RTÉ One, Friday, 8.30pm

Programme 4

Gardener: Peter Dowdall

Kitty fell off the higher moral ground this week when I came in to see a veritable construction crew complete with high-vis jackets working on building a patio in her garden. It’s actually lovely and I think money well spent but I couldn’t let her know that after the hard time she gave me over my hard landscaping features.

Meanwhile I was working this week with Jim O’Connor of O’Connor Nurseries in Wexford. Jim is a bedding plant expert and grows the finest of plants for hanging baskets, window boxes and borders up at his nursery in Wexford. I had him down to help me with a small patch next to my patio that I want to use for seasonal interest planting and so we planted some Pansies, Geraniums and Bidens to create a beautiful display during the summer.

This week I also started mulching my beds. Now the word mulch has become synonymous with bark, however there are many materials that you can use for mulching. In the area that I have earmarked for fruit and veg growing in my garden I first put down the weed block and after that I used Glenview slate as a mulch. I think this creates a lovely contrast with the gold colour of the Indian Sandstone paving. It is also a nice area to place my potted fruit and veg plants.

Over in the other part of my garden around my more ornamental beds I used bark mulch however I didn’t use any weed block material as I will want to plant seasonal bulbs and bedding plants in these beds and I couldn’t be dealing with the hassle of cutting the fabric everywhere to allow these plants to emerge. In the end I would be left with more holes than fabric. So instead I just made sure I put on the bark mulch thick enough. A covering of about 3” should be enough to cut out light and oxygen to the soil surface and this ensure that no weeds will germinate.

Another very important job that I atttended to this week is the purchasing of compost bins. I settled on a compost tumbler for garden waste, I prefer these to the type that just sit there as waste breaks down quicker when you agitate or ‘tumble’ the pile. I then put in a Wormery for kitchen waste. It really is remarkable how quickly the worms will turn this waste into worm casts a hugely valuable resource for your garden soil.

So things are moving on apace in the gardens and already my jobs for next week are mounting up.

Watch Peter and Colin's video on how to plant fragrant David Austin Roses...


The Gardeners