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[00:00:01]

That pot Kenny show on Newstalk. Am now gardening time and party korkin horticulturalists, keen gardener, graduate of the National Botanic Gardens, he of the Hawke and Garden Centre family is on the line.

[00:00:16]

Good morning. A very good morning to you. Now you've got lots of ideas for kids in school and so on as they go back to school, I wonder if you'd mind if we park those because we'll do them next week with a little more time, because we've got that people want answering. So I'll plow straight into them.

[00:00:35]

Which daffodil bulbs are for planting in a lawn? That's from Hugh in Cork.

[00:00:41]

Well, one thing to remember, we're putting bulbs into your lawn, obviously coming back into the spring in March and April. You need to cut your lawn. So try to plant bulbs that are going to flower really early in the season. And for daffodils, there are four really nice varieties. There's one called Menal Part, which is a two ton variety. It's scented it flowers early in the season. You've also beautiful variety that flowers in February called February Cold Tacitus and Jetfighter.

[00:01:07]

They're all dwarf dafter varieties that start flowering early February right through until about mid March. But remember, also, you can plant other bulbs like snowdrops that will flower at Christmas winter aconite that will flower before Christmas Mouskouri, which are all dwarf as well. So there's lots of short stemmed bulbs flowering from early Christmas right through until mid-March. And with all of the spring flowering bulbs, you need to leave them four to six weeks to die back before you cut them back with the lawn mower.

[00:01:38]

I planted a Portuguese laurel hedge in April.

[00:01:40]

Some of the plants have some leaves at the top going yellow, but ones beside them are thriving and growing. Great. Any idea why some are going yellow? We have a drip line water system on them, so they're all evenly watered. I put fertiliser on them as well, some with yellow leaves. It's like they've been eaten down a small bit. I have rabbits in the garden, not as pets would they be eating them down. So you've got local plants side by side, one yellow, the other thriving.

[00:02:05]

Yeah, it sounds like a bit of Downey mildew past, which is a fungal disease. And particularly this year, we're seeing a lot of downy mildew on Portuguese law. It's a yellowing of the leaves. It's a fungal disease. And you could use something like fungus clear, which is a fungicide. You mix it up into Washington or a sprayer applied to the leaves that are affected and that help to address the problem. But with this kind of very humid, damp weather, Portuguese law in particular, and many local varieties are seeing that downy mildew insect and it kind of sickens the plant.

[00:02:34]

So there's no need to feed a little bit of fungus clear. And that should rectify the problem. The other thing with the drip irrigation system, you do be careful that they're not being over water as well because it has been quite wet and there's no need to wash them at this time of year. So switch that off.

[00:02:50]

What apple trees can grow in pots eating varieties as my children love apples? And also what other fruits can I plant now? This from Thomas. Well, it's a great time of year for planting fruit in general, but if you were to plant an arbitrary in pots and containers, the variety to choose are the Coronets family. There are a range of Irish grown family apple trees that only grow in height about five or six feet. So they're perfect for planting in pots and containers and will always stay at miniature and come in.

[00:03:20]

Many different varieties like James Greven and Star Katie is lovely. Red Variety are my favorite is one called Red Windsor, but to look for the coronate family. So there are a range of dwarf apple trees perfect for pots of container's or indeed for planting hours in your garden soil that never grow any higher than five or six feet and their fruit in the first year from planting parts of you. The listener plants them today. They were fruit next summer. And I always if you're planting apple trees in pots and containers, surround them with strawberries and you get the best of both worlds.

[00:03:51]

The strawberries in the early summer and the apple trees then later on late summer and early autumn. And any of the varieties I mentioned are all good eating varieties. So great. I planted tomato seed about eight weeks ago.

[00:04:05]

It's growing along nicely. But in the last week, the plants have gone a yellow colour.

[00:04:08]

And the reason for this, well, yellowing in tomatoes can be caused by a number of factors under overwatering, which certainly cause yellowing of the foliage, but also magnesium deficiency. And magnesium generally shows up as yellowing between the veins of the leaves of the plants. So the plants is kind of sickly yellow in colour. The veins are still quite green, but the outer edges of the leaves are quite yellow. So regular feeding with a good tomato feed every fortnight will arrest that.

