Fiann’s tips for the weekend

* Stay on alert for potato and tomato blight.

* With apples and plum trees more than two years planted, the consensus is to thin back fruits to 3 or 4 per cluster – the aim is to have bigger fruit.

* Docks and ragwort can show this month, the latter a noxious weed demanding removal, but the dock can be dug up, and boiled to accelerate compost heaps

* Deal with woolly aphid with a dab of some methylated spirits via the end of an ear bud.

* Hang wasp traps to prevent them burrowing into fruits, especially near pears, plums, apricots, peaches and nectarines.

* Some pelleted chicken manure will dress the beds you’ve been harvesting from and replenish nutrients.


Lifestyle

Last week, I wrote about 'small is beautiful' as a key to an improved environment for all living things after this Covid crisis is finally over. As I wrote, I saw, in the mind's eye, the village where I live in west Cork and from which my wife and I are temporarily exiled.Damien Enright: Community spirit can ensure we pull through - together

Fifty years ago, a fox was spotted in Dublin’s St. Stephen’s Green. The unfortunate animal was chased by local ‘gurriers’. It took refuge in a tree but was promptly stoned to death.Richard Collins: Wildlife taking back the streets of our cities

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If the Donegal postman and amateur weather forecaster has it right, we could be in for water shortages in the coming months. Michael Gallagher, who predicted the scorching summer of 2018 and the 2010 freeze-up, says we’ll have a ‘lovely’ summer.Donal Hickey: Demand for water to soar

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