Weekly Blogs

Gardening tips and advice

Welcome to “Gardening Tips and Advice” on Boyletoday.com, the official Ardcarne Garden Centre gardening column. Every Wednesday, the experts in your local Ardcarne Garden Centre will provide relevant and topical items of interest exclusively here on Boyletoday.com to help you get the best from your garden.

Great to do now:

Job of the week – Feed your lawn

Lawns need to be fertilised each year to keep them in good health and to minimise the proliferation of weeds and moss. We highly recommend Humber Palmers lawn fertiliser, which is also used by professional sportsground keepers. The nutrients are released slowly over a few months, keeping your lawn lush and green. Use a lawn fertiliser spreader for even application.


Prune spring flowering shrubs like forsythia and spiraca

Trim back over vigorous shoots of clematis montana after flowering

Feed existing hedges with chicken manure pellets to boost new growth

Protect young plants against slug and snail damage . Also protect tender plants from frost with horticultural fleece.


Fruit & Veg:

Hollow out moats around thirsty plants like courgettes to hold water

Harvest the last forced rhubarb stems before letting them rest for a year

Pinch out broad bean tips to deter blackfly

There is still time to plant potatoes especially main crop varieties



Start removing side shoots on tomato plants at about 5cm long

Beging hardening off tender seedlings to get them used to outdoor conditions

Install supports for tomatoes, melons and cucumbers ready for planting


Around the garden:

Smear petroleum jelly around the rims of pots and troughs to keep off slugs

Poke prickly prunings of holly and pyracantha among young plants to keep cats off

Hoe regularly on dry days slicing weeds off just below the soil surface


Focus on…….Climbers

Climbing plants can really add an extra dimension to a garden and provide unforgettable highlights right throughout the year. Very soon it will be almost impossible to miss the exuberant Clematis montana as it erupts into a mass of sugar pink flowers. Later on in the summer the deliciously fragrant honeysuckles and jasmine step into the spotlight and who can fail to be impressed with Virginia creeper in autumn as it puts on its crimson cloak? Even in deepest winter there are climbers such as ivies and winter jasmine that can bring a splash of much welcome colour to walls.


How to plant

If you fancy covering up some wall space in the garden, then there are some points to consider before choosing the plants. Ideally you should always plant climbers into the ground, rather than in pots. This is because permanent climbers need a lot of maintenance in pots and they will eventually become pot-bound, whatever the size of the container. Re-potting a climber that is already stuck onto a wall is not a job to relish!


Choosing the right climbers

The soil beside walls can often be poor so improve the soil before planting with plenty of compost or Westland Farmyard Manure. Now you’re ready for the exciting part – choosing the plants. Firstly, establish whether the wall or fence you have is sunny or shady as this will affect your choice. The selection of climbers for sunny walls is huge, but don’t worry if your wall is very dark as ivies (especially the brightly variegated types) and the climbing hydrangea will both thrive. Both of these climbers are also self-clinging, which means you don’t have to put up any trellis or wires. The Virginia creeper is also self-clinging and a good tip with these climbers is to cut them back by about half when planting as it encourages them to produce plenty of new shoots which cling easily to the wall.


Colourful choices

The clematis family is a great favourite with our customers here at Ardcarne Garden Centre and its colourful flowers can appear from early spring right until autumn, depending on variety. All the large-flowered clematis, such as ‘Nelly Moser’ and ‘Jackmanii’ are excellent on a sunny wall, but make sure their roots remain cool and moist during the summer. The late summer flowering Clematis viticella varieties have smaller flowers but these are produced in large numbers so the effect is fantastic. This group of clematis is very easy to grow and also prune – just cut all the stems down to nearly ground level in late spring.


Fragrant climbers

Scented climbers are always popular and that’s hardly surprising if you can enjoy wafts of their delicious perfume right beside a doorway. Honeysuckles, jasmine, wisteria and of course many climbing roses will all bring plenty of scent to your vertical spaces. For something a little unusual you could also plant the Star Jasmine, correctly known as the tongue-twisting Trachelospermum jasminoides. Its neat evergreen leaves become covered in sprays of white jasmine-like flowers in summer which are drenched in the most exotic fragrance.Even if you don’t have plenty of walls to cover with climbers, you can always put up an arch or pergola for them to scramble over. Whatever kind of vertical space you have you’ll find an excellent range of climbers to choose from at Ardcarne Garden Centre.

For more information contact:

Ardcarne Garden Centre
Boyle, Tel: 07196 67091
Roscommon Town: Tel: 09066 27700
Email: [email protected]

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