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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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  ·  

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