Radio-1-Autumn-25-08-2016-1

Paraic Horkan on Radio 1 – Preparing for Autumn in the Garden

Although the end of summer is here, it is not the end of the gardening season; this is the time to be in the garden preparing for autumn and winter.Paraic Horkan
Gardening expert Paraic Horkan and Keelin talk about what we should be doing now for a great garden throughout the winter and into the spring. Here are some of the top questions from listeners.

What can I plant for instant colour in my garden now?
Plants like arum lilies, cyclamen or dwarf oriental lilies are coming into flower and are all excellent additions to add colour to your garden right now.

Should I plant spring flowering bulbs now?
But autumn can also be thought of as the start of the planting season. Paraic explains that if you look at nature at the moment the plants are starting to seed now and are getting ready to create new plants in the following few months. We can copy this in our garden, by planting spring bulbs, such as daffodils & tulips, for beautiful colourful blooms in the spring.

Paraic explains that if you look at nature at the moment the plants are starting to seed now and are getting ready to create new plants in the following few months. We can copy this in our garden, by planting spring bulbs, such as daffodils & tulips, for beautiful colourful blooms in the spring.

What can I plant now to get my children interested in gardening?
You can plant autumn flowering bulbs now and this is a great way to get children growing. He suggests planting autumn bulbs like scented hyacinths or paper whites. Plant 3 bulbs in the pot and place it outdoors. Then after for 6-8 weeks bring indoors and they will come into flower in the middle of November until Christmas. This is a great activity for teachers to teach kids circle of life.

Can I plant seeds now too?
This is also a great time for planting seed, similar to bulbs you can plant them now to flower in the spring and summer of next year. A lot of perennial plants, wildflower and meadow grass can be sown from seed outdoors. They will grow from now and will come into flower in spring or summer.

Is September a good time for planting a fruit tree?
Yes, it is very a good time to plant fruit trees. They can be planted in garden soil, tub or containers. At the moment there is a good level of moisture in the soil and the growth is good at this time of the year too. Paraic recommends dwarf apple trees, pear trees or strawberry plants as they will fruit next year.

How do I stop wasp damage?
There has been good growth this summer. There is an abundance of berries for example rowan trees and holly trees. Also fruiting trees have produced a lot of fruit this summer, such as apples, pears, plums, gooseberries, blackcurrants and blueberries. But you may be starting to see some wasp damage on your fruit, especially around early apples and plums. You need to keep an eye on your fruiting plants and pick any ripe fruit as soon as possible or remove any damaged fruits to stop them attracting more wasps to your tree.

How do I stop my apples being damaged by birds?
Paraic recommends a light anti bird netting, but also you should pick the apples as soon as possible to prevent the damage. Simply grasp the apple with your hand and then twist. If it comes free the apple is ripe and should be picked and stores. If you prefer your apples a little riper, you apple will continue to ripen after it has been picked.

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