thought to remember though when you are doing this make sure that you consider that although the days are getting warmer the nights are still quite chilly and frost can cause havoc on new plants, consider purchasing a roll of horticultural fleece from your local garden centre or even covering with some old newspaper will do.