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Summer Gardening

1st of July 2013

There’s a small chance of it becoming hot and dry this summer just at a time when holidays call. Gardeners might have to persuade a friend or relation to water their precious plants while away or perhaps invest in an automatic watering system to do the job for them.

The flower garden.
Prune wistarias, pyracantha and philadelphus and trim lavenders and hardy geraniums. Deadhead roses and flowers in window boxes and hanging baskets and cut dead flower spikes off perennials such as delphiniums. Feed roses, shrubs and perennials with Toprose fertilizer or Vitax Q4 and give an ericaceous feed to azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. Liquid feed hanging baskets and containers with Miracle Gro or Phostrogen and water regularly. Established plants will not need watering except when the weather becomes very dry and then just water thoroughly once a week. Trim hedges now but do check to see that birds have finished nesting. Bulbs will soon be on sale but only plant autumn flowering varieties now and leave tulips and hyacinths until September or even October. Start to take some cuttings now.

Fruit and vegetables.
Pick currants, gooseberries and summer fruiting raspberries and plums too. As soon as the fruit of raspberries has been picked, cut down the old canes and tie in new canes which will fruit next summer. Sow spring cabbage, dwarf beans and late crops of runner beans. Harvest vegetables and potatoes but rootcrops can be left in the ground for the present. Tomato plants will need to be ‘stopped’ (pinched out at the tip). Make regular sowings of salad and ‘quick’ crops. Plant leeks, savoys, Brussels sprouts and winter cabbage and make sure that cabbage white caterpillars do not devour the brassicas. Water vegetables regularly and keep the weeds down.

The greenhouse.
Tomato plants need to be watered frequently to prevent fruit developing blossom end rot. Plants in growbags tend to dry out quicker than those growing in deep pots. Ventilate the glasshouse in hot weather and damp down the floor to keep the humidity up. Watch out for pests and diseases.

The lawn.
Mow the grass regularly but never cut the grass too short. The use of a mulching mower is a good idea. Do not water established lawns but do water newly seeded areas for the first few weeks. Turfing is now best left until the early autumn. Carry out spot weeding from time to time. Feeding should now be left until September.

Garden events.
The RHS Hampton Court Flower Show is 9-14 July (tickets from rhs.org.uk/hamptoncourtpalace or phone 0844 3387526). The RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park is 25-28 July (tickets from rhs.org.uk/tattonpark or phone 0844 3387526).

Local open gardens on 14 July in aid of British Red Cross.
Burford House
Heath End
Old Swan House

Combined admission to all three £5
Terry Simmons

 
This page is edited by Tony

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