Grass Problems And Lawn Repair

daisy lawn problem

I’ve a few case examples in mind as I type these notes and all lawns are in the process of being treated as we speak. That said if you live in Ireland or the UK and own any form of a grass patch that is not perfect, then a tenner says you’ll find your dilemma and solution noted here.

Go grab yourself a cuppa and come back, this is a long one. Also any hassles or queries, leave me a comment below or drop me a line. I’ll pop my details in at the end of the post.

Back to it, the names noted below are not the persons real name and their stories go as follows:

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Garden Advice: Annuals Weeds, Watering, 5 Products, Tree Versus Ivy and Planters

You asked the questions. These are the answers. 😉 Different I’ll grant you that. But, maybe, a little for everyone. Thoughts and comments ? See below.

1. My onion pots, chickweed and feeding my Hens

I grow a fair amount of my vegetables in pots. Not all, mainly those that are legume or allium. That doesn’t however stop any weed from wanting to grow there or anywhere else. What I will say is I generally find the tough perennial weeds are smart enough to make life easy for themselves and grow where they will get very less competition ie. in tough soil. In this case the fine sieved compost grew nothing but shallow rooting chickweed. Food for thought and food for my hens.

2. How much should you water your plant ?

Anthony McGuinness asked how much water he should be giving his plant per week. I answered Anthony in audio.

How much water to give your plant @anthonymcg (mp3)

3. Ivy plant versus Cordyline Tree

I spoke in depth about dealing with Ivy last week. In this case it is over growing a Cordyline australis and I show with what and how I dealt with the extremely vigorous weed.

4. My Tips on 5 Gardening Products

Bernie Goldbach wanted some – Advice on Gardening Products. Once again audio was easier to answer Bernie in this case. I chose 5 garden products to advise Bernie on.

5 Gardening Product Tips for @topgold (mp3)

5. The Cheapest Herb Garden Planters Ever

And finally…… left over cavity blocks.

More information, queries or questions ?

  • Donegan Landscaping on Facebook
  • email:
  • call Peter on: 0876594688
  • or leave a comment below


I tend to speak out loud when I’m typing. Like a sort of narrated muttering reeling inside my head for approximately eight hundred plus words that you read every week. The relevance of me explaining that as a sort of pre -requisite…?

This week has been a tough physical week in the great outdoors.

When I typed that line first, a second and finally a third time, I pressed the backspace key and deleted it over and again before I actually allowed it to work without my emphasis on a grunging groan when it came to the word great.

The voice, my voice continues to reverberate around in my head….

What’s great about it Peter…?

I’m asking myself. I’m plundering into the keyboard, present tense, almost poking it in the chest as if to provoke it into a hypothetical gardeners bar room brawl.

You’ve been bottom up and head down all week in a garden….

I’ve paused….

Garden ? That’s what you call it ? Great ? You are sir officially off your rocker.

Let me break this down for you and give a little perspective on the week just passed. My Client and good friend I’m proud to say, Michael has greeted me every morning with the words

Have you found the lion and the tiger yet…. ?

That is how bad the weeds were. Were. Past tense. In short and not to be insulting in any way to a client and its owner, but the snow and prolonged sub zero temperatures had come and have thank you very much, gone. Like relations that came to visit at Christmas time and stayed for two weeks, without you knowing that they had intended to do so all along, they’ve been gone a while, now. But it seems a lot of clients and garden owners had and still have held off to see if their plants would make a come back. I am glad to say some of them did. But not all.

The problem with the waiting bit, in this garden anyway, is that the strong survived and also prevailed. But in that there’s lies a greater problem because the plants that were able to start growing when the temperatures became most suitable for them to do so were the nettles, brambles and thistles. The ugly bruts.

I’m churning up the volume on the stereo now, Creedance Clearwater Revival playing full gusto and Fortunate Son’s throttle kicking in nicely. But I realise whilst doing so that the aforementioned are the bastards of the gardening world. With survival techniques like you would not believe.

When you think about it, they survived minus eighteen celsius and within a matter of weeks not reaching the teens, managed to take over an entire garden.

The solution is quite simple. One, a flame thrower. Or to achieve the same or similar effect a barrel full of chemical sprayed right over it. Then hope that the prettier survive, somehow. Not very logic in reality.

