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Whitefly can wreak havoc on your plants




By Debby Looney, gardening expert

It is definitely beginning to feel like spring has arrived, despite the recent storms and blast of cold.

Nature is programmed to grow when the days get longer, and there is ample evidence of this! Due to the mild January we had, many plants were fooled into thinking it was later in the year, especially roses, and these got a cruel scorching during the hail showers we experienced.

If you are new to gardening, do not worry, they will grow out of this. If you have not pruned your roses, it is a good time to do it, then they can divert their energies into strong new growth.

It is also a good time to look at your box hedges or plants, if you have them. Box blight, or Cylindrocladium buxicola, has become a problem in recent years, and it is advisable to cut out and burn any sections that are affected. A hard prune back will encourage a regeneration of weaker plants, but if they are too far gone, it is best to take them out altogether. Blight has been ruled the cause of many problems which affect Buxus plants, but in my experience more common issues have been ignored. Ground conditions certainly affect the plants more often than blight – box plants will be yellow and stunted if the ground is too heavy and waterlogged. Similarly, plants will lose their leaves if the ground is too dry, and can do so very suddenly. Unless there is visible new growth you will not notice a Buxus plant wilting if it is dry, which is a regular occurrence in pots, but also in sandy, or poor, soil. The plant will shed its leaves, seemingly for no reason, and blight will be blamed, as opposed to poor watering! Another common problem with box plants is whitefly. This little pest can really wreak havoc, as it goes unnoticed in the dense growth for a long time. Again, it would seem that your plant is losing its leaves for no reason. However, on closer inspection, you will notice white webbing or white fluffy deposits, which is evidence of whitefly. If the plant is shaken, a cloud of tiny white flies will emerge. These are quite difficult to control (similarly in houseplants, where they are prevalent), and a systemic pesticide is often best, as opposed to a topical spray.

Watch out for wind scorch

Wind scorch will also cause your plants to look poorly turning them a shade of ochre which looks very similar to underfed plants. The plant will grow out of this discolouration if it is sheltered, or fed. If these problems have been eliminated, and it is blight you are dealing with, a product such as Provanto Fungus Fighter is an option, as well as quite a few organic sprays which are now available. The symptoms to look out for are brown/black spots or lesions on the leaves, which then become dry and fall off. The spores remain viable for five years, so good hygiene and strong plants are key. Pruning your plants on a very dry day is preferable as blight spreads in humid conditions. Keeping tools clean and sterilised is also advisable. Clean up any dead leaves at this time of year and feed with a high quality slow release fertiliser, such as the specialist ‘Topbuxus’ products which are formulated by Buxus nurseries themselves. Avoid tomato food, a general shrub fertiliser will have a better range of nutrients. Apply a good layer of mulch around your plants to keep them moist in the summer.

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O’Connor’s college concert a resounding successAccordion maestro Liam O’Connor does not do things by halves.

He proved it again last Thursday night when he hosted his ninth ‘Liam O’Connor Concert with St Brendan’s College Students’ in the school’s chapel. While the concert was always about […]




He proved it again last Thursday night when he hosted his ninth ‘Liam O’Connor Concert with St Brendan’s College Students’ in the school’s chapel.

While the concert was always about showcasing the students’ talents as musicians and singers, the guest list would not have looked out of place on Ryan Tubridy’s Late Late Show on RTÉ One.

The GAA world was represented by former Kilkenny hurling manager Brian Cody, Kerry stars and past students of St Brendan’s Dara Moynihan, David Clifford and Gavin White.

Of course, legendary RTÉ sports commentator Marty Morrissey was on hand to get the best responses out of the sporting stars.

O’Connor and his musical children Saoirse, Oisín, and Cillian who is a student of the college, weren’t even the top musical bill on the night.

That honour went to Paddy Casey.

“Casey royally entertained one and all, and our surprise guest, the RTÉ broadcaster Marty Morrissey, enthralled us with his views on Kerry footballers Dara Moynihan, Gavin White and David Clifford,” Liam told the Killarney Advertiser.

“A night of unbelievable synergies was completed with an abundance of local talent. It was a truly unique night of star talent that will live on in the memories of everyone who was there.”

Liam also paid special tribute to the college Principal Seán Coffey and music teachers Mish O’Donoghue and Niamh O’Connell for their colossal support.

“The students themselves were indeed amazing, with the energy they brought to their singing, dancing and playing music. Their commitment to the event was such that they generously gave up their lunch hours to help make it all work,” he added.

The success of the concert rounded off a busy year for the international-renowned accordion champion that included a high-energy appearance at Electric Picnic and an equally lauded performance with the Celtic Tenors at the rugby clash between Munster and world champions South Africa at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork.

He and his son Oisín also made history in November when they became the first father and son pair to play both football and music at Croke Park on the same day.

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Marie was “lovely, unassuming lady”

By Sean Moriarty Tributes have been paid to Marie Murphy of Aughacureen, who died in tragic circumstances on November 30. Marie was a member of the well known Murphy business […]




By Sean Moriarty

Tributes have been paid to Marie Murphy of Aughacureen, who died in tragic circumstances on November 30.

Marie was a member of the well known Murphy business family in Killarney – her brother runs KWD Recycling and she was heavily involved in the business.

She was best known for involvement in the local GAA both as a county star and a member of Fossa GAA Club.

She was a third generation Kerry footballer, her grandfather Con and father John all played football for Kerry.

She was extremely proud of her niece Abbie, her brother Seán’s daughter, when she became the fourth generation Murphy to play for Kerry.

Marie played for Kerry in 1976 and re-joined Fossa GAA Club in 2010 when the ladies’ side of the club was re-formed.

She acted as a mentor for current group of ladies.

Back in 2019 when Fossa GAA Club published a book to mark its 50th anniversary she was one of the leading lights on that committee.

This year, when the club held its Night of Legends to raise funds for a new dressing room for the ladies’ club, Marie was one of the guests of honour at the INEC event and was interviewed on the stage in front of a capacity audience.

Only a few weeks ago she was one of the many club members who helped organise the Fossa Golf Classic and acted as official photographer for that event.

“The club is numb with sadness,” said Fossa GAA chairman Dermot Clifford. “She was a loyal member and very proud of the club. Our thoughts are with her family. A lovely, unassuming lady who will be sorely missed.”

Marie will be sadly missed by her brothers Con, Seamus and Seán, sisters-in-law Breda, Gennie and Anna, her nieces Shauna, Amy, Kate and Abigail, nephews John, Jack, Luke, aunties Mairead and Maura, cousins, relatives, neighbours and a large circle of friends.

She was laid to rest at Old Aghadoe Cemetery on Monday following Requiem Mass at The Prince of Peace Church, Fossa.

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