RTÉ One, Friday, 8.30pm

Programme 2

Gardener: Peter Dowdall

Well both Kitty and myself had a good productive week in the gardens in Fota this week. I was concentrating on getting the remainder of my hard landscaping finished, namely the circular patio (rotunda), the path, setts around the lawn area and the last aspect of the hard landscaping which was a raised bed incorporating a seat around the patio.

I decided on Liscannor stone to build the raised bed. I like the colour and texture of this stone and it creates a lovely contrast with the Indian Sandstone of the rotunda. I created two raised beds using this stone with a pillar on the edge of each on which I will lay my slab of Liscannor for the seat.

I also planted the hedge around my garden, I decided to use Fagus sylvatica (Beech) mixed with Ilex ‘Golden King’ (Female Holly) and Ilex ‘Silver Queen’ (Male Holly). Beech is probably my favourite hedge of all, I love the way that it changes with the seasons and the Holly will provide some evergreen interest and brighten it up during the winter along with providing a valuable food source for the birds. I planted the plants using Seamungus which is a mixture of chicken manure and seaweed and really is great at helping plants to get established when you plant them. I also used a peat free compost around the roots when planting. I find that this retains the water much better than a peat based compost and thus is ideal when planting a new hedge. I cannot stress enough how much water is needed during the first year after planting a hedge.

The other job I got done during this week was preparing the lawn area. This is quite a straightforward job, but like most things, the better the preparation, the better the long term results. The area was rotovated earlier and then all I had to do was remove any stones and rake the soil surface level At that stage I applied some Blade Runner fertiliser which will help the roots of the turf get established in the soil. I decided to use ready grown turf as opposed to seed as it means I have a lawn instantly instead of waiting a number of weeks and with a lawn that size it’s not going to break the bank. The turf worked out at €3.50 per square metre and I used about 20 square metres so in total the lawn cost me about €80 (€70 for the turf and €10 for the Blade Runner fertiliser.)

It really is the time in the garden that everything happens before your eyes, so I will need to stay on top of all the jobs at the moment.

Watch Peter's Video on Fixing Your Lawn....


The Gardeners