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Whitefly can wreak havoc on your plants

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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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Promoting Killarney as a business and conference destination

Two prominent Killarney businesses were in Frankfurt this week to promote Ireland and Kerry as an ideal place to host business conferences. The Europe Hotel and Resort and Killarney Convention […]

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Two prominent Killarney businesses were in Frankfurt this week to promote Ireland and Kerry as an ideal place to host business conferences.

The Europe Hotel and Resort and Killarney Convention Centre attended IMEX Frankfurt 2024 in Germany this week to promote the island of Ireland for corporate meetings and incentive travel ~

Tourism Ireland – together with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland, as part of the ‘Meet in Ireland’ team – is showcasing Ireland as a world-class Business Events destination to thousands of buyers who organise international meetings and incentive travel.

IMEX Frankfurt is one of the leading global exhibitions for Business Events i.e., the corporate meetings, events and incentive travel industry. Thirty-five tourism companies specialising in Business Events from around the island of Ireland – including The Europe Hotel & Resort and Killarney Convention Centre were on the ‘Meet in Ireland’ stand at IMEX.

Around 1,900 commercial meetings will be conducted with global meeting and incentive travel planners this week, which will, in turn, deliver Business Events for Ireland from around the world worth millions of euro in 2024 and beyond. Tourism Ireland’s goal is to enable thousands of commercial Business Events meetings this year – connecting our tourism partners from Ireland with overseas buyers to grow Business Events and support businesses across the island.
According to the latest CSO figures for overseas tourism, Ireland welcomed almost 1 million Business Tourists, for the 12 months from April 2023 to March 2024.

“IMEX Frankfurt is a key event in the industry calendar and an extremely important platform for us to promote the island of Ireland as a premier destination for Business Events. Business travel is high value and often midweek and off season by its nature, thereby aligning with Tourism Ireland’s strategy to grow overseas tourism revenue outside of the peak summer season,” said, Siobhan McManamy, Tourism Ireland’s Director of Markets, said:

“We are delighted to have 35 tourism companies from across the island of Ireland with us at this year’s IMEX Frankfurt. They’re engaging in almost 1,900 commercial meetings and showcasing the best of Ireland to influential meeting and incentive travel planners from around the world.”

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One way traffic system mooted for St Oliver’s National School

The Killarney Advertiser understands that a one-way traffic management system will be introduced at St Oliver’s National School. The plan remains subject to confirmation by Kerry County Council and other […]

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The Killarney Advertiser understands that a one-way traffic management system will be introduced at St Oliver’s National School.

The plan remains subject to confirmation by Kerry County Council and other statutory bodie. It is  understood that the system will be trialled at the beginning of the new school year in September.

The area is subject to serious traffic congestion during school drop-off and pick-up times every day.

Over 650 pupils and 80 staff attend the school every day. New housing developments in the area have added to traffic congestion.

Cllr Martin Grady has being pushing for enhanced road safety measures at the school since his co-option to the council in September 2023.

“The issue has worsened in recent years with Woodlawn, Rookery Road and Ballycasheen having more domestic property developments which brings with it more road activity,” Grady told the Killarney Advertiser.

“I’ve seen first-hand several accidents occur when dropping and collecting my children from the school. It needs a safe solution by means of a drop off- pick up point or a traffic management system put in place.

“It is unfair on all stakeholders involved. I will keep working on this until results are achieved in the interest of everyone’s safety. “

The lack of urban school bus services, not just at St Oliver’s but at all schools is adding to Killarney’s traffic woes.

“I would like to see school bus services return for all students, in both urban and rural schools, this service was a massive loss, it would greatly reduce the volume of traffic on our roads and mitigate the risk of accidents and near misses,” added Cllr Grady.

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