Posted by: braddenvillage | July 9, 2010

The Garden in Summer – by James

The Garden in Summer

Phew! This summer is shaping up to be pretty tough on our gardens. With limited rain, and a possible hosepipe ban, some tender plants will need all the TLC we can give them! Pots and baskets drying out in moments, and the old problem of watering when the sun is cool, well forget it!

Water whenever you can, with whatever you can! Shrubs and small trees will love you for dousing their roots with bath water (just be easy on the soap and shampoo!) and leaving a few weeds around your veg will actually shade the soil and prevent drying out! Forget about scorching the leaves of plants, just water the roots! It uses less water and is more effective.

The best thing to do, however, is to mulch your soil after a good watering with anything- compost, bark, cocoa shells, chippings… this traps moisture and improves the soil so it can hold water better in the future and can help suppress weeds and looks attractive! What could be better!

Allotments and veg gardens are excellent fun for kids! Sowing and growing the simple things with kids is great fun and a brilliant way of teaching them a little bit about nature. From the simplest radish and lettuce to whopping sunflowers an allotment or veg patch can be a child’s wonderland. My 5 year old son has been fascinated with radishes and how big they can get and actually being more adventurous with the food he tries! As well as learning about edible leaves grown on the allotment we have been finding edible leaves in the hedgerows, from early hawthorn, in the spring, to elderflowers and their effervescent taste (and its so easy to make into delicious cordial- see and look for cordial!) it is obviously essential to know what you can pick, but with some simple research it is possible to make a fantastic salad for free, try ramsons (wild garlic) and dandelion leaves with some dressing, Delicious!

As well as the usual chores there are some tasks best done in July/August

Lifting and dividing bulbs- carefully dig up clumps of daffodils, crocuses, snowdrops and bluebells to produce a better display next spring! After lifting it’s a good idea to dry the bulbs in an airy shaded spot until September and re-plant them when the soil is moist.

It is the perfect time to trim beech and hornbeam hedges in July to ensure that you have the attractive dry leaves that last until spring. Trimming now produces juvenile foliage and buds that need protection from winter frost, and this is what the plant does by keeping the leaves as a blanket!

Obviously a garden can be as busy as you make it, but I can’t fit everything in! My best advice is don’t worry about the weeds just make sure you get out and enjoy your gardens this summer!
If you need advice or help with anything garden related I am here to help!
James, 07541192818.

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