Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland




Growth Improves each day

WITH all the humid weather we've been having lately, the growth of plants in the garden and countryside is improving day by day. As we enter May we see the last of the decidious trees such as ash and oak come into leaf.

Summer drought can cause quite a considerable amount of damage to the lawn. By spiking the lawn well in May it will enable rain or hose water to penetrate deeply to the roots.

Between June to September regulate the height of mower blades according to the weather. During dry, hot weather raise the blades and cut without the box, which will allow the cuttings to act as a mulch.

As we approach the warmer season outdoor living will become more practical. Lighting outdoors has both a practical and decorative effect, with a wide range of types to choose from.

If you have never given outdoor lighting a thought, think again. Safety is one of the most important considerations. For instance, you or your visitors need to be able to find their way to the front or back door on a dark night. Lighting is especially important if there are steps or obstacles, such as low walls or overhanging shrubs.

Pleasure is another factor to be taken into consideration. With outside lighting you can continue to use the garden and patio well after nightfall.

You can also illuminate features around the garden such as trees, ornaments, ponds and rockeries. Try low voltage light sets or solar powered lights, which are ideal for lighting up paths and steps.

Tender perennials growing under glass such as agryanthemums, pelargoniums, nepeta and lamiums can provide cuttings now if you need to increase your numbers for planting in baskets and window boxes. Young fuchsia and geranium plants should have their growing tips pinched out to promote bushy growth. Use the growing tips you pinched out for cuttings.

This is the last opportunity for clearing away all of last year's dead tops and seed heads. This will allow all the herbacious plants in the borders to develop. '