Posted by: braddenvillage | May 9, 2011

Summer in the Garden! May 2011- By James

Summer in the Garden!

It is now that the hard work of winter and spring really pays off, with more daylight hours and warm evenings we can enjoy the amazing display that plants give us. It is a continual source of pleasure to see plants that struggled in the cold doing well and recovering.
It is shaping up to be an early and abundant summer, and after the warmest and driest spring for many years many plants are well ahead in producing seeds and fruits.

If you are lucky enough to have a fruit tree or two it is important to help them out as much as possible. If the tree is small enough to reach all of the fruit then thinning Apples and Pears is a good idea. Taking around 1/3 to ½ of forming fruit off all over, leaving one or two fruit to develop individually. This produces better quality fruit and reduces the drain on the plants resources. If apples are putting on a lot of leafy growth a light trim is advisable to reduce winter pruning. On larger trees mulching a large area around the canopy after a good watering is highly beneficial in times of drought.

It is vital to keep you garden hydrated during the summer months, particularly in hot spells. Focus on the areas that need it such as young plants and vegetables and make sure they get a thorough soaking. Mulching will help maintain the moisture around plants but be sure the soil is moist before you mulch as it keeps water out as well as in. Using rainwater or ‘grey water’ where possible to conserve water is something we should all get used to and can really reduce wasting our most precious resource.

Things to do;
• Prune flowering shrubs such as Deutzia, Weigela and Philadelphus after they have finished flowering.
• Cut back dead bulb foliage if not done already. It is important to wait until the foliage dies down naturally, as cutting back too early can lead to a no flowering plant next year.
• Gaps in herbaceous borders can be filled with annual/summer bedding for splashes of colour.
• Hoe borders regularly to keep down weeds, don’t let weeds flower!
• Clip evergreen hedges such as privet (Ligustrum), box (Buxus) and Lonicera nitida if needed,
• Clip Beech hedges by the end of July to retain dead leaves over winter.
• Dead head any dead/dying flowers. Roses especially respond well to dead heading, simply twist, cut or snap off the faded flowers to encourage new blooms.

Above all Gardening is many things to many people, for whatever reason you find yourself gardening, from a passionate love of plants to getting nagged to mow the lawn I wish you success! If there is any particular Gardening problem or answers to specific questions, or topics you wish to see here, please e-mail or drop a line on my facebook page (Gardens by James)! I would be glad to help!

James- Gardens by James- 07541 192818

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