23 May 2022

Gardening: Planning ahead for autumn and winter

With Jo McGarry of Caragh Nurseries

Gardening: Planning ahead for autumn and winter

What a funny old week we have had. It's warm but those torrential rain showers are taking their toll on our summer mood and for any like us who work in the great outdoors it’s not been fun at all.

It has been good for growth though. At this time of year we usually start to grade our trees and hedging plants for autumn and winter sales, but this year we are going to wait a little while longer as we may get some good growth over the next couple of weeks.

You will also see in your own gardens that the hedges and plants are still growing strong into the autumn. Do be careful if you are thinking of cutting them back at this time of year, as some may be left too vulnerable going into the cooler months. I will concentrate on that fully next week, to give you a full breakdown of what should be cut and when.

We are already looking towards the autumn, and this week a full stock take was taken of our field productions to ensure that enough stock is ready to be lifted in October and November for sales in the colder months.

We grow as much of this stock as we believe we need although in the last couple of years we have had to supplement when we run out. It is, like all things, a balancing act and preempting what will be popular in three years time (the average time between sowing and lifting) is a real task that is another job we do at this time of year. We analyse what trends we believe will coming in and what might be going out and attempt to look at the economical factors too.

We are still growing on over fifty acres in production in Caragh and that has been increasing over recent years. We grow all our hedging plants, a large selection of trees and some larger shrubs and we also have a good base of shapes and specimens growing.

Rob, our production manager, has his work cut out keeping everything in shape but he does it with such care and skill to keep some of the shapes looking just right as they grow nicely. We have a good crop ready to come out this year.

He has also been busy making some multi stems and parachutes as well as some cloud form trees. We have a really good range of standard trees and espaliered trees that should be ready this year for autumn and winter sales, and then for potting for next year's potted crops.

The summer seems to be flying by, and we have, this year, crammed a lot into it already. We took the long bank holiday weekend off and we are back full steam ahead again this week.

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