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Gardening Advice Blog

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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Spring Tips

by Jess Kelly | Apr 13, 2018


Now is the time to inject some instant colour to brighten and cheer up your pots and borders with bedding plants following the wet weather we’ve had the past few months.
Here are my top 5 things to do in the garden this month!

1. Plant care in April

  • Remove any frost damaged shoots from tender plants like, Choisya ternata (Mexican organe blossom)
  • Start to spray roses with a recommended fungicide like Roseclear to control black spot and greenfly.
  • April is a good time to carry out pruning on Evergreen shrubs that may have suffered frost damage such as Hebes if the young growing tips are scorched by frost.

2. Control slugs and snails

  • The temperature should slowly start to creep upwards in the coming weeks and encourage new growth which is irresistible to slugs and snails, so be sure to take some action now and put slug products down or a barrier around any tender new shoots.

3. Start your own veg patch

  • Try some salad and veg this year. There are plants such as lettuce and cabbage are available now that are ready to plant or start some from seed. Even a small patch will produce lots of fresh produce. Pick 5 veg and give them a try1

4. Love your lawn

  • On established lawns the first cut of the season can be done soon, provided the soil is not too wet. Where moss is a problem Moss Killers can be applied. If the soil is dry enough it is an ideal time to start preparing new areas for sowing in April. 

5. Improve your soil and Mulch borders

  • Dig plenty of compost into heavy clay soils, this will encourage lots of beneficial worms and insects who convert all that organic matter for your plants. This will improve your plant growth and the drainage within your soil.
  • The best way to improve the soil in established borders is to mulch the surface with a 3cm-layer of organic matter, such as garden compost. It will also help to suppress weeds and trap moisture in the soil. Don’t forget to top dress containers with fresh compost and give them a slow release feed.
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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

Jean Colleran, Head Horticulturist, Glanbia CountryLife, Ashford

I grew up on a farm where we always had a veg garden, so you could say that horticulture and agriculture is in the blood! I studied Landscape Horticulture in UCD and worked in a garden centre while I was studying in college. After graduating I worked in Landscape Architecture for three years before returning to the Garden Centre trade. Being a horticulturalist is a great job, you are surrounded by nature every day and there is always something to be done. Meeting customers and giving the advice is very rewarding especially when they report back positive results. I love growing my own fruit and veg and I’m always trying new varieties and ways of growing. The seasons are always changing and while the weather is challenging in Ireland, I believe we grow the best produce in the world.