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2023 Gardening Thread



  • Registered Users Posts: 861 ✭✭✭SnowyMuckish

    I like aquilegia ‘granny’s bonnet’ for April/ May they come in lots of different colours. The flowers don’t last very long but are beautiful for a short while. They self-seed easily too! I have the deep coloured ‘William Guinness’ version which contrasts well with the lighter catmint and alliums.

    Edit: it might be Blue Barlow that I have

    Post edited by SnowyMuckish on

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,451 ✭✭✭scarepanda

    Oh thanks a million for that recommendation! I actually have those in the garden in a purple kind of colour. But some other colours would be perfect for the flower bed to bridge the seasons.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,393 ✭✭✭✭Igotadose

    When would you sow aquilegia (and what part of Ireland?) Collected a few seeds (cough, nothing to see here) at a local garden last year... was wondering when to put them out. I guess March.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,858 ✭✭✭deisedude

    Hi everyone, I'm looking to improve the state of the grass on my lawn. Lucky to have a good sized lawn but have struggled to get the grass looking lush since we moved in 3 years ago, there was big bare patches but finally have grass growing everywhere just not the healthiest looking. As you can see it's quite yellow probably because used too much fertiliser and clover and moss in patches.

    Any advice appreciated?

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,322 ✭✭✭✭looksee

    Aquilegia do not always come true, but if nothing else you will get the purple ones, probably some other colours but eventually they all revert to purple/pink. They self seed so I have always just let them get on with it, they scatter their seeds in late summer/autumn, they are naturally scarified over winter and will grow (everywhere) the following year, though the best flowering is the year after. You could sow them now, they are very easy and will grow regardless of what you do.

    I rather ruthlessly pulled up so many of them that now I don't have many at all, and I was just thinking I would put some in for this/next summer.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 28,322 ✭✭✭✭looksee

    While you have children playing on it I would encourage the clover, even sow some more short, white clover seed, anything green, keep it mowed it will be fine. I have an area I sowed with clover (between widely spaced paving slabs) and it mows very well. I know this will not be a popular view 😀 When you do come to clear it and sow serious grass it will have improved the soil.

  • Registered Users Posts: 861 ✭✭✭SnowyMuckish

    I got this from seedaholic

    Sowing: Sow February to June or September to October.  

    Seeds can either be sown directly where they are to flower or can be sown into pots and grown on, before transplanting. Avoid the hottest and coldest parts of the year and sow in early spring to early summer or sow in autumn. 

    Sowing Direct: 

    Find a cooler part of the garden that enjoys dappled shade. If you have plenty of seed start by sprinkling seeds straight onto the ground in late-summer. Rake so that the seeds are covered with a small amount of soil. The seeds will germinate by the following spring. 

    Aquilegias will self-sow into choice plants, so only sprinkle the seeds where it will not matter.

    Sowing Indoors: 

    Sow seed on the surface of lightly firmed, seed compost in pots or trays. Cover seed with a light sprinkling of vermiculite. Stand the pot in water until the soil is moist and drain. Either use a plastic lid or seal container inside a polythene bag to keep the moisture in. Keep at 15 to 20°C (59 to 68°F).

    After sowing, do not exclude light as this helps germination. Keep the surface of the compost moist but not waterlogged. Always stand the pots in water: never water on the top of seeds. 

    Expect germination within 2 to 3 weeks. Overwinter September sowings in a cold frame and plant out the following spring. When large enough to handle, transplant seedlings into 7.5cm (3in) pots or trays. Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out after all risk of frost, 30cm (12in) apart.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,422 ✭✭✭macraignil

    I also think having some clover in a lawn is a good thing to keep the grass healthy as it has bacteria associated with the roots that fix nitrogen from the air to give your garden free fertiliser. Also like to see daisies there and find moss just goes away on its own once the grass starts growing more vigorously in the warmer parts of the year. Having a few flowers in the lawn is great for pollinator insects and to me looks nicer than a sterile mono-culture of grass only. To me the lawn photo above just looks like it has got some frost damage from being cut too short when there was some frost overnight and should recover to a better colour on its own once the soil warms up a bit more. Maybe raise the setting on the mower a bit higher.

    Just posted a video of some of the new blooms in the garden here today.

    Happy gardening!

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,322 ✭✭✭✭looksee

    I fully agree with the 'some flowers in the grass' policy. The absolute exception being creeping buttercup, as it does not stay in the grass and invades everywhere. However...some clover, daisies, self heal, medick, scarlet pimpernel, all pretty, green when mowed and flowery otherwise, and mowing does not reduce the flowers, it seems to encourage them - much more interesting for the kids playing rather than flat monoculture, you might as well put down syntho grass. Much as I like plantain 'flowers' and allow a few to flourish in splendid sculptural plants in odd corners, those and docs and dandelions I would be more inclined to weed out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,310 ✭✭✭Deub

    I finally pruned my blackcurrant and redcurrant bushes. Planted 10 cuttings of each to see if I could get an extra plant of each. The redcurrant just started to grow some leaves.

    They were never pruned by the former owner so unfortunately I had to remove big branches which means I will get less fruits this year but it is the price to pay to have a lot of fruits and jam) for years to come.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,563 ✭✭✭MacDanger

    Anyone receive their seed potato order from fruithill yet?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,672 ✭✭✭SouthWesterly

    They were expecting them end of February, early March.

