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Summertime Gardening

1st of July 2014

This is the time to really enjoy your garden after months of planting, feeding and tending. However, we must still get down to just a few garden tasks if we are to keep everything looking good.

The flower garden.
Cut the dead flowers off perennials and regularly deadhead roses and flowers in hanging baskets and containers. Feed roses, shrubs and perennials from time to time with Toprose fertilizer or Vitax Q4 but give ericaceous feed to camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons. Hanging baskets are best given a liquid feed at weekly intervals. In hot weather give a good soaking to bedding plants grown in the ground every week or so but containers will need daily watering as will hanging baskets, and baskets sometimes need to be watered even when it rains. Keep up with regular spraying of roses to prevent black spot, rust and mildew. Start to prune wistarias and shrubs such as philadelphus and pyracantha and trim early flowering hardy geraniums. Hedges should be cut now but make sure that the birds have finished nesting. Start to take cuttings now. Bulbs will soon be on sale but it is too early to plant yet with the exception of autumn flowering varieties.

Fruit and vegetables.
It is now harvest time for plums and soft fruit such as currants, gooseberries and raspberries. Once summer fruiting raspberries have finished, the old canes should be cut down and new canes tied in as it is these which will produce next year’s fruit. Plum trees should be pruned, if necessary. Sow now spring cabbage, dwarf beans and late crops of runner beans plus quick crops such as beet, carrots, turnips and spinach. Make regular sowings of salad such as spring onions, radish and lettuce. Plant leeks, winter cabbage, Brussels sprouts and savoys. Pinch out tomato plants at the tip. Watch out for blight on potatoes and tomatoes and remove and burn any infected leaves. When sowing and planting add Growmore fertilizer. Water tomatoes and runner beans regularly and other crops as the weather dictates. Watch out for cabbage white caterpillars on all brassicas.

The greenhouse.
The fruit of tomatoes will develop blossom end rot unless plants are watered at regular intervals. Plants in gro-bags need to be watered more than those growing in deep pots. Keep the greenhouse humid in hot weather by damping down the floor but ventilate well to prevent build up of fungal diseases. Watch out for red spiders and whitefly. Take cuttings of lavenders now.

Lawn and garden.
Mow grass regularly but never cut grass too short, particularly in dry weather. Do not water established lawns. Apply fertilizer such as Aftercut from time to time. Leave turfing new areas until the early autumn. Keep the garden tidy and make compost with prunings and leaves. Keep the pond clean and provide water for wildlife in hot weather.
Terry Simmonds

This page is edited by Tony

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