Summer Tips

Herbs

Try a few different herbs in pots near the kitchen door. The garden centres all have a good selection of potted herbs in various sizes. Select good young plants of the varieties of herbs that you use pot them up in ordinary seed and potting compost into larger pots and they will see you through the Summer. Perennial herbs like sage, rosemary and mint will give you years of service.
  

Flower borders

Make sure that plants don’t dry out in hot dry conditions, water thoroughly and then mulch with well rotted garden compost or farmyard manure, remove dead heads to encourage flowering to continue. Controlling weeds removes the competition for nutrients so your plants will do better.
  

Dahlias

As well as making sure that they are growing well , depending on the variety and size you will need to disbud to obtain the proper flower size. Some varieties will also require de branching otherwise the plants will try to produce too many flowers to be able to attain their potential size, de branching is more likely to be required if your soil is not in tip top condition and your plants are not doing very well, particularly with the giant and large varieties.
  

Fuchsias

If growing in pots watering is a must, sometimes more often than once a day may be required, and don’t forget feeding, pots soon become exhausted after regular watering withnutrients being washed out.

  

Hanging Baskets

As with fuchsias watering and feeding is the most important care required, they dry out incredibly quickly and serious damage can occur on a hot Summers day.
  

Vegetables

Try and keep on top of weed control. Harvesting as crops mature encourages long cropping . Watering is obviously required but target the applicationto the crops that need it . Water the early potatoes as they start to bulk up, main crop potatoes can be left a while yet before they need , whereas runner beans need to be kept well watered throughout the growing period, brassicas once well established do not require large amounts of water, and will only need watering in very hot or dry conditions.
  

Flower Shows

Keep a lookout for advertising about your local societies Flower Show, the show season really starts in June and continues through into September. Shows can be great fun and you will meet like minded gardeners who are coping with the local conditions and you will be able to learn a lot from the other exhibitors which can only be a great thing to help you with your own garden
  
Good luck and good gardening,

Geoff Peach, Chairman

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