Our helpful and experienced team at McGaugh’s Gardening Complex are always on hand to answer you gardening questions.  Ger also often features on Galway Bay FM where he answers all types of gardening questions.  Often the same questions get asked again and again so we have compiled a list of commonly asked questions we have answered on the radio below. If you have a specific query, please don’t hesitate to ask in store or email us here.

How do we get rid of slugs? They have destroyed a lot of flowers & veg plants.

Unfortunately there is no way to get rid of slugs completely. However there are ways of controlling them.


There are a good few different ways in preventing slugs getting at your flowers, such as; slug pellets, slug defense gel, beer traps, copper barrier (this is especially good for flowers in pots), grit or egg shells. After planting vegetable crops, shake slug pellets or grit/egg shells around the plants. Alternatively you could use a raised bed for some of your vegetable plants, such as lettuce.

If your slug problem is really bad, you could use a spray called “Garlic Wonder” in conjunction with any of the above methods. This is an absolute marvel when used regularly at keeping pests at bay. Also it won’t affect the taste of your crop.

What’s the best food for conifers and are they a good replacement for an evergreen that got burnt?

Any fertilizer that has a high content of Nitrogen (marked as N on the labels) is an excellent feed for conifers. The second half of this question is a little tricky to answer in that while in most cases the answer would be yes, every garden is different. If you are looking for something that is fast growing, evergreen and if they suit your garden, then I would highly recommend going for a conifer.

I have a shrub called “the bride” can it be trimmed back or moved?

I would hazard a guess that the shrub you are on about is Exochorda “The Bride”. If this is the case then NO do NOT trim back now. This should have been trimmed back after it flowered earlier in the year. As for moving it, well you’re too early. Wait until November when the plant will be dormant and you can move it then.

Note: When moving it, ensure you have the destination hole dug BEFORE you start to dig it out of its current spot. Make sure the roots don’t dry out while moving it. Replant it with compost and water well.

What fertilizer can I put on Bamboo?

One of the best liquid feeds out there for Bamboo would be a product called “Liquid seaweed”. We stock it in the garden centre, just call in and ask a member of staff for it. Mix with water as per the instructions on the label and apply.

Can I cut back rambling roses?

Yes you can. However, don’t cut them back too hard. I would recommend cutting back the old dead wood and just tip back the laterals which have flowered.

What feed can I use for copper beech? Also can you use slow release chicken feed for hedges?

You have nearly answered your own question in the question. You can use the chicken manure on your copper beech and it is very good for hedges too. However, we are in the winding down period for growth in the hedges so I feed them over the next two weeks (as of 6th September) or so but that would definitely be the last feed of the season until next year again.

What’s the latest time to cut laurel hedge?

Laurel hedges can be cut and trimmed now. The end of September would be the latest time to cut it back.

Is there any treatment to get rid of eel worm in potatoes?

I’m afraid not, the only thing I can recommend is to grow your potatoes in a new plot and grow other vegetable in the troublesome plot.

Can broom be transplanted? It grew from seed in a spot that’s not suitable for it.

Yes, you can transplant broom but not yet. Similar to “the bride” in question 3 wait until the dormant growing season, usually from November to February.

Why have earthworms disappeared from gardens?

There are 5 tricks I can recommend to encourage earthworms back into your garden:

  1. Buy them. This seems the simplest; you can buy earthworms in most bait shops for relatively cheap. Why not buy some and add them to your garden yourself?
  2. Improve soil fertility by adding Organic manure (Farmyard manure would be the best)
  3. Add mulch to the surface of your beds, etc.
  4. Let any leaves that fall on your beds, etc. to rot on the surface and this would have a similar affect to adding mulch.
  5. Water the soil. Keeping the soil moist will make it more desirable to earthworms.
  6. Maintain a no dig or bare minimum dig garden. When it comes to earthworms, the less digging the better.
Is it alright to take plants from pots and put them in the ground?

This question is very vague as there are so many different aspects of gardening it could be covering but I’ll try answer it as best I can:

Yes, if you buy shrubs that are strong and hardy plants then there is no reason why you can’t plant them in the ground. However, if they are something like a plug or a cutting then they would have to be kept in a glasshouse or tunnel. If this doesn’t answer your question please don’t hesitate to contact me on 087-6520420 and I will help you as best I can.

How do you stop badgers digging holes in the garden?

The badger is digging for insect larvae in lawns so to discourage this you should try and reduce the level of insect larvae. To do this I would recommend the following:

  1. Improving aeration and drainage will reduce the level of insect larvae in your lawn.
  2. The removal of moss from your lawn will make it a less attractive site for insects to lay their eggs.
  3. An insecticide containing HCH can be watered into your lawn during Autumn. If you want to check to see if you have a high content of larvae in your lawn a little trick is:Water a patch of lawn and cover it over night with some black polythene. This should encourage the larvae to rise to the top. In the morning pull back the sheet of polythene and look for long grey/brown legless grubs. This should give you an indication of how many larvae in your lawn.

Whatever your needs, we are sure to have an outdoor furniture solution to suit you.

Drop in today or call us on 091755330 for more details.

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