This is the time of the year when a gardener can sit back a little and enjoy the rewards of all the hard work carried out in the Spring.
The planting has been done, everything is blooming and the vegetables are ready for the table. Yes, you can relax a little – but not too much, there are still lots of jobs to do to ensure your garden continues to look a picture. The most obvious task is to water. Even if the temperature is relatively low and the sun is hiding away behind the clouds, at this time of year you must make sure your plants don’t dry out. More often than not it’s the breeze than can be the problem. Hanging baskets are especially vulnerable to a dry breeze, even if you have added water retaining gel to the compost prior to planting, you really must get water to them at least once a day to prevent the plants suffering.
If we do get a prolonged warm, dry spell, your plants will benefit from a dressing of mulch. Apply a mulch immediately after watering, this will keep the moisture in the bed around the roots and really help the cause.
Mulching also helps with preventing weeds taking over. You only have to turn your back on the garden for a few days, and the weeds will invade! They will be everywhere – so keep a close eye on things, weeding a little and often is the key to it. Once you have won a battle with the weeds, again, apply a mulch.
Your lawn also needs keeping an eye on, at this time it’s preferable to mow at least once a week – don’t let the grass get too long then cut it back very short, this will damage it. If the summer does become a real scorcher, it’s best to set your mower to a higher setting to leave the grass a little longer then you normally would.
If you have recently turfed a lawn, keep the newly laid turves as moist as possible. A regular sprinkler or hose session is a must to stop the grass from drying out.
As well as weeds, this is the time garden pests are at their busiest. Prevention is better than cure with aphids and caterpillars etc. – but if you’re not a fan of using chemicals in the garden and you didn’t apply any anti bug mixture earlier in the year, it’s not too late to do battle with the pests. There are several organic, pet safe products on the market these days to keep your plants bug free. If you need some advice, do pop in and one of us will gladly show you what’s available.
Vegetables are prone to attacks from not only bugs and pests but birds and slugs too. Again, there are safe slug pellets available, and netting your cabbages and other brassicas and fruit will keep them safe from any aerial interference!
If you are growing plants in your greenhouse, do bear in mind just how hot it will get under glass. Leave the doors and vents open, in a very hot spell, during the night too. If it is a prolonged heatwave it’s best to empty the greenhouse completely, your plants will be much happier outside.
And don’t forget about other feathered friends! Birds need to be fed all year round, and really need water available during the summer months.
There you are then, finish off all these jobs, then you reward yourself with a nice sit down in the shade!