While we have enjoyed some lovely weather in recent times, we have also had our share of rain! The upside of this of course is that plants are thriving and lawns are lovely and green. Trees, shrubs and hedging plants have all put on lots of growth due to the mild temperatures and high levels of moisture.
Another wonderful variety is a red hydrangea called Red Baron. It has a wonderful deep pink, bordering on red, colour. It is a nice and easy to grow variety. Another great variety of hydrangea is the Black Steel Zambia, it has a wonderful blue lacecap flowers and simply amazing black stems.
Pruning is done in early spring. You prune back some of the old flowering wood. It is a bit late for this now as they are just coming into flower.
Right now is also a great time for harvesting from the garden. All fruiting plants, such as berries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, apples, pears, and plums are thriving! We had a wonderful May which meant lots of bees were out pollinating plants so we should all be seeing a nice large harvest!
Apples are starting to grow and swell at the moment! We’ve gone through the ‘June-drop’, this is where the time of year where apples abort some of their fruit and thin out the fruit naturally. This time of year you’re really just allowing the fruit to develop, feeding it as mentioned above, but you also need to do some summer pruning. This is where you shorten back a lot of the whippy growth that has spread since March. So if you notice on your apple trees two or three foot of new growth this should be cut back to within 6 inches of the original growth.
Carrot root fly is a pest of carrots; it flies in to the carrots, navigating by the scent of the carrots. When you thin your carrots, the carrot scent is thrown into the air and the root flies hone in on this. They will then lay their eggs and when the larvae hatch they attack the roots of the carrots. There is an organic treatment called SuperNemos, that is developed here in Ireland. It is natural parasitic that you simply add through the watering can onto your carrot crop and it will kill off the developing maggots. July is the month to control carrot root fly. If you use a treatment now, it is also beneficial against leatherjackets, and even catterpillars on cabbage.
How to Prevent & Treat Potato Blight6th June 2017
Controlling Slugs & Snails in the Garden20th April 2016
Kill Carrot Root Fly Organically31st March 2016
Osmo Moss Remover8th March 2016
July and early August is the time to be aware of Potato Blight as blight generally comes with this humid but moist weather. The first symptoms you will notice is the foliage will start to turn yellow, particularly the older leaves. You will also notice little black spots appearing on the underside of the leaf and the plant will begin to look sickly and loose its vigor. But prevention is always the best cure, and I would advise putting on a preventative treatment now. Bayer Systemic Blight Treatment is a great choice as it’s systemic in nature which means it enters into the system of the potato crop, so as the plant is producing new growth it’s fully protected. The great thing about Bayer is that it also have curative properties, so if you have a small infestation of blight it should be able to cure it. The best practice would be to apply a treatment now, and another treatment in two to three weeks time.
Temperatures are perfect right now for sowing seeds. Particularly, autumn winter and spring vegetables. Kale, Swiss Chard, all the winter cabbages, spring cauliflowers can all be sown now. Even pea plants can be sown now, they will germinate very quickly and you will be able to use them by the end of Autumn. Also all the herb varieties can be sown now to give you a crop in late August/September.