Written by: Kevin White
Grow your own leaves
Leaves don’t only grow on trees to make them look pretty, they can dress your salad and make a healthy meal too! Walk into any restaurant these days and you will find it hard to find a meal without it accompanying a plate full of leaves. Try growing your own over summer, it may not be as cheap as buying from the shop but they can also add decoration to your patio or decking.
Pruning in the summer
Pruning is usually done in the coldest part of the year when the heavy frosts have past. If you prune earlier for example in early to mid-August they will still be enough heat, moisture and light for the buds to develop into vegetative buds opposed to fruiting ones.
If you leave the pruning in the summer, you will then get fruit buds forming instead of vegetative buds. Summer flowering bulbs and shrubs can also be kept back in the summer to encourage a fresh flowering growth.
Vines are notorious for attacking your plants during the summer months. To avoid them strangling your plants, wrench the soil in containers with Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer -this is a biological and non-chemical treatment.
During the height of the summer make sure you water your tomatoes evenly to allow them to grow into a good crop of tomatoes.
When your sweet peas and broad bean plants have finished producing and have died, cut them down but leave the roots for a good few weeks as this adds nitrogen to the soil.
Prune back your rose bushes after the first bloom and dead head them to keep them tame and under control. Clean up all the leaves especially those that have suffered from black spot. If you find black spot to be a problem you will need to buy a special spray to eradicate this.
Not too late
It’s not too late to plant some blooming bulbs such as dahlias and sunflowers. These will add lots of colour and character to your garden.
Dead head bedding plants to keep them flowering for longer. Cut back on the flowers such as geraniums to encourage the second flowering period.
Tie your climbers such as roses and clematis to fences, walls and trellises, as this will encourage further growth and stop them from falling.
Make sure you put your pots and containers into the shade, because the heat and sunshine will dry them out quickly. Give them a good deep soaking to help develop strong roots.
Going on holiday
The last thing you want to do is come back from a holiday to a messy overgrown garden, so make sure you mow the lawn at the very last minute so the grass will be the shortest possible when you leave. Make sure you place a sprinkler timer on so your plants are watered regularly while you’re away.