Saturday, 2 June 2007


Hazel rods make great supports for peas and beans. They are free too if you are prepared to go out into the woods and get them yourself. It is very tempting to go to the shop and buy a ten pack of bamboo poles, but I resisted this and ventured out into the undergrowth with my loppers. Being up to my knees in mud didn’t deter me and in no time at all I had far more poles than I could carry. Coppicing hazel seems to be a bit of a dying art now, and it is a pity because the trees benefit immensely. It regenerates the tree with fresh shoots, which prolongs the life of the tree. At one time it is all that cattle had as shelter in the winter. Putting the pea and bean structures will take no time at all because my lad has learnt how to tie a marlin spike hitch at scouts, which means I can delegate another job to the children and have more time to lounge about in the sun.

Hi Ian
I have just made a small border around my lawn. I was wondering how I could improve the soil to make it ready for planting some shrubs. I have removed the grass sods already Thanks D.P. By e-mail

If you can stack the sods upside down in a pile for the summer you would end up with some fine soil to add the border. The grass will soon die off. If the soil is heavy add sand and add lots of well-rotted manure or garden compost to all of the soil types, especially where the shrubs will go. Do a Ph test too (available from the co-op) and check how much sun the site has. This will influence the type of shrubs to grow.


Check out the new Inishowen gardening forum at then go down to the Visit this Group button. This forum is in its infancy and aims to provide a cyberspace for local gardeners to share our knowledge and chat about our gardens. Hope to meet you on-line!


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