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Welcome to the CountryLife Gardening Blog, written by our horticulturist to provide you with the best tips & advice for all things gardening!  We have been shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Company Category. 

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Springing into Action

by Malachy - Horticulturist CountryLife Dungarvan | Feb 13, 2017
Get your garden ready

While there is still the odd cold morning lingering around, it is really full steam ahead with Spring in the garden. Well this seems to be the case in the CountryLife Garden Centre anyway. It has been a busy few days in the garden centre with customers coming in to stock up on the different things they need to have so they are ready for the very busy growing season ahead.

Preparation is key on the agenda for a lot of the customers that I have been taking to this week. A lot  have been coming in to stock up on new plastic pots and fresh compost to use for propagation. While others were in to buy new gardening tools to replace ones that have seen their day. I always tell people to give their tools a quick check after they have been locked up for the winter to make sure they are still in good condition. 

A good few gardeners are thinking of their own comfort too for the months ahead and have been stocking up on kneeling pads. As one woman said to me as she picked one up for herself ‘It is going to see a lot of action in the coming weeks as I get the weeds under control’. And I have to agree kneeling pads are a god send for when you are pulling weeds or even when you are down in the vegetable patch sowing seeds. 

While it may seem a bit early to be thinking of growing potatoes (given the ground is still very wet) an awful lot of customers have been coming in to the garden centre here to buy their early and main crop seed potatoes. No one actually intends to plant them in the ground until closer to St Patrick’s Day (the traditional time to plant potatoes out from) but they want to be ready. Everyone is looking to buy their potatoes now so that they can sprout them on windowsills over the coming weeks before they plant them out in the ground. 

The popular varieties of seed potatoes have been flying out the door ever since we got them in to the store. In fact with some of the very popular varieties, like Queen potatoes, we have already had to re-order them because they were selling so fast. So if you are after a particular variety of potato to grow this year I would make sure to buy them early to avoid disappointment.  

Summer flowering bulbs are proving very popular at the moment too with lots of gardeners looking to buy them now and start them growing under cover so that they can be planted out in April or May for an early flush of colour in the garden. Dahlia bulbs are always snapped up quickly at this time of year because buying the bulbs works out cheaper than buying potted versions later in the summer. Many gardeners also find that growing them from bulbs yourself gives you much stronger plants because they have acclimatise to the garden before they start flower. As well as dahlias gladioli, lilies, begonias and crocosmia bulbs are good to stock up on now to plant later in the season.

Written by Malachy


Here to help! - remember if you have any questions feel free to pop into one of our garden centres or you can contact us on our Facebook and Twitter pages and email us at: hello@countrylife.ie

Malachy's Bio 
I have been gardening since I was 5 years old when my mother gave me a part of our garden as my own. I have studied horticulture in the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin and was a winner in the young horticulturist of the year competition. I have worked in Several plant nurseries and garden centers such as Mount Congreve in Co. Waterford. My special interests are plant propagation and Cacti!

We were shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Company Category.