In the grow-your-own garden, things have not all been plain sailing but salads are cropping and early peas are picking now. Beans have been really slow to get going with repeated germination failures because of the cold and poor light levels. Courgettes are a bit behind but will soon catch up. With any garden crop, regular picking and start feeding at the right time not when the plants are looking sick or have stopped performing! The other good move is to sow fresh crops – a little but often works well. A short row of salad leaves every couple of weeks will give a continuous supply of tasty fresh green goodness. There’s still time to sow spring onions, radishes, Swiss chard, spinach, late carrots, spring cabbages and cauliflowers to overwinter.
Summer pruning and thinning can be helpful if you want to grow larger flowers or fruits. In a good blossom year when almost every flower sets a fruit, the plant can’t possible support all of them and a bit of strategic thinning taking out the weaker fruits will give the others the chance to really develop. Pruning out surplus shoots helps preserve the shape of a plant, or in the case of a fruit tree or bush, helps produce the right shape and framework for next year’s flowers, and most importantly lets light in which will help ripen the crop.
In the fruit garden, bush fruit need picking, and tree fruits may need thinning or at least some summer pruning to make sure the crop gets a good chance to develop to a good size. Young trees will benefit from watering.
Weeds grow all year round but never more so than when you are away on holiday! Hoeing is the safest and most environmentally friendly way of controlling them but has to be done frequently and in dry conditions. Good gardeners usually have a hoe close to hand to fill in the odd spare moments.
Greenhouses and conservatories get very hot and most plants should be outside. If not then the glass should be shaded with white shading paint or green netting. Many houseplants enjoy a summer holiday outside and especially like a shower of rain which can really freshen them up. Make sure they also get a feed to support new growth.
Tubs and baskets need regular care to be at their best. Dead-heading, watering and feeding are all vital. Repeat flowering herbaceous perennials also benefit from dead-heading and a feed.
Warm sunny weather encourages blanket weed and algae on ponds. You will need to remove the muck from the pond and keep it topped up.
Lawns are best not cut too close in dry weather, and if you do remove the clippings then be sure to give a quick acting summer feed, especially if a spring treatment was not given.
Evergreens can be trimmed, especially topiaried plants such as box. Keep wall shrubs and climbers tied in and prune off the growth that is obviously heading in the wrong direction.