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It’s an ideal time to take cuttings

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By Debby Looney, gardening expert

The transition between spring and summer can be quite difficult to gauge – on the one hand, winter bedding looks shabby, but, the later you plant the summer bedding, the longer lasting it will be.

In the meantime, there are plenty of jobs to be done…gardening really never has a quiet moment! Weeding is a year round job, and a never ending one, it seems. There is a new product on the market by Westland, called Weed Preventer. It is a granular product which can be scattered on weed free ground. Due to plant based materials in the granules, it prevents seeds from germinating, giving you several months of weed free bliss! I have tried out a patch and so far it is working. It does not have a weed killer in it, so does not kill existing weeds, but the plus side of that is that you can use it around shrubs safely.

This is the ideal time of year for taking basal cuttings. These are taken from this year’s growth at the base of the plant, where there is a concentration of hormones which encourage root development. Why take cuttings? Well, it is a very cost effective way of obtaining plants, especially if you have favourites, or a large garden, or many friends! You are also ensured an exact replica of the plant you take the cutting from, as opposed to seeds you might save. It is easy to take cuttings, you need very little. Just a plant, a sterile sharp knife or secateurs, and ideally rooting powder. Rooting powder contains hormones which stimulate the formulation of roots, as well as an antifungal component, preventing your cuttings from rotting. It comes as both a powder and a gel, both are equally effective. Never use too much, always shake off the excess.

Always use material from a healthy disease free plant. Take cuttings in the morning, when the plant is not under stress from sun. Place the pieces you cut into a plastic bag to prevent wilting. Basal cuttings are generally suitable for herbaceous plants. These are taken very near the base of the plant where there is a slight swelling. They have a high percentage success rate, as there are many hormones here. From wherever you take the cutting, trim the top and bottom, and remove the lower leaves. Dip the lower inch into rooting powder and tap off the excess. Have a pot or tray prepared, using a mixture of cutting compost mixed with an equal amount of sand or perlite. Water well. Place your cuttings in a greenhouse, or under a clear plastic cover such as a polythene bag, to prevent drying out. Now the most difficult part: do not be tempted to pull them out to check if there are roots! Do check them regularly for disease or rotting leaves, and keep them clean and moist.

Plants suitable for basal cuttings are: shaitan daisies, osteospermum, erigeron, dahlia, phygelius, aconite, Monkshood, helianthemum, in short, almost all perennials and herbs.

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Volunteers wanted for street collection

By Michelle Crean October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds. Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who […]

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By Michelle Crean

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds.

Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who have been supporting the Irish Cancer Society for many years are delighted to be able to get back to their Pink Ribbon street collection in Killarney town next Friday (October 7).

They are the only group in the country doing the collection as many fundraisers have moved online since the pandemic struck.

“We’re the only town in Ireland doing it this year,” Kathrina, who feels it’s important to keep a street collection going, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We haven’t done it in two years since before COVID. I pushed to do it as it raises a lot of money. People have been supporting this for years, this money goes towards breast detection equipment, information leaflets in doctors surgeries and towards cancer grants.”

In 2021, donations helped 254 breast cancer patients with free transport to and from 2,380 chemotherapy appointments by volunteer drivers, 154 patients received 514 nights of end-of-life care from Night Nurses and 3,430 enquiries were made about breast cancer through the Freephone Support Line 1800 200 700 and at 13 Daffodil Centres across the country.

And she added that they’re looking for a few volunteers to help out on the day.

“If anyone would like to help they can contact me on 087 2612992.”

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Calls for Council to acquire vacant Rock Road properties

By Sean Moriarty There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory. The two cottages, one either side of the entrance […]

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By Sean Moriarty

There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory.

The two cottages, one either side of the entrance to St Finan’s Hospital, are vacant for some time.
Cllr Maura Healy-Rae raised the issue at a recent Killarney Municipal District meeting.

“Regarding two vacant houses at the entrance to St Finan’s on Rock Road which appear to be vacant for a significant period of time. One of the properties is in the ownership of the HSE. I requested that Kerry County Council would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house,” she told the Killarney Advertiser after the meeting.

“I stressed that it is important that the local authority exhaust all possibilities when it comes to providing more houses, particularly properties located within the town of Killarney where the need and demand for housing is critical.”

Kerry County Council said it would get the Vacant Homes Officer to contact the owner of the privately owned bungalow.

“They will inform the property owner that there is funding available under various schemes and grants to aid the return of this property to habitable use. Such schemes include the Repair and Lease Scheme and the recently launched Croí Cónaithe vacant property grant,” said a Council official.

Cllr Healy-Rae added: “I requested that KCC would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house.”

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