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Hello! I've got some nice daffodils but they came into bloom just one time...Is it that normal? If so, can you recommend me some good way to store the bulbs for the next year? Thanks!

Posted 30/04/2012 by Diomira, Dundalk

Hello Diomira
Your daffodil bulbs will flower every year. The best two tips I can give you are as follows
1) Always leave the foliage die down completely after flowering. You should also feed them at this stage as this is when the flower builds up the energy to flower the following year.
2) After several years in the ground they need to be lifted and pided into new smaller clumps of bulbs. You will know it is the time to do this as they will be just all foliage and no flowers.
You may lift them out of the ground to store them until the following year but again wait until the foliage has completely died back.
Kind regards
Brendan Howell

Quick question for you green thumbs. Am I right to say that if some of the
leaves of a tomato plant in a Polytunnel starts turning whitish, it's due to
the fact that I have all windows (with netting) open and they are standing in
a draft? Thank you in advance for any help or information.

Posted 30/04/2012 by Celia, on Facebook

Hello Celia
With the current low temperatures and windy conditions it is quite possible that your plants are suffering and are not hardened off. You may need to introduce some heat for the next week or so, especially at night. Night time temperatures have been close to freezing recently and this will stress your plants.
The other possibility is it may be the early signs of blight. In either case remove any affected leaves to promote new growth or maybe start again with new plants.
Kind regards
Brendan Howell


looking for some advice for growing basil, can I use chicken manure pellets? What's the best soil type? Also should I keep it in the coldframe under a cloche made from clingfilm.

Thank you.

Posted 30/04/2012 by Geraldine, Co Clare

Hello Geraldine
Basil has become very popular as a pot plant on window sills and this is an ideal way to grow this herb.
It will grow well also in your cold frame just sow it in its final position as basil does not like to be transplanted. Soil wise it likes a rich fertile free draining soil so yes you can dig in chicken manure pellets.
Make sure the cold frame is in full sun and protect the young seedlings from frost this month.
Kind regards
Brendan Howell
Bord na Móna Horticulturist

Could you recommend what type of hedging could be planted in a very shaded part of my garden. Thank you.

Posted 30/03/2012 by Mags Purcell, Waterford

Hello Mags,
A shady area will require a bit more preparation than an open sunny spot. The ground will need deep digging and make sure to incorporate plenty of good compost. Shady areas tend to dry out in summer and can get waterlogged in the winter.

If you require a dwarf hedge try Buxus sempervirens "Box hedge" which will tolerate shade and you can clip easily to shape. For a taller hedge why not try Ilex aguifolium "Holly" This is available in silver and golden variegated colours and will brighten up a dark shaded spot.

I'm doing a report on a recent visit to Bord na Móna, and was wondering what range of raw materials are used.

Posted 30/03/2012 by Glen Fowler, Dublin

Hello Glen,

Many thanks for your question and we hope you had an enjoyable visit to Bord na Móna.

Our Growise range of composts differ from product to product. Nearly all contain 75% sphagnum Irish moss peat and 25% sustainable green compost which is made up from landscapers waste, by products from the brewing, dairy and forestry industries. This makes a rich compost, great to handle and full of water and nutrient retention properties.

Some of the more specialist ranges include grit, sand, sterilised loam and perlite.

What are the measurements of the tomato growise bag please as I want to have a planting box made and buy two bags to put into it on the patio. Thank you

Posted 29/03/2012 by Roisin Burke, Cork

Hello Roisin, 

The Growise tomato planters are 95cm x 35cm x10cm. This is a great size for 2-3 tomato plants to last well into October.

They will be ideal for your patio as I would imagine it will be a very sunny area. Keep the plants indoors until the end of May/early June as you may still get frost up to then. Once the second flower truss has set - and not until then - begin to liquid feed with liquid tomato fertiliser once a week. If you like you could plant some lettuce plants as fillers while the tomato plants are getting established. There will be plenty of room.

When using the mix "Tubs and Baskets" for planting, how much Osmocote should I use per basket or per 56 ltr bag?

Posted 08/03/2012 by Joe, Roscommon

Hello Joe,

You may add osmocote to the Tub & Basket at a rate of 3kg per cubic metre. For the 56L bag this breaks down to 160 grams per bag. Be sure to use 5-6 month term osmocote.
I hope this helps you with your question.

Currently growing white mustard as green fert, thinking of 
leaving it and letting it grow to seed for next year. What should I do,should 
I top it in Spring and then let it grow to seed and harvest it when I think 
it is ripe enough? Any advice would be welcome.

Posted 30/01/2012 by Martin McCumiskey, Louth

White mustard is classed as an annual so it will be best harvested this year and to sow a new batch next year. This way you will have the optimum yield each year. Next year when using it as a green fertiliser try and harvest it before it starts to set seed. 

Bought two clematis in April and planted them but were too small so dug them up and put them in pots. They are growing very well and in flower right now. What can I do with them for the Winter? I live in a very windy area. Please help and thank you.

Posted 30/01/2012 by Anna O'Kelly, Limerick

If both plants have become established now in the pots they will be ready to go back into the ground where they will grow best. Plant them out at the end of October in the most sheltered site you have. A sunny area is best but the roots like to be cool and shaded. Plant against a sheltered south or west facing wall. They need to be planted deeply (about 6 inches) to promote young shoots from the base where all next years flowers will come from. Use a trellis to support them or leave them run up through other plants or shrubs.

Can you ever have a garden with dogs? I used to have grass out my back. Now it's just full of muck. I am trying to decide what to do with the ground & that won't cost me a fortune at the same time!

Posted 08/11/2011 by Sandra, Dublin

If you have dogs you really need the space in the garden for them.

Why not look at planning some raised beds maybe about 3 foot high. These can be built with old scaffolding planks and painted a suitable colour. The dogs will rarely jump into these and can be trained easily not to. Plant anything you like then whether it be flowers or vegetables. The rest of the ground can be covered in decorative stones but you may need to prepare the ground with hardcore first and depending on levels you might need to dig out soil which can be used to fill the raised beds. Overall it should not be too expensive and you will get rid of the muck!

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