Autumn Gardening Classes recommence on September 5 and 7th. 10 - 1 pm .

What to do Now in August first month in  Autumn

  1. Garden centres are now stocking up with a magical collections of Spring bulbs. Make a list, look at catalogues, photos, wish lists and decide what you would like and where you will plant them, ground containers etc. Tulips are the last bulbs to plant.Also as the garden is still at its height opportunity to plant so that as the leaves die back after flowering they can be hidden.
  2. Cut your box headging, lay some sheeting at base to make it easier to collect trimmings and compost after.Also better to be narrow on top so as to allow sun at base of hedge.Best to cut in dull dry conditions.
  3. Tip prune fruit trees, harvested fruit, if you don't have time to make jam or chutneys now freeze until you have time. Allow some broad beans and peas to ripen to produce next years seed.
  4. Still time to sow carrot seeds.Plant leeks where you had potatoes growing and plant purple sprouting broccoli, which is probably the best veg to grow as it rewards you so well.If you can also perpetual spinach is a fantastic crop to have for winter harvesting. Ordinary spinach is very prone to bolting.
  5. Keep on top of weeds with your Osslating Hoe ( have some in stock).Hoeing in the morning will dry out soil in the evening the opposite.
  6. Keep watering. Watering tomatoes plants use a bucket and water when the soil  is dry but keep a schedule every 3 or 4 days. If the plants are in grow bags or small pots they may need more frequent watering. Also remember to pinch out the axil shuts to encourage vigour in main stems.vigour
  7. Continue dead heading for continuous flowering of annuals such as sweet pea, cosmos and dahlias when the start flowering.Mark the colours of sweet pea and cosmos which will provide the seed you might like to save and any otters plants in the garden which will provide seed for saving later on in the season.
  8. Take cuttings of your favourite plants. Use a mix of compost and grit erring on the grit.Keep well watered and out of direct sunlight.If leaves on cuttings are very large reduce or remove to slow down evaporation.Try to take cuttings that are about the size of a pencil and only take from a healthy plant.Place around the sides of a pot preferably a pre water soaked terra-cotta, don’t be tempted to place a cutting in the centre. Many cuttings fail so take lots. Best take cuttings in the early morning and place in a plastic bag to help them stay alive.
  9. Start to prepare areas of lawn for re seeding or consider sowing with wild flowers. There are great mixes available, for bees, and butterflies.
  10. Visit other gardens for ideas , including my own !!!! Have a look at the Dublin Garden Trail .

 

 

 

Osslating Hoes back In Stock

Osslating Hoe

Mornington Garden No dig

Botanical Mono Printing and Sketching in the Garden June 2108

Ants in the Garden

Are ants in the garden bad? The good and bad news about ants and plants. Just as a weed is a plant growing in the wrong place, insects in the wrong place are pests. Ants play a very important role in the ecology of your garden for good and for not so good. ... Ants are predator and prey since they eat the eggs of many insects and serve as food for birds, lizards, and other beneficials. Their tunnels aerate the soil and allow water and nutrients to flow directly to the plant roots. They also distribute seeds by storing them in their tunnels. The caterpillars of some butter­fly groups - read more on Blog page

Mornington May 17 2018

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Ants in the Garden

Are Ants Bad for the Garden ?

Are ants in the garden bad?

The good and bad news about ants and plants. Just as a weed is a plant growing in the wrong place, insects in the wrong place are pests.

Ants play a very important role in the ecology of your garden for good and for not so good. …

Ants are predator and prey since they eat the eggs of many insects and serve as food for birds, lizards, and other beneficial. Their tunnels aerate the soil and allow water and nutrients to flow directly to the plant roots. They also distribute seeds by storing them in their tunnels.

The caterpillars of some butter­fly groups produce a sweet substance known as honey­dew to attract protectors. The ants “farm” the caterpillars, sometimes even carrying them into the ant nests to complete development. This interaction can add more butterflies and birds to your garden as they become attracted to the greater insect activity.

The bad news is that ants can protect honeydew-producing, sucking insects that do a great deal of damage, such as aphids — white, green and black fly also scale and mealybug, populations in the garden.

They actually will drag their eggs into their nests and protect them.

Wasps eat aphids. Aphids produce honeydew which ants love.

Controls of ants in your garden

Planting aromatic herbs around the perimeter of your home can also discourage ants. The added benefit is that other insects and vermin are also put off by the aroma. Any mint plant – mint needs to be planted in a container as it will become too common in your garden, also Tansy and Sage can also be effective repellents.

You can reduce their numbers by pouring boiling hot water on their nests. This technique will help you control population numbers at source.

Ants don’t like citrus. Squeeze a citrus fruit in the direction of your plant so that the juice spritzes out. This should help to repel the ants.

  • To make a more heavy-duty citrus repellent, boil the rinds of half a dozen oranges in water for fifteen minutes. Also, you could use citrus drops.
  • Blend the rinds and water in a food processor and pour the mixture around your plants.
  • Make your own soap solution with 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap in 1 pint of warm water  or you could use washing up liquid diluted
  • Spray it on and around your plant. Soaps containing peppermint oil are particularly effective.

Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, chilli powder, coffee grounds, or dried mint tea leaves can be scattered around the base of the plant to deter ants too.

Spray the flying ants ( which are mature mating creatures) with dishwashing soap 

Diluted dishwashing soap is an effective agent against flying ants as it attaches to their bodies and dehydrates them.

Get yourself a spray bottle to catch the little creatures in flight and mix two generous squirts of dishwashing liquid with water. This is also effective on aphids on your plants. My mother would have used the water from the basin of washing up water to do this.

Using pesticides can damage beneficial insects and also the balance in your garden is really important to allow nature to do its job.