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Paraic Horkan on Radio 1 – 10/09/15

This week on the Today with Sean O’Rourke Show gardening expert Paraic talks to Sean O’Rourke about what to do this autumn in the garden.

seedling photoIt is currently great gardening weather and nearly time to start enjoying the fruits of autumn. The conditions at the moment are ideal for sowing seeds and placing them to germinate on a warm windowsill.

Paraic recommends sowing sweet pea, wildflower seeds, peas, vegetables or any hardy seed mix. The weather conditions in Ireland are usually mild so these can be planted straight out when they are ready or can be kept in a cool greenhouse over the winter. He also suggests sowing a new lawn now or repairing any bare patches. Sow the grass seed and in about 4-6 weeks they will start to germinate.

This is also an excellent time of year to take cuttings from your plants. Paraic suggests taking a cutting of about pencil thickness, stripping off all the flowers and leaves until it is just a bear stem and then dip the end in some rooting powder before planting. Plant these in compost mixed perlite or sand for some grit.

geraniums photo

Geraniums, hydrangeas, fuchsia, penstemons and others can all be propagated by  taking small  cuttings now. Like the seeds these can be planted out or kept in a cool  greenhouse over the  winter. If you still have not planted your Christmas potatoes,  Paraic recommends planting them  right now and you still might get a crop of  potatoes just in time for the festive season.

A great plant for colour throughout the winter is the Helleborus or the Christmas rose. But there are plenty of excellent options such as witch hazel, sweetbox or colourful ornamental peppers/capsicums. Currently the Chinese Lantern is in flower since the late summer and the fruits are full of colour which is perfect for colour in containers or window boxes.

They usually stay in colour until Christmas and will grow every year. There is great colour available now in your local garden centre, why not pop in and see what you can plant now for a colourful garden during the winter.

daffodil photo

This is also an excellent time for planting your spring bulbs. But if they are from last year it is probably better to get new bulbs to guarantee beautiful  blooms in the spring. One of Paraic’s favourites is the February Gold daffodil bulbs which gives amazing dwarf blooms in the early February. Plant all your spring bulbs like daffodilstulips and bluebells now and they will develop over the winter for colourful pots and containers in spring.

If you have not decided where to plant these in your garden, you can plant them in pots and containers now then plant them out in the garden in the future. Paraic recommends leaving your apples another few weeks before picking them. An important rule to remember is if put them in your hand and if comes away then it is ripe.

The wet summer has really encouraged moss in lawns and on hard surface areas of your garden. This is also a good time of year to treat moss on your paths, patios or driveways. Paraic recommends using PAC on your hard surface areas to remove any stubborn moss.

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