It’s that time of year when the main phase of sowing and planting out is behind us, and we gardeners are now busy managing and maintaining our fruit, vegetables and ornamental plants to ensure we get the best possible results from our work in the Spring.
The main job in Summer is beating the weeds. To keep on top of these invaders it’s best to deal with them a little and often. Try to get into your garden every day, spending just half an hour or so dealing with your weeds will do wonders. For a small area, it’s simple enough to deal with weeds by hand or with a hand trowel, for larger beds a simple hoe will do the job. Get to the weeds before they are able to form seed heads – otherwise you’ll find they will multiply.
If you wish to completely clear an area of weeds, then there is the option of using a herbicide, such as Round Up. These days weed killers are much safer and eco-friendly than they were some years ago. Most of them are systemic, meaning they will go down into the roots. This is a selective way of weedkilling, so you can deal with weeds in a bed full of herbaceous or bedding plants and not damage them.
To keep your plants flowering throughout the Summer, you must deadhead regularly. Perennials, bedding and basket plants will all benefit from regular attention. A good tip is to use liquid tomato feed on any plant you want to flower. A feed just once a week will keep the colour going in your garden right into the Autumn.
The other problem we can have if it’s a hot, dry Summer, is watering. Mulching your beds with something like composted bark will keep the moisture in, and deter weeds. Hopefully you added water storage gel to your baskets and tubs, this will keep the pots damp, although obviously you’ll still need to keep an eye on them.
Do watch out for your hanging baskets too. A warm breeze will soon dry them out, a good drenching once a day is needed.
And don’t forget to stake your perennials such as Dahlias, they will be putting on a lot of growth and will need support to prevent them toppling over.
But as well as all these jobs, don’t forget to enjoy your garden! Do find time to just sit and admire the results of all your work.
See you soon,
Simon, Alison and all at Askett Nurseries.