    I emailed this evening to ask

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,563 ✭✭✭MacDanger

    FYI, got this from them yesterday (as part of an email about substituting part of my order):

    "We're due to receive the remaining potatoes this week and will begin packing and shipping them soon"

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,672 ✭✭✭SouthWesterly

    Was out in the garden for the first time this year with the kids.

    Prepped 3 beds for spuds.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,858 ✭✭✭deisedude

    What would be good flowers for March to put in planters. I have two 4 foot planters for the front of the house.

    Want some flowers that will be relatively low maintenence

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,322 ✭✭✭✭looksee

    March is too early for the showy summer annuals. Its getting towards the end of the season for the best of the pansy/violas and cyclamens and the bulbs should have been in since last autumn. So the choice is a bit limited for a couple of months. There will be new viola plants in which will be fine, just avoid the rather straggly looking old ones that are still around.

    You could try some aubretia which is available now, is just beginning to flower and is perennial (it should come back next year, but planters are susceptible to drying out in the summer). They require no maintenance beyond watering, and are pretty tough. Plant along the front of the trough and when the summer plants are ready - not before mid May, even if they are in the shops - fill up with them.

    Make sure there are drainage holes in the troughs, lift them off the ground a little bit to keep the drainage clear (a few bricks or tiles, or you can get little support things to lift them). Put some gravel or similar into the bottom of the trough and fill up - fill generously, it will settle - with John Innes compost as this contains soil which will help keep the compost moist. Water regularly. How much sun does the area get - which way does it face?

  • Registered Users Posts: 752 ✭✭✭OscarMIlde

    There's some nice heather at the moment. You could pair that with primroses in complementary colours. You could transplant the heather somewhere else come May and start adding showier summer plants. It's relatively cheap and looks really pretty.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,858 ✭✭✭deisedude

    Thanks for the advice. Front of the house is facing North East. Get more sun in the back garden than the front of the house where the planters are (I think so anyway!)

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,322 ✭✭✭✭looksee

    You are going to struggle to get flowers in a north-east facing area. My house front also faces north east and I am gradually establishing what will grow there.

    Last year pansies (the small flowered ones) did extremely well for the summer, I fed them and mulched them and they seemed very happy. Heucheras will do pretty well, they are not showy flowers but the leaves make up for it in colour. I have some hellebores that are doing well and are in flower at the moment.

    Pretty much everything else is climbers which are doing fine but would not be suitable for your planter. I had three roses that were supposed to be suitable for shade but one has been moved already, it really didn't like the aspect.

    Ferns would be good. Berginia is good in shade but buy one in flower, some of the colours (shades of pink) can be very feeble. Sarcococca is a small glossy leaved shrub with scented winter flowers that does well in a container. You can get lily of the valley pips at the moment that would flower in shade in the summer - its suggested you plant them in pots and transplant in May to give them a chance to get started. Once established they are vigorous and spreading.

    Don't waste money on things like petunias and other summer annuals, the area will not be sunny enough for them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 861 ✭✭✭SnowyMuckish

    Don’t waste money on shade loving clematis either. I invested a fortune in large planters, soil, perlite, vermiculite, feed, irrigation systems to support 2 I have in north facing pots at my front door. They hardly ever flowered they just don’t seem to thrive in pots! I’ll be planting them out in a better location in garden this year.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 28,322 ✭✭✭✭looksee

    I planted a Winter Beauty clematis in the ground against a post on the north east side of the house and it has grown vigorously and was a lovely show of flowers for the past couple of months since Christmas, they are just dying off now. I have several other clematis in the same border, a pink montana is doing well but hasn't been big enough to produce flowers yet, they are only in 12 months. One particular honeysuckle is also doing very well and had lots of flower last summer, the others have not been in long enough to know yet, though seem to be happy. With the exception of Golden Showers which did reasonably well, the roses didn't do much.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,563 ✭✭✭MacDanger

    Spuds due for delivery today from Fruithill - at this stage, I presume I should start chitting them immediately?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,131 ✭✭✭Stephen_Maturin

    Was planning on putting a new polytunnell up on Saturday and planting sugarsnaps, radishes, lettuce and pak Choi in my outdoor planters…

    Should I put it all off until this cold spell and risk of snow has abated?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,672 ✭✭✭SouthWesterly

    If you're sowing straight into the soil, wait a week

  • Registered Users Posts: 861 ✭✭✭SnowyMuckish

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,393 ✭✭✭✭Igotadose

    Anyone with any experience with the Lidl seaweed fertilizer? I saw bags of for ϵ9.99 as we drove out yesterday. If it's actually rotted seaweed, 40 litres at that price seem like a good deal, that's a lot of wheelbarrows of seaweed hauled up from the beach in my experience.

    Haven't seen it before at our local Lidl and I watch their garden stuff pretty closely, so it might be new. Pink bag, same brand it seems as the rest of their compost varieties.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,310 ✭✭✭Deub

    It seems too good to be true. Have you checked what are the “ingredients “?

    For instance, I see the Fast Grow Seaweed fertiliser is actually a blend of chicken manure and seaweed but I can’t find the ratio.

  • Registered Users Posts: 861 ✭✭✭SnowyMuckish

    Anyone have any experience of standard tree roses? I wonder if they’re hard to maintain. Decided to pull out a border and am thinking of new ideas for it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 35,902 ✭✭✭✭BorneTobyWilde

    Used coffee grounds, what do you make of that as a fertilizer

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,143 ✭✭✭wildwillow

    Used coffee grounds are good for as a fertilizer but you are better adding it to a compost heap rather than directly on the soil.

    I have used them in bulk as a mulch around trees and they do eventually break down.