The wiser choice, the one I chose to take…. down on my hands and knees. In whatever way one wishes to look at it, it is not pretty. In the words of Kermit the Frog, it’s not easy being green, but it is the only viable solution.

I pulled the weeds away from the plants or at least where I thought there was a plant. I took the unwanted guests down in a little in height making sure to leave some leaves on them. Chemical was always going to be used. It was more a case of how and what.

I remember the days of old, weeding for my Grandmother. Taking up clods of scutch grass, beating it off a wall and knocking the soil out of it. Green as it is, I also realise that all I did was ensure that I was going to be pulling teeth from rock hard soil for ever and ever and getting nowhere extremely quickly. Not this time.

With a knapsack full of organic weedkiller, I took on the rest of the chore. And that, future tense, is the end of that…. but like the end of the Lonely Hearts Club Band, Sargeant Pepper gets a reprieve and before you know it the fairy lights are back on the tree and you can see that side of the family sitting on the couch, the tin of Roses on the floor and only the toffee ones left.

How long will they stay for this time….?

You ask yourself.

From a plants perspective and your garden. My advice and pardon the cliché’d pun, but lets call a spade a spade… If they are dead, they are dead and just like in Casablanca, they are not coming back. It is also tipping into June and just like you, I can’t be teary eyed for the rest of the year. I need to move on. I have to move. My garden deserves better. I deserve better. In the words of Sam Cooke [1963] It’s been a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come.

Hard toil it may well be, but there are great gardeners available in this country who will take on the more hardened tasks for you, advise you and help you with a better choice of plant to fit that space. Funny how hindsight becomes greater with time. What’s even funnier, is the amount of garden owners who tell me….

I never like them palm trees in the first place.

Last weeks back break out of the way, it all becomes so very worthwhile when I get to go plant shopping next week. The great outdoors. I wouldn’t swap it for the world.

the big tidy…

some call it ‘garden hygiene’ but, it is simply, really, a good darned clean up combined with a close up inspection to leave you in good stead for next year. It is what my Mother used to do before Christmas in the house – the big winter/ spring clean – so to speak.

It is absolutely necessary. If the weather has made you neglect the garden for a while [?] then here’s a little helping hand for what should be done… [off the top of my head…]

  • cutting back of smaller growing plants [ieg lavanders] to prevent soft woody
  • growth which may rot
  • cutting back of all hedging type [ieg large fuchsia] excepy for those that may
  • spring flower [ieg forsythia]
  • division of herbaceous planting and replanting
  • fertilising [with a relevant SRF] of trees and shrubs
  • cleaning/ removal to the base of all planting of a seasons debris
  • a reshaping of all lawn edgings
  • the adjustment of all tree strappings/stakes
  • the removal of dead wood and growth
  • the removal and/ or treatment of all weeds
  • laying of bark mulch after spraying
  • the cutting of all hedges
  • planting of bulbs [now!]
  • planning for all tree and hedge planting and the ordering of [now!]
  • painting/ treatment of all fences, sheds, furniture and timbers
  • birds feeders and seed – go gettem – almost there!
  • fork that lawn

Once again, these are just some of the chores/ tasks that should be completed. The list is pretty much that, that will be done to my own garden. If there is anything more I should add… then just let me know; and if I can help in anyway – just pick up the telephone and I’ll be happy to have a chat with you!

why wont my plant grow there…

where does it want to grow..?

where does it want to grow..?

Sometimes the question to be asked *is* where does the plant want to grow? A weed is defined as a plant growing in a place where it is not wanted. Sometimes i get S.O.S. emergency calls asking why a plant isn’t doing so well here, or why [ieg] Marys plant grows better for her in her garden.

To be very honest – sometimes when a plant has ideal conditions in a nursery and it moves to another place/ home of not so ideal conditions it may just faulter and may then decide to come back. It may also decide that it just does not want to grow there*. The only option can often be to take a court case against Mother Nature…

With that in mind, it was quite unusual to see these plants [weeds?] growing in such an odd place [en route to the visitor centre coffee shop in the phoenix park]. I doubt that if the reference books are checked that the ideal conditions for the growing of these species noted are those of solid rock and mortar.

But then, I think i’ve been here before with regard to lawns

* note: plants are not concrete blocks