Weeding to make room for new growth

Posted on: 8th March, 2016

Category: Home, Garden & Environment

Contributor: Ruby Harte

Ruby Harte (a.k.a Mags Riordan) has been a professional florist for over 12 years and has completed a course in horticulture and worked in garden centres, wholesale nurseries, and private gardens. Ruby runs a family owned nursery, Bumble Bee Farm in Castledonovan, Drimoleague and is deeply concerned about the protection and cultivation of nature and its habitats.

The signs of spring are everywhere — sparrows mating, frogs’ spawn, robins pairing up and the early chorus gathering momentum. I do welcome the stretch in the mornings and evenings but it’s crept up all of a sudden. Although we have made some inroads in to implementing the much-needed changes here on the farm, we need to up the ante and really crack on because it’s March…how did that happen so fast!

Plants and bulbs are almost ready but we still need to replace plastic on two of our tunnels damaged in the last series of storms. I’m not panicking just yet but give me another two weeks and I’ll be tearing my hair out if they are not covered, (praying for another bout of warm weather with no wind). Poor Steve is exhausted digging trenches; when we put them up first we had plenty of room and a machine do it for us — no such luck now — there’s barely room for the wheelbarrow in some places.

It’s amazing what a few days of sunshine can do — so many things have started sprouting, seedlings are getting strong but the over-wintered plugs have really put on growth, especially the poppies. While they aren’t longlasting cut flowers, they are fantastic for bridal bouquets and arrangements and I really love the airy papery feel they give.

As I’m writing this, we are in a waning moon phase, which is a really good time for bulb work. I’ve made the most of it and am determined not to make the same mistake as last year. Dahlias are divided and potted up ensuring an early and abundant valuable crop. I know some of you think they are too much work having to dig them up and overwinter the tubers but there’s very little to rival their long flowering period and diversity in flower colour and form, for me they are simply stunning and I can’t get enough of them. I’ll have to do a feature on them later in the season. Lily bulbs have been moved and divided in an attempt to keep one step ahead of the vile lily beetle; at least she is easy to see and very slow moving.

Next week we will be in the third quarter and weeding will be done with a vengeance. I don’t like to waste any of this wonderful nutrition, so we turn compost bags inside out, fill them with the weeds and cover them so they will rot down beautifully providing a vital soil conditioner with valuable balanced natural trace elements. We don’t feed plants artificially; we prefer to feed the soil, which in turn feeds our flowers. Because it’s done in an organic way, our soil is living and healthy. Sadly artificial fertilisers only feed the crop and the trade off is dead soil. We then use grass clippings as a mulch, which rots down over the season and also helps our heavy clay acidic soil. Fresh clippings are brilliant on the surface, as they will take nitrogen from the air to rot down but should not be added to a planting hole fresh, as this takes the nitrogen from the soil and causes a deficiency for that growing season.

Following on from our January article, we have compiled a list of suitable plants, shrubs and perennials, which will help absorb moisture — it will be available on our website blog.

Our wedding season starts this weekend and also sees our return to Organico in Bantry and Swanton’s in Mahon Point Farmers Market just in time for Mother’s Day. We will have a wonderful selection of scented narcissus and hyacinth mixes.

Easter will see our return to Schull Country Market with our bouquets and a lovely selection of herbs and flowering perennial plants. We will have a limited amount of our favourite plants available for sale at Schull market and during the summer only here on the farm. We will have our annual open day but with all the changes, it will probably be a bit later this year, possibly in July.

We hope you all get out to enjoy the fine weather whenever it appears and get some much-needed sunshine Vitamin D.

Wishing all you mums a Happy Mother’s Day on March 6 and all of you who celebrate Easter, enjoy! Just for good measure, with St Patrick’s Day in the middle of March it is going to be a busy month. Have fun.

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13th April, 2018  ·  

An evening on the 'Balance of Feeling Good' by Clonakilty Gaa Club Health and Wellbeing Committee followed by Guest Speaker, Cork GAA Chairperson, Tracey Kennedy.

Paddy Duggan, former Principal of Clonakilty Community College, will be MC on the night, facilitating a discussion on getting the balance of feeling good.
Contributors on the night are Colm Sheehy, Conor Murray, David Lowney, Denis Murphy, Eoghan Deasy, Sean McEvoy, Thomas Clancy and Treasa O'Brien.
Topics covered will range from awareness and responsibility to yourself and others to the benefits of exercise and nutrition.
The evening is suitable for everyone aged 16 and over from players, members of the community, parents of young and adolescent children, etc.

This is a public event, free of charge and everyone is invited and very welcome to attend.
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12th April, 2018  ·  

The Cast of Harold Pinter’s ‘No Man’s Land’ are on their way to the All-Ireland finals, having won 26 awards, including five best of Festivals, at the Amateur Drama League of Ireland annual three act festivals. The play ‘No Man’s Land, by Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize Winning Author is directed by Jennifer Williams.

One last opportunity to view this multi award winning play at Skibbereen Town Hall, on Saturday 14th of April, before the finals.

Having met by chance in a pub, two aging writers continue a long night of drinking and reminiscing in a stately London home. As the night wears on, their conversation wanders through memories long forgotten or invented. Is their encounter real or a delusion? Are they strangers or do they share a past history? When unexpected guests intrude upon an increasingly surreal evening, the atmosphere quickly changes from friendly to threatening, and the encounter becomes a game of survival.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by emailing schulldramagroup@gmail.com

For more information please contact hilary.mccarthy6@gmail.com
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