April in the garden

Posted on: 4th April, 2016

Category: Home, Garden & Environment

Contributor: John Hosford

The time is gone forward to summertime, which gives us an extra hour of gardening time in the evening, something to be taken advantage of to get the garden into shape.

Feed trees, shrubs and hedging with a good tree and shrub fertiliser. Apply the fertiliser on a calm day or better still on a calm day when rain is forecast, which will water and wash in the fertiliser. Be careful not to get the fertiliser on to the leaves. Ericaceous trees and shrubs are best fed with an ericaceous fertiliser, containing iron and other micronutrients, which will improve both the flowering and growing of your ericaceous, lime-hating plants. Shrubs that will benefit include Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Skimmias, Sarcococcas, Camellias, Pieris, Kalmias, Embothriums and Blueberries. Roses should now be fed with a proprietary rose fertilizer, spread it evenly around the bush without getting it on the foliage.

Citrus should now be fed frequently with a summer formulation of citrus feed. Houseplants should now be fed regulary with a liquid feed. Some specialised houseplants such as Cacti, African violets, Streptocarpus and Fuchsias are best fed with specialised specific fertiliser suited to the particular plant. Keep a vigilant eye on watering as the brighter, warmer, sunnier days will mean the plants will require more frequent watering.

Lawn Care in April

Feeding and weeding can commence at the end of April, as the temperature warms up and growth is active. Moss needs control this month too especially after such a wet winter. Sow a new lawn this month.

Fruit

Protect fruit blossom from late frosts. Early-flowering plants may need some protection from frost by covering with Hessian sacking, frost protection fleece. Cover before nightfall. Ensure however the protective material is removed in the morning to allow maximum access to pollinating insects.

Ventilate protected strawberries on sunny days. If growth is poor apply a light dressing of nitrogen.

Get spring-planted strawberries in the ground by mid-April. Use weed control fabric or black polythene if planting in the open ground. Put this in place prior to planting and make incisions for the plants with a sharp scissors or knife, ensuring the fabric/polythene is well-anchored.

Complete pruning of gooseberries and red and white currants. Hand-pollinate wall-trained peaches and nectarines with an artist’s brush. Finish planting of new raspberry canes. Cut back the newly planted canes.

Sweet Peas

Well-established Sweet Peas may be planted out into well-prepared well-dug soil. Sweet Peas will succeed best in rich soil, which has had generous amounts of well-rotten farmyard or stable manure added to the soil. Fork in a good organic fertiliser prior to planting. Protect against slugs and mice. If hard frosts occur, have some protection readily accessible such as frost protection fleece. Water well in dry weather, using lukewarm water if the weather is cold. The plants will produce more side shoots if pinched back to two sets of leaves. Put in a robust support up to a height of 7-8 feet high (210-240cm).

Dahlias and Begonias

Dahlia and Begonia tubers may be brought back into growth by starting them off indoors in a greenhouse, sunroom or conservatory. Plant in a pot or box with moistened compost and gradually ease them back into growth. They may then be planted into their summer flowering quarters at the end of May when all risk of frost is over. They should be well hardened off before planting out.

The Greenhouse

April is the traditional month for planting tomatoes in the greenhouse. There is a wide choice of varieties available. Your choice of varieties will be determined by flavour, disease resistance, cropping, fruit size and colour.

Varieties: Moneymaker — traditional, conventional, popular red-fruited variety, the most well-known variety.

Shirley — remains one of the most popular varieties for cultivating in cold or slightly heated greenhouses. It produces heavy crops of excellent quality fruit. It has good disease resistance against fusarium, tobacco mosaic virus and cladosporium. It will reach a height of 200cm (79”) and a spread of 50cm (20”).

Gardener’s Delight — cherry-sized tomatoes with a delicious flavour. It is a reliable and heavy cropper. It may also be grown outdoors in a sunny sheltered position. Don’t however plant outdoors until late May when all risk of frost is over.

Tumbling Tom — ideal variety for a hanging basket where it will produce a prolific crop of sweetly flavoured delicious tomatoes.

Ferline — A good heavy cropping, disease-resistant variety, which may also be grown outdoors.

Vegetables

Sow or plant lettuce and cabbage outdoors. Protect against pigeons and rabbits.

Hanging Baskets and Window Boxes

Clean out and discard old plants from last year’s containers. Clean thoroughly. Ensure drainage holes are open. If you have indoor space, plant up for the summer display. Summer containers may be displayed outdoors from the end of May. Use fresh compost when planting with the addition of a slow-release fertilser.

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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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17th February, 2018  ·  

Check out this new upbeat indie-folk track Edges, released today from Inni-K with a video by Myles O'Reilly. Inni-K will be performing at Levis’, Ballydehob on Saturday 24th February, with support from Sam Clague.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1jc2tlH75Q
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16th February, 2018  ·  

Vikings talk in Clonakilty!

“The Viking Gold and Silver Hoards from County Cork” is the topic of the next Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage lecture on Thursday 22nd at the Parish Centre starting at 8pm.

It will be delivered by John Sheehan, senior lecturer in the Archaeology Department, UCC and a former member of the Heritage Council and the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.

The Vikings were an important presence in Ireland for over two centuries. As well as inflicting great terror they were also responsible for introducing urbanism and new economic systems to the country.

In this talk the focus will be on the economy, looking at the gold and silver hoards that were buried in Co. Cork. It will also explore how these hoards were discovered, what happened to them, and where they are now!
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15th February, 2018  ·  

Bandon Toastmasters is a club that helps people overcome Glossophobia, a fear of public speaking. The club is holding a night of inspirational and motivational speakers on February 22 that is a must for anybody wishing to overcome this phobia.
Tickets can be purchased either on the club's facebook page or through eventbrite.

www.eventbrite.ie/e/bandon-toastmasters-presents-ignite-your-potential-tickets-41871052445?aff=es2
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13th February, 2018  ·  

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