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Time to turn your attention to the vegetable garden

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By Debby Looney, gardening expert​​​​

I did some tidying and planting last weekend, mainly in the fruit area of the garden, so this week I am turning my attention to the vegetable garden.

To my disgust, my blackberries had died – I thought they were indestructible! So I took myself off to buy some new replacements, and thought I would share with you my top picks.

Blackberries

These are definitely my favourite fruit, and, to be fair, my plants only died due to extreme neglect. ‘Loch Ness’ is thornless and semi erect. The fruit is borne on second year wood, so keep an eye on your pruning. ‘Black Satin’ is a lovely early fruiting blackberry, on the tart side. These cultivated blackberries are not rampant like our own, and need to be kept weed free until established, as I have found to my detriment!
Boysenberries are a cross between a raspberry, loganberry and blackberry, with a deep red fruit. They are a fairly small fruit bush, ideal for smaller gardens and containers. It fruits on one year old wood, and is best trained in a fan shape, so you can keep new shoots to one side.

Loganberries

These are a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry and ideally suited to our weather conditions. They do not tend to go off as quickly as a raspberry and are, in my opinion, easier to prune and train. They also fruit on second year wood.
 

Tayberries

Tayberries are also a cross between blackberries and raspberries, fruiting and keeping well. Also fruiting on second year wood they should be trained and pruned like raspberries. There are two types of raspberries, summer fruiting such as ‘Malling Jewel’ and autumn fruiting such as ‘Autumn Bliss’. When you have both you are ensured a long season, however it is important you label both as they need different types of pruning. Summer fruiting canes should be cut back almost to ground level, and the new growth tied up for the following year's fruiting. Autumn varieties on the other hand can be cut back completely during the winter, as they fruit on current years’ growth.

Gooseberry

Another favourite of mine is the gooseberry, especially the sweeter, darker varieties such as ‘Pax’ which is a lovely ruby colour and resistant to mildew. The worst that can happen your gooseberry plant, and which my plants regularly fall victim to, is the gooseberry sawfly. These are an orange coloured fly which lays its eggs on your gooseberries, but will also go for currants. The larvae look like caterpillars; green, with orange dots, and will strip your plant of leaves within hours! The best control is to keep a close eye on your plant, or use a spray such as Grazers caterpillar control, which is safe to use on edibles.
 

Fruit cages

The main part of my job last weekend was erecting fruit cages over my plants. Birds are by far the most worrisome pest, and strong netting is the only protection against them. I bought the handiest caging – aluminium poles, which can be connected using matching corners, connectors and end caps. Light, reasonably study, and super easy to put together, even for two left hands such as mine, I heartily recommend investing in some type of protection. If you're feeling sorry for the birds, which I do, an option is to plant some Aronia bushes. These are great for them as they can be used as shelter, have very pretty red autumn foliage, and masses of black round berries which I find too sour, but the thrushes and blackbirds seem to love them! These plants need no maintenance, are disease free, and grow in the most adverse conditions…naturally!

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Dancing classes set to unite communities

By Michelle Crean There’s no language barrier when it comes to dancing – which is why one local group is organising classes to unite communities. KASI, the Killarney Immigrant Support […]

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By Michelle Crean

There’s no language barrier when it comes to dancing – which is why one local group is organising classes to unite communities.

KASI, the Killarney Immigrant Support Centre, has teamed up with dance instructor John Moriarty to teach both Ukrainians and multiple cultures living in Kerry Irish set dancing steps from next week.

The first class will take place on Tuesday evenings, starting next week (September 27) at St Mary’s Parish Hall at 6.30pm and all are welcome to join.

The idea is to help Ukrainians living in Killarney and Kerry to come and have fun and get to know locals better, KASI coordinator, Marilyn Catapat-Counihan, explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“We have a women’s group for all ages where we do crochet, sewing and art and crafts, where they can talk which is good. I had the music on and they were dancing. I asked if they would like to do dancing classes so I organised it with John Moriarty who is well known in Killarney.”

She added that the women are very excited to learn set dancing and get to know other people from the area.

“Sometimes when you meet new people the language can be a barrier and when you’re dancing everybody is moving. He will open it to everyone so there’ll be integration, it’s fun as well. They are all very excited.”

To find out more contact John on 086 1579381.

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Multiple Sclerosis Walk celebrates 20 years

By Sean Moriarty The rising cost of fuel is already having a negative effect on charity events with some limiting numbers. On October 9, the annual Multiple Sclerosis South Kerryv Walk […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The rising cost of fuel is already having a negative effect on charity events with some limiting numbers.

On October 9, the annual Multiple Sclerosis South Kerryv Walk takes place over the Old Kenmare Road.

First run in 2002, this year’s event will celebrate 20 years since its foundation but two years were lost as a result of the pandemic.

This year’s walk will be limited to 150 people – three coach loads – so event organisers can cut back on running costs.

It will only be possible to participate in this year’s event if walkers pre-register.

“Walkers must raise at least €40 to make it worthwhile,” organiser John O’Shea told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Spaces are limited, 150 people equals three coaches and we need smaller coaches to get into the start of the Old Kenmare Road as that is just a bog road. We have limited numbers for cost and operational reasons.”

Mr O’Shea thanked event sponsors O’Callaghan Coaches and The Gleneagle Hotel for their support of the event.

Registration forms can be obtained by calling John on 087 2348824.

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