[00:04:37]

But to be careful with the watering as well, once a week, a good heavy watering for tomato plants, if they're in pots of containers, are in border soil and feed them every fortnight with a good tomato feed. And that should arrest the yellowing. It's also the time of year if people have tomatoes in the garden to start to remove the lower branches, the lower leaves to allow the sunlight in to ripen the fruit as well. That's important.

[00:05:00]

Mary Ryan says only one plum on my tree this year. Would you know why? Well, Mary, make sure you go and pick up some trees. Don't necessarily fruit for about five or six years after planting, so they tend to be shy to coming into fruition. I mentioned apple trees that will come in the first year after planting, but plums can take up to seven years to fruit. So that's the first thing to bear in mind. The second thing is that plum trees flower very early in the season.

[00:05:28]

And if the weather is quite cold, which it can be in late March, early April, plums can be quite a fruit, particularly if you get a cold spring. And the other thing to remember is the plums need cross pollination. So unless you've got to sell fertile variety like Victoria, you do need to have two or three varieties of plums, different varieties planted together to get that cross pollination. So it depends if it's a young tree, given a little bit of time, it will settle down to fruiting.

[00:05:54]

And this spring, some of the a early flowering plum trees were caught out with that cold snap we had back in April. So I think it possibly that's the cause of it this year. A good idea is to feed them a potash now, and that would hope to build them up for next season. James is like another fruit problem.

[00:06:12]

I caught my apple tree way back last January and now the apples are smaller. Is that normal? And will they grow bigger next year? Yeah, they will grow bigger, but the remember that if you prune in wintertime, that stimulates lots of new growth, so you tend to heavy pruning during the winter period, encourages new growth in plants. So it tends to sacrifice the fruit for the for the for the physical new growth. Appletree should be pruned actually during the summer to encourage fruiting in the plant.

[00:06:41]

So this is actually the time of year to shorten back any of that laggy growth that's on apple trees and that helps to stimulate the flower buds and hence to encourage fruiting for next year. So a little bit of pruning now would be advisable for James just to shorten the heads of the apple trees back, even though the leaves are still on the plant, short in the back by two thirds and again put on the sultan of Potash onto the plants. And that will help to develop bigger and better fruit for next summer.

[00:07:09]

Carrot plants doing well, but recently the top of some are turning a brownish, dried looking colour also. Is it too late to plant beetroot? Planted some earlier in the season, but I've used nearly all of it up.

[00:07:21]

Oh, very good. Well, what Bijoux is generally Soane from seapower up to the end of June and early July. Now there is a variety called Bolgar Biehl LDI or it's an F1 variety. It's actually an orange colored Bijoux. And it does very, very well if Saun at this time of year for late autumn winter use. So that's Baldor. It's an F1 variety from certain seeds and that can be sold at this time of year. And remember, with these Rouche, it's not just the roots.

[00:07:50]

The leaves are edible as well. It tastes like like Swiss chard, like leaf biche. And they're absolutely lovely and solid. So you can grow them for a leafy crop as well as the fruits. But look for that variety Bolgar with the carrots and the browning on the top part. That's a little bit of blight damage on carrots at this time of year. There's no need to spray them. I would just harvest the crop now and use what's usable and store any healthy carrots.

[00:08:15]

Without that browning on the top, any healthy stems can be fruits can be stored in a dark frost free location.

[00:08:22]

OK, a quick one to end. Which trees are for the best evergreen screening to block a neighbouring house. I'm looking for something eight to nine metres in height, which is very handy.

[00:08:32]

Well, you can go. It isn't easy to. Well, some of the Scots pine would be lovely. Pass anything in the pine family tend to do very well and of course are evergreen and we grow quite tall. If you want a nice, attractive evergreen tree, you could consider the strawberry tree Arbutus Unido, which we grow at 20 25 feet in height. It retains its foliage. It's got beautiful white flowers and red berries like strawberries. So it's a very, very attractive plant and there's great examples of them in the National Botanic Gardens if people want to go in and see them.

[00:09:03]

A beautiful evergreen tree called the Strawberry Tree Paregoric.

[00:09:06]

And so many questions for you, but not enough time for Cauchon. Thank you very much.