5 Tasks to care for your Garden in Summer
Summer has arrived and those long dark winters months are over, meaning you can do all those things you had planned to do in your garden. Here is a list of your summer jobs:
Watering your Garden
This is the time of year for watering hanging baskets and containers daily. Also water new plants that you have put in the ground as they do not yet have the root systems to support themselves and will quickly dry out. For plants in the ground it is best to give them a real soaking a couple of times a week rather than daily. This will encourage the roots to grow down rather than stay at the surface. It takes plants about 3 years to establish properly.
If you notice any plant with droopy leaves then give it a water as well. For shrubs leave the hose pipe as the pipe and water from 4 minutes to an hour.
Dead head your plants
Remove dead heads from bedding plants and perennials that flower repeatedly to encourage a long flowering season. The more time a plant invests in seed production the less it will flower. Early flowering perennials can be cut back to the ground. It will grow new leaves and possibly even have a second flowering.
Deadheading plants is to maintain appearance but also to improve performance
Keep your pests at bay
Pests love the warm weather. Greenfly and blackfly will quickly colonise your plants and spread diseases among the plants. Give them a quick blast with your hose sprayer to prevent them getting out of hand.
Slugs and snails love the bedding plants, as do caterpillars. You may be able to keep them under control by removing them by hand, but if not you may have to resort to more harmful means. Snail and slug pellets and insecticide are a last resort. I try to encourage predators that enjoy an aphid or two. Ladybirds love a bugs so grow a range of plants that attract these and they will keep the bugs under control for you. Achillea, tagetes and Cosmos, to name just three, will encourage ladybirds but ask at your local garden centre for ones that do well in your area.
Don’t water the lawn
Grass goes dormant when suffering from drought but will quickly go green again when it rains.
Save drinking water, a precious resource in summer, for drinking and not for keeping your lawn green.
Lift the blades on your lawn mower, as a short lawn will get dry more quickly than a longer one. If your lawn is green then feed it once a month through the summer to keep it healthy and strong.
Prune your shrubs
Just after a shrub has flowers is usually the best time to shape and prune it. Many shrubs either need time to grow new buds for flowers, or flower on the current year’s growth. If you leave pruning too late you might not get any flowers the following year. Trim your spring flowering shrubs to shape and then leave them alone.
Whenever tips are removed, lower buds are stimulated to grow