It’s been an unsettled start to the Summer season, but fingers crossed things start to be looking up in more ways than one! There’s always plenty to do in the garden at this time of year, here’s Andrew’s top tips to get you started:
- Cut back faded perennials such as Oriental Poppies, cutting back now will encourage fresh new growth and maybe a flush of flowers. Perennials such as Penstemon’s can be deadheaded regularly, to promote new flower buds to form. Perennials such as geraniums and delphiniums can be cut back hard to encourage both fresh foliage and fresh flowers.
- Keep your hanging baskets and pots in good condition by regularly deadheading spent flowers, also trim back excessive growth. These two jobs will encourage your baskets to keep producing more new growth, which will produce even more flowers.
- Roses can still be planted, make sure the plants are healthy, they should be a nice deep green, and hopefully complete with flowers and buds. Plant in good soil, and water well. Make sure to deadhead regularly, to encourage more flowers.
- Climbing plants will be starting to produce lots of new growth, so these can be tied into any supports you may have, be it canes, trellis or a pergola. Clematis, Honeysuckle and Jasmine’s have fairly flexible stems. So they can be tied in loosely, so they can climb and scramble. Wisteria’s can be tied in and pruned in July. Tie any long whippy growth you would like to create a framework. Any other whippy growth that is being produced at the moment, can be pruned down to between 3 and 5 buds to promote flower buds for next Spring’s flowering.
- Both Sweet Peppers and Chilli Peppers wil benefit from being potted on into larger pots now. Choose a slightly larger pot than the one it’s currently in. A good rule of thumb is that, if you can fit two fingers down in between the old pot and the new pot, that is enough to pot on into. Try not to overpot, as the plants will sit in wet compost for too long while they root through. Once potted, keep well fed and well watered.
- Tomatoes should be starting to bear fruit now, or be well on their way. Any side shoots can be taken off, this encourages the plants to grow straight up, which then encourages fruit trusses to form. Any lower leaves that are turning yellow, can be cut off. This allows sunlight onto the first trusses, which will in turn encourage them to ripen. Keep feeding at least once a week with a good quality tomato feed such as Tomorite, or Maxicrop Seaweed.
- If you had planted Garlic over the winter, they should be nearing maturity. The tall foliage should be turning yellow, and will probably start bending over to one side. Once this happens, the bulbs can be lifted and either left on the ground to ripen (if no rain is due) of stored in a cool dry place. Once dried, they can be used as and when needed.
- Salad Veg. We all enjoy a homegrown salad, so you should be harvesting lots of lovely homegrown salad crops such as Lettuce, Rocket, Radish, Spinach etc. These can be sown straight into the garden, or into pots around the patio. We have both in our house, just remember that as you cut one lot, always have another couple of pots, or lines already sown in the garden for next time you need salad.
- You can still lay lawns by either seed or turf. We always have a good supply of Turf here, but always ring ahead and check our availability, as sometimes we sell out very quickly. We get the turf cut the day before it arrives here on the Garden Centre, so you can always be guaranteed fresh turf. If you have a delay in laying it though, don’t worry as turf can survive well as rolls for upto 3 or 4 days, depending on the weather. We also have a calculator on the website that will calculate exactly what you need.
- The winter knocked some pest levels for six this year, but with rising temperatures, they are starting to multiply, so keep an eye out for a few tell-tale signs.
- Aphid’s are starting to increase, so keep an eye out for crinkled and distorted leaves, particularly on new growth, also look for black marks on the tops of leaves, that look like soot. Keep an eye on the undersides of leaves and on the tips of any new growth. Use one of our Organic sprays, these wont provide an immediate knock down as sprays have done in the past, but will gradually reduce the numbers over time, but you have to remember to keep applying the spray.
- If you have Lillies, the bright red dreaded lily beetle should have started to appear. There is no control for this, so the easiest way to control it, is to physically pick them off and dispose of them in whatever way you like.
- If you do find anything, and you’re not sure, please do get in touch. We will be able to let you know what the problem is, and how to treat it.