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20 Garden Tips by Peter Donegan

The following are a series of garden advice tips that I popped out on twitter last weekend.

It seems that they proved quite popular for the short stop/ time short and not owners of a million acres of land out there and it was suggested that I pop them a little more formally here.

As you will gather there is no particular order to them, there are 20 in total and none should take you more than a few minutes leading to about an hour.

Happy gardening and enjoy,

Some garden advice tips for the heatwave bank holiday:

1)If you’re buying plants to plants today/ fill the wheelie bin full of water/ drop them in it/ wait until they sink/ plant when the sun goes down

2) if you don’t plant them today. Drop in the wheelie bin anyway/ place in the shade until you get round to it.

3) If you’re getting bark mulch. The large chip frizzles in the heat. Instead get the fine chip/ wet the soil surface first/ then apply/ it’ll stick to it.

4) For plant fertliser: get a slow release (granular) version – looks like a small yellow M&M – less chance of you overdosing them/ a tea spoon by the base of the plant. Not necessarily for new plants – it’s in the compost already

5) Small garden spaces require a bright backdrop. Masonry paint to the timber (fencing/ walls). Sheds always dark (matt black) – so they don’t, become the focal point.

6) If you’ve a bad lawn/ bald patches – 1st cut the “grass”/ long handled fork – deep as you can, spike it/ fill holes with compost; sweeping brush it in/ scatter seed and a granular fertilser – use a spreader if poss. You’re essentially replicating this.

7) a water butt is cheaper than a plumber and easy to install. An old blog post/ ignore the first bit. NB. You’ll need a drill & one of these bits 👇.

8) Statistically – I’ve removed more timber decking/ decks in the last 2 years than I’ve installed in the last 17 years in business – and – planted more “hedges” in the last 18 months than the last 17 years. This may prove beneficial when selecting

9) it’s been a tough year for plants temperatures in mind/ not all trees in leaf & 1st week in May. Bedding plants (possibly forced) not worth the money – instead (an option) plant strawberries w/ chives as the centre piece – the gift that keeps on giving/ you’ll have em next yr

10) for the neglectful gardener…. dwarf grasses are extremely resilient & great for small spaces/ container / balcony planting. This list is also Irish grown & available nationwide.

11) Re trees – Betula (birch) jacquemontii are ridiculously priced (or forced/ imported) – you may blame building architects. 3 plum trees or pear 👇 should set you back less than 50 quid. The latter in flower now – plant triangular 1.5 m apart

12) re tools – recommended investment. (no affiliation/ what I only use).

  1. secateurs/ lopping shears – Felco
  2. drills – DeWalt
  3. powerhose Karcher
  4. shovel (I don’t own a spade) long handle only – True Temper Tools
  5. fertilser & spreader Scotts Lawn Care

13) on that note…. avoid petrol mowers if poss/ if you must get a (specifically only) mulching mower or – one of these boys. Cost about 50 quid. Like cycling v much back in fashion.

14) for tree pruning – DONT top them – the auxins/ growth hormones go mad/ same principal as thickening up a hedge; but at a height. Instead, crown raise or/ drop the lower limbs (to increase light in)/ think telegraph pole. An eg of mine.

15) If you only own a windowledge – no garden ?

  1. Grow your avocado
  2. dried peas (soak first)
  3. popcorn kernels
  4. basil (you’ll have to buy these)
  5. skip all of that and buy a cactus
  6. plant a garlic clove – twice its dept below the surface.

16) grow lettuce or rocket seeds. Simplest instructional video ever. Yoghurt pots / gutter pipe hung from the side of your shed/ balcony if you’re tight on space.

17) A very quick project ? garden furniture: (have this, 15 years) give it a new lease of life. NB: requires creme brûlée blow torch. If buying new, buy hardwood; expensive/ worth it.

18) re red in garden design (see previous re bench) – we’ve been using it in gardens for centuries. NB: doesn’t work unless, the backdrop is dull/ matt green.

19) if ur gonna re-use old pots (and do), sterilse first w/ milton (as for baby bottles). In seeds, if you dont they det ‘damping off’- essentially they germinate, then keel over & die. Also, use fresh compost. ie. good husbandry.

20) bulb planting: Twice it’s depth below soil level; & throw it in anyway you like – sideway/ upside down et cetera.

21) if you’ve any Q’s ask away. might add to this, if I think of any ; we’ll see. enjoy the sunshine. Xx

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