A new year offers new opportunities in the garden

dogwood

Posted on: 20th January, 2015

Category: Home, Garden & Environment

Contributor: West Cork People

Welcome to a new gardening year, new plans for the garden and new opportunities.

First off, re-cycle your Christmas tree at Cork County Council Civic Amenity sites. You will find full details of their location together with opening hours on the Cork County Council website. www.corkcoco.ie/civicamenitysites. Do also consider using your Christmas tree as a support for Sweet Pea, Thunbergia or Peas.

Ventilate the greenhouse on fine days but close it up again before temperatures drop in the afternoon. Protect vulnerable plants on very cold frosty days with frost protection fleece. If snow does arrive, remove it immediately from the greenhouse to prevent exclusion of light. Ensure heaters are working — a thermostatically controlled heater is a worthwhile purchase. Regularly pick over plants for dead and diseased leaves and remove on a regular basis to maximize good health and minimize spread of disease.

Clean the greenhouse thoroughly, clearing all old debris and ensuring all nooks, crannies and corners are thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed. Disinfect used pots, trays, containers, using a citrox-based disinfectant once all the cleaning has been done.

Water all pot plants carefully during the month of January. Use luke warm water and water from the base. Don’t allow any plant to sit more than 30 minutes in water.

At the end of the 30-minute period any excessive water remaining should be discarded.

Indoor forced bulbs that have finished flowering after their Christmas display such as Hyacinths or Narcissi maybe moved outdoors to a sheltered spot. Ensure the longevity of Poinsettias by keeping in a bright, warm draught-free place. If you have Hyacinths or Narcissi still to flower these are best kept in a cool, bright room. Keeping these cool and bright will result in more long lasting blooms and will keep them  sturdy.

FRUIT TREES

When weather and soil conditions permit continue with planting of new fruit trees and bushes, choosing sunny, well-sheltered positions.

Blackcurrants  

Blackcurrants are grown mainly for use in pies and puddings and are excellent for jam and jelly making. They are very easy to grow. A blackcurrant will eventually reach a height of 5 feet (150cm) with a similar spread. Expect a blackcurrant to produce 10-15lbs of fruit (4.5-6.8kg). Plant in an organic rich soil with shelter from the wind. Full sun is preferable but they will tolerate light shade. Prune blackcurrants between November and March. Commence pruning two years after planting, cutting out weak branches.

From three to four years onwards remove some old wood each year, cutting out about 25 to 33 per cent of the fruited branches.

In spring, make sure the bushes have not been lifted by frost — tread down and firm securely in place if this has happened. Keep weeds under control. Hoe with great care —keep the blade near the surface to avoid damaging the shallow rooting system. Mulching in April is strongly recommended to suppress weeds and feed the bushes. Spread some Growmore around the bushes in March prior to mulching.

Gooseberries 

Gooseberries are easy to grow and can have a certain level of forgiveness if not pruned for a few years! (Even though I won’t be advocating their neglect). Pruning in winter and summer is necessary to give an abundant crop, which can be easily accessed for picking as well as keeping growth and fruit off the ground. Plant gooseberries when soil and weather conditions permit. Space at 5 feet (1.5m) apart. Be careful in the spring against Gooseberry Sawfly; these pale green, caterpillar like larvae cause rapid and severe defoliation of plants, often reducing the bush to bare stems prior to harvest time. Damage commences in mid-late spring and can continue until summer as they can produce three generations of the pest a year. Birds can damage the developing buds in winter while others are attracted to the ripening fruit in summer.

Apples and Pears

Continue winter pruning of apples and pears, treating canker infected branches with an appropriate product such as Medo.

 

Early Sowings of Vegetables

• Sow early sowings of broad beans. Protect with a cold greenhouse, cold frame or cloches.

• Sow early crops of lettuce, cabbages, cauliflowers, onions and spinach. Order seed potatoes and put sprouting/chitting for early crops in mild areas or under protection.

 

Emerging Bulbs 

Protect emerging bulbs such as Tulips, Crocus and Narcissi against slug and snail damage, treating accordingly if they are active. Watch too for vermin attacking or stealing bulbous plants or emerging seedlings. Look out for early Snowdrops!

 

Winter Colour 

Take note of winter flowering shrubs such as Hamamellis (witch hazel), Daphne bholua Jacqueline Postil, winter flowering heathers, Skimmias, early Camellias, Mahonias, Garrya elliptica, Cornus (dogwoods) for colourful and dramatic winter colour from their dramatic gold and red winter bark colours.

Take time to visit some gardens with plants of winter interest.  A happy and successful New Year to everyone!

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Bandon Walled Town Festival in looking for new ideas!
Would you like to get involved in the 2018 Festival?If you yourself would like to be involved in big or small way
email bandonwalledtown@gmail.com
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
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26th September, 2017  ·  

Dúchas Clonakilty's first lecture for the Autumn promises to be of huge interest to all: Emerging from the Shadow of Tom Crean – The Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Thursday September 28th 8.30pm.

Lecture by Aileen Crean O’Brien & Bill Sheppard

In May 2016, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed the James Caird lifeboat on the rocky isle of South Georgia. The navigation of that small boat, across 1500 km through icy winds and towering seas, is regarded as the greatest ever feat of navigation. They then trekked across the forbidding and inhospitable mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind on Elephant Island after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

One hundred years later, Crean’s grandaughter, Aileen Crean O’Brien, set off with her sons and partner to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. Join Aileen and Bill to hear of their adventures (and misadventures) on the Southern Ocean and the island of South Georgia.
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7th September, 2017  ·  

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