We are now at the time of the year where you can start enjoying all the effort you put into your garden earlier in the year as flowers begin to bloom and fruits ripen. It’s still important to keep up with all the routine jobs especially prior to going on holiday so that the garden doesn’t become a mess whilst you are away. Jobs such as watering, mowing, weeding and dead heading fall into this category.
- A good rule to follow for early summer flowering shrubs such as Mock Orange (Philadelphus) and the Snowball tree (Viburnum opulus Sterile) is to prune immediately after flowering. Use a good quality bypass secateur, such as the Burgon and Ball Professional Compact Bypass Secateur, and take off all the branches that have just flowered.
- Deadheading roses after each flush of flowers is also a good way to encourage it to produce the next batch. Time now for the second application of Toprose rose fertilizer, which you can just spread on the soil beneath the bushes. Watch out for the two most prevalent rose diseases - black spot and mildew - and spray with Roseclear Ultra as soon as you see any sign of either of these.
- The most likely reason for plants in your baskets and pots either not performing very well, or at worst dying, is through the lack of water. Water regularly, and heavily, at least 3 times a week to keep them growing and flowering well. Consider using some micro irrigation kits to target the water application so that you don’t waste anything. The Hozelock Easy drip micro kit will water 15 pots at once. You can add a controller to make it fully automatic.
- Whilst you are watering, you should also be feeding at least once a week. At this time of year it’s important to use a liquid feed as the nutrients are immediately available to the plants so switch to Miracle Gro concentrated liquid plant food or Tomorite, which is good for all fruiting or flowering plants.
- Keep an eye on the rapid growth of tall slim plants such as Gladioli and provide some support using Tom Chambers herbaceous supports so that you can fully enjoy the flowers.
- If you like growing your own plants, now is a good time to sow winter flowering pansy seed. They will not need any additional heat from a propagator and will germinate quite happily in a seed tray in a shady spot outside. Ideally add Perlite to your seed compost to ensure free drainage and a strong root system and cover the seed with approximately 3 millimetres of vermiculite, which holds moisture around the germinating seed and doesn’t stick together, enabling easy emergence for the new plant.
- Finally, towards the end of the month, we should have the first of the Autumn Crocus bulbs in stock. Oh dear, autumn already!
Remember, if you have any gardening questions, click here to ask us.
Until next month, happy gardening!
The Diamond Doctor