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It’s time to take care of your lawn

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By Debby Looney, gardening expert

Living in Kerry is a real treat at this time of year when Magnolias shine.

There are so many beautiful specimens in gardens, and it is now they are spectacular. In February they are instantly recognisable by their large soft flower buds reaching up to the sky, but in March we are treated to an unsurpassed show!

Magnolia soulangeana will grow to quite a tree, but Magnolia stellata is suitable for smaller gardens. For a shady spot in your garden, possibly under a magnolia, I recommend Bergenias. These are evergreen, hardy, low-growing perennials, which are now flowering in many shades of pink. Pink Dragonfly, Bressingham white and Silberlicht are just a few of the many varieties available.

Lawn care really begins in March. If your lawn is looking thin, or has a lot of moss, you may need to remove old thatch and moss in order to re-seed. There are a lot of types of grass seed, that which is suitable for a shady garden, or “tough grass”, and even “smart seed”, which incorporates a water retaining gel. However, aeration and nutrients are the key to a healthy lawn. If reseeding, and especially when sowing a new lawn, consider mixing in an amount of white clover. Clover fixes nitrogen in the soil, eliminating the need for chemical fertilisers, as well as providing bees with a great source of nectar. White clover stays low, and will not ruin the look of your lawn. It is, in my opinion, definitely the way to go.

There are many types of fertilisers for sale, and I thought I would quickly go through a few of them today. Sequestered Iron, or Sulphate of Iron, is one which many people ask about. It helps ericaceous plants which are struggling to grow stronger and produce flowers. Apply in early spring.

Sulphate of Ammonia is a fast-acting nitrogen supplement, suitable for greening up plants.
Sulphate of Potash is high in potassium promoting flowers and fruit, as well as helping the plant to resist pests and diseases.

Superphosphate helps to ripen fruit, and can be applied throughout the summer.
Epsom salts are high in magnesium, which is needed for healthy foliage and is also very good for tomatoes.
Fish blood and bone is a general fertiliser, but is “natural” as opposed to chemical.
Bonemeal is also a natural product, and is excellent for root growth.

Garden lime is also an important additive, especially if you have very acidic soil. Slightly alkaline conditions are especially good for cabbage varieties, as it prevents clubroot.
As always, read the labels, and when you can use organic products.

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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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