I’m a gardening expert – and one handy product will banish weeds and help the planet

WE are well into our summer and it’s officially time to start enjoying your garden – but some may have left it later than others to get started.

Luckily, it’s not too late to transform your garden with these simple eco-friendly gardening tips.

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An Irish horticulturist shares his simple tips to transform your gardenCredit: www.ecogardenshop.ie
The expert gardener advised it's all about confidence

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The expert gardener advised it’s all about confidenceCredit: www.ecogardenshop.ie

Horticulturist John Carey, co-owner of Solas Eco Garden Shop, said: “Gardening is all about confidence. Don’t be afraid.”

He said you can read all the gardening books but it comes down to “trial and error”.

While adding plants and flowers can give an instant lift to your garden, he advised to keep it simple.

The expert said to choose a selection of the same type of flowers but have large quantities of the same type.

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He said: “It’s visually more appealing to the eye.”

John explained the brain can “take it all in” easier, whether it’s a garden or woodland.

The garden expert suggested aiming for a wildflower meadow which is low maintenance and is beneficial for insects and wildlife.

For a quick garden transformation, create a relaxation space.

John suggested laying down inexpensive gravel or paving.

Creating a simple shape in a circle or square can bring another element to the garden and ensure you take time out to enjoy the garden.

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TACKLING WEEDS

For tackling those pesky weeds, the horticulturist explains there are two types of weeds that creep into our garden.

He explained weeds are annuals or perennials.

Annuals usually have small flowers and spread through seeds. John said they are usually “quick and easy to pull up”.

Perennial weeds are “problematic” with long roots deep in the ground and are usually difficult to pull up completely.

But the green fingered gardener said there are ingredients that can tackle these weeds in your kitchen cupboard.

While vinegar can “knock back” smaller weeds, mulching can be very effective.

This involves placing material over the surface of the soil as a preventative protective or decorative covering.

Fine branches, plastic or stones can be used.

TACKLING PESTS

Tackling pesky weeds is the bane of every gardener’s life but there are some eco-friendly ways to deal with them.

John said: “One of the biggest problems in gardening is the excessive use of pesticides.”

The expert recommends a very new product on the market called SuperNemos Biological Pest Control.

It contains microscopic worms that are found in healthy soil which will attack pests in the soil.

These include wireworms, vine weevils, strawberry root weevils, carrot weevils, chafer grubs, caterpillars, cutworms, leather jackets, cucumber, tomato & potato beetle larvae, cabbage worm and fungus gnats larvae.

But it remains harmless to wildlife, earthworms, bees, bumblebees, pets and children.

SOLAS ECO CENTER

The eco gardener explained that a lot of people’s interest in gardening was “charged over lockdown”.

The Solas garden centre, located in Portarlington Co Laois, is designed and built using recyclable materials.

John added: “People have developed a huge interest in gardening and learning how to do it will ensure that people will continue this passion.”

The Solas Eco Garden Center features a food village, market and hosts different events.

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They also offer ecology courses and workshops for young and old, in a bid to harness the love Irish people have for their gardens.

The Back Garden Eco Warrior course for children is July 9, costing €10.

The Solas garden centre, Portarlington, is made from used recyclable materials

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The Solas garden centre, Portarlington, is made from used recyclable materialsCredit: http://www.ecogardenshop.ie/
The Solas Eco Garden Center features a food village, market and hosts different events

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The Solas Eco Garden Center features a food village, market and hosts different eventsCredit: http://www.ecogardenshop.ie/

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