Why Gardening Can Keep You FitHighlights from The Pat Kenny Show
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- 3 Mar 2021
Paraic Horkan answers listeners gardening queries and also tell us why your garden can keep you fit.
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The part Kenny show on news talk with Marter private network during current restrictions. Don't ignore your health concerns. Our expert team is ready to help. Porter Cauchon, a member of the Hawk and Garden Centre Family Porter, good morning and welcome. Good morning to you. Now, you have been busy and you are going to demonstrate to us how much exercise you can get simply by doing your garden.
Absolutely. I had a rare day off on Monday and took good advantage of the good weather. And believe it or not, over the day's gardening, I built up 38 and a half thousand steps on my garment. So I did simple things like lawn care. This is the time of year when people should be trimming the lawn. So my lawn mower to second trim of the year, it also got some of the zero for the most control. And I said the lawn as well.
So the lawn is actually two days later, but it's actually looking great. And believe it or not, I burned 12000 steps simply doing that task. I also did some vegetable planting, so some salad, some onion sets, garlic were planted in raised beds and borders and some plastic containers. And again, that burnt 8000 steps pass.
And we control I'm a big believer in using the garden whole, particularly the wolf garden hose. I find that very effective. It's a German made hole that, as you glided across the surface of the soil, will just lift those weeds. And if people tackle the weeds at this time of year in early March, they don't become a problem later on in the summer. So a great way to get exercise is to go out and weed the boarders at this time of year.
And an easy way to do that is simply with a garden whole. And the last job I did part was my hostas. So I have quite a wide range of hostas. They haven't come into Bud just yet. So if you want to divide plants and propagate them, this is a really good time, particularly herbaceous border plants like hostas, asters, sunny, all those plants to produce lots of underground stems can be divided and simply moved around your garden at this time of year.
And of course, it's a great time for planting summer flowering bulbs. So things like gladioli, the lovely, a blue agapanthus, I planted some NERA bulbs as well. I got those into the garden soil as well. So 38000 steps pass within the day. Fantastic.
And I see your exhaust of every muscle aching. Anyway, let's get on to the questions. Add this one here. I have recurring mildew on Flock's in my garden every year.
Is there any remedy at all or should I simply take them out while flocks are the one of those lovely old herbaceous border plants? But the old variety certainly suffer from powdery mildew. No, you can use fungus sprays, but to be honest, Pat, my advice would be to replace them with some of the modern varieties. And there's some really good varieties that were bred in the Netherlands that are actually resistant to powdery mildew. So varieties like Korrell Cream is a lovely cerise pink variety.
I have it in my own garden. It's a really good variety. Grape lollipop is another one that's really easy to grow or a really deep pink one is called bubblegum pink. So look for those blight resistant or powdery mildew resistant varieties of flock's. They're easy to grow. They flower the whole summer and they flower every year. So they're brilliant. And they're one of the plants that I divided over the over the on Monday.
Can you see, Peracha, whether the hedge cotting ban includes garden hedges or just hedgerows along the roadside and between fields?
Yeah, well, the barn is really relates to farming and hedgerows. And in the countryside, garden hedges are excluded for that. But Parch people should be very careful coming into March. Ideally, you want to check the hedges before you start trimming them. Check out the birds, using them to build their nests. And if they need them well enough lawn, you can prune them later on in the autumn period so the ban doesn't apply to garden hedges.
But at the same time, we asked people to be respectful. And today's Wildlife Day. So of all days, look after the garden songbirds.
I have a tree that has leaves that have black spots on them. They're falling off the tree as well. This tree is in the shade. I've removed as many marked leaves as I can. I've used a fungal spray. This happened last year, but it's worse this year. What's going on?
Yeah, that's Tara spot on Holly part. It's a fungal disease. It's little black spots that come on the leaves. They eventually go yellow and drop off the plant. And generally when plants, holly plants in particular, when they're under stress, when they're in the competition of other plants are in deep shade. You get this tar spotting on the leaf. To be honest, the fungal treatment isn't really going to address the problem. I would move that Holly plant and this is a good time of year actually to transplant it.
So it's not too big. If it's five or six feet tall, dig it up and transplant it to a brighter location. So it's more the stress factors of where it's growing that's causing the leaf problems. And and fungicides will only prevent the you know, the only mask, the disease that really won't get rid of it long term. So move the plant.
I have a cherry blossom tree. I may need to cut off bottom branches before it blooms. What's the best time to cut back these branches after? Larry, so leave all cherries, cherries, if you cut them to already past, they bleed, the sap will exude from the wound. So my advice is always to cut cherries after flowering. So around the end of April, the first week of May, when they're actively growing, you cut them to seal the wound very quickly and it stops that loss of sap in the plant and also it stops any problems with diseases.
Another one, I have some pittosporum trees which have grown too tall in my back garden. When is the best time to cut them back? Looking to take around six feet off the height, that would be about a third of their total height. That's from Peter.
Peter. No problem whatsoever. Pittosporum are one of these plants that actually respond very well to pruning back and indeed make it beautiful. Hey, I'm amazed he's not used more. So there's no problem taking a third of the upright growth of the plant, maybe trimming some of the sides as well. Take six or eight inches off the sides of the plant and give them a good feed. And the plant will respond by pushing on some new growth and getting nice and strong and and really pushing.
I would be grateful for your advice. I've noticed tiny black flies around my kitchen over the last few months, which I've now discovered seem to be coming from one of my house plants. It's a Clivia. A friend gave it to me from a cottage last year. How can I safely get rid of these flies? The plant is not over water. If anything, it's probably neglected as from Nieve.
Well, what you're seeing, there are some small fruit flies on the compost. Now you can actually get a mashing that will sit on the top of the compost and stop the flies from getting access to the compost. That's a simple safest way or the best organic way to do it. So a small little not that fits on the top of the compost. It just sits above the compost and that prevents the fruit flies. Getting onto the compost almost finished a self-propelled Cestoni.
There's a house close to us. We're thinking of planting a small number of strategically placed trees to create some privacy. What is the latest point of the year to plant and what should we plant? Also, when to plant grass seed?
OK, wet grass. The temperatures are perfect at the moment, so get out there and start sowing the lawn. Seed and soil conditions are ideal as well in relation to the trees. If Tony is looking maybe for something evergreen and he has some space, I think Eucalyptus would be a beautiful tree to plant here. It's evergreen that lovely silver leaves and eucalyptus responds to a little bit of pruning. If you need to do that at any stage. Evergreen Oak would also be really nice.
A lovely evergreen tree is one called Cottone Astra Connubial, which flowers and berries and retains its green leaves. Twelve months the year. There are three really, really good trees, deciduous trees. You could consider things like Home Beam, which again is a lovely tree. Weiping, which is a native Irish tree liquid amber is a gorgeous tree and probably one of my favourite trees, which again I have my own garden is the bachelor jack into the Himalayan birch.
And they're really, really good because you can plant them quite close together and it gives fantastic shelter and privacy from neighbouring windows.
And time for one more maybe, Collette says, what's the best way of permanently removing Ivy from a gravelled bed and up a garden wall? Is there a weed killer that will do this?
Yeah, you can use the every week or so something like the Weed Free 360 would be effective or speak, which is a brushwood killer. It's a little early yet. Wait for the Ivy to come into growth. So I would leave it to April. And when the Ivy is producing lots of new leaves, you can apply either of those treatments and that eradicate that for you.
Very good party, Cauchon. Thank you very much for joining us. And that's all we have time for. All of today's show will be available online very soon. Wherever you get your podcast, just search for the upcoming show.