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RTÉ One, Friday, 8.30pm

Programme 9

Gardener: Peter Dowdall

The highest maintenance plant of all is the lawn. It needs to be cut every week and fed, weeded, aerated, scarified and then if we have a drought it needs to be watered. I set my lawn in March using ready grown sods. It is now time to give it a good feed.

  • I used Blade Runner, which is an organic mix of Seaweed and Chicken Manure and I find it a great source of Nitrogen to keep the lawn a good healthy green.
  • Don't mow your lawn for about a week before feeding and for about a week after.
  • Apply at 35g per square metre.
  • Next week I will mow the lawn and then scarify the lawn.

Part of one of my flower beds is being used as a footpath by all of us working on the gardens and so I have decided not to try and stop it but to give in to this.

  • I have removed the Lavender and Fuchsia plants from the area.
  • I put down the weed block membrane, this will allow water through but stop weeds from coming up.
  • You could use any mulch for this purpose but I decided to use a new Crumb Rubber product which is an Irish product made from recycled tyres. I used a light brown/orange colour for this little bit of a footpath and I mulched the rest of the bed in a dark brown colour.
  • The difference in colours makes it very obvious which part ids to be used as a path.

Aine Lalor called to the gardens this week and she helped me turn part of my ‘grow your own’ area into an area for winter interest, ideally suited to a small garden such as her own. Plants used were:
Sedum Purple Emperor
Carex Prairie Fire
Tracheleospermum jasminoides
Pyracantha Orange Charmer
Heuchera Purple Oak

We have had a number of people asking us how to obscure something like an oil tank in the garden, so this week I took it upon myself to mask an ugly gas tank in the grounds of Fota. This is how we did it:

  • Fit timber posts in concret at 6' spacings
  • Attach trellis panels to posts
  • Plant a variety of climbing plants to the posts
  • Water well

The Gardeners