Just remember it’s not too late to fill in any gaps or to add some seasonal colour to your pots or borders, a nice geranium, dahlia or fuchsia will give you plenty of colour until at least October.
Dead heading your hanging baskets and pots is essential to encourage new flowers and enhance their appearance, people marvel at our baskets and we do put slow release feed and water holding gel in the compost but to get the absolute best out of the plants I recommend you liquid feed them twice a week with either miracle gro or phostrogen.
Hoe beds and borders to remove annual weeds that have germinated, regular loosening of the soil avoids it becoming compacted and preventing weeds from multiplying.
Spray off any weeds in gravel or hard standing areas with a weed killer, there are products which have the added bonus of little or no regrowth for up to 6 months. If looking to spray amongst flower borders use a biodegradable type though and take care not to spray any plants you are wishing to keep.
Treat fences, sheds or playhouses with a paint or preserve whilst the weather is dry.
Clear algae, blanket weed and debris from garden ponds and remove some oxygenating weed if it has taken over. Too much in a small pond can cause fish problems with breathing, also ensure the pond pump filter isn’t blocked and that it is working correctly, your fish will need a good oxygen supply in warm weather.
Pests are rife during the summer months, infesting your vegetables and flowers, these can be tackled in several ways, bug killers are effective, however please consider the organic types whose active ingredients are usually pyrethrum (an extract from the herbaceous plants). We also stock a two in one pest and disease spray which is also ideal for controlling mildew and black spot. Use a pesticide free sticky trap for insect control in your greenhouse or kitchen.
Pruning and Planting
Once perennials such as poppies, lupins and delphiniums have finished flowering cut right back to ground level and new foliage will soon appear.
Try to attract beneficial insects by planting wildlife friendly plants such as buddleja, lady birds and lacewings are actually very useful insects to have around your garden.
Feed established lawns with a liquid feed especially if you didn’t get round to feeding them this spring, water well and raise your mower blades slightly when cutting the lawn if the weather is hot. Do not let newly laid or sown lawns dry out, water manually when required.
Fruit and Vegetables
Start thinking about vegetables for the colder months like rainbow chard, sow seeds now for an autumn and winter crop. The baby leaves can be used in salads and larger ones cook like spinach and used in stir fry’s, children love the varied coloured stems too so worth a grow.
Keep your greenhouse shaded and well ventilated on warm days, spray the floor with water in the mornings to create a humid atmosphere, doing this in the evening however would encourage pests and disease.
Protect your fruit with suitable netting, failure to do so will see your crops disappear quite quickly.
Continue to sow salad leaf at regular intervals and a final sowing of carrot, radish and spinach can be done. Plant out brussel sprouts, winter cabbage and broccoli. Remember to harvest young courgettes for the best flavour, the same applies to mangetout and peas. Dig fresh potatoes as and when you need them, there is no point lifting more than you need as they will store in the ground quite happily at present. Feed tomato plants weekly with a high potash feed to encourage plenty of fruit, watering regularly as letting them dry out leads to blossom end rot.
Plant of the Month
Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily); Large trumpet like flowers in shades of pink, orange, red, yellow or salmon appear throughout the summer. Plant in a tub or warm well drained soil and dead head regularly by pulling the whole spent flower shoot upwards from the plant. The Princess series is a lovely dwarf flowering type and ‘Indian summer’ has attractive dark leaves and dark red flowers, all varieties are bee friendly so an added incentive there!