Maintain your garden looking at its bright and beautiful best through the summer months
June is finally here! We seem to spend all year waiting for the explosion of colour and fragrance that brings our gardens to life during the warmer months – and it’s finally time to enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Warmth and sunshine are essential for a lively garden, but unfortunately nature doesn’t do all the work for you even at this time of year! The good news is, these tasks are a great excuse to get out in the garden and admire your handiwork, and can be completed with minimal fuss. To maximise growth and enjoyment this year, and in the years ahead, just make sure you’re keeping up with these few simple jobs through June and July.
Maintain your hanging baskets and bedding containers
If you planted up some lovely hanging baskets or bedding containers during the spring, you can be sure they are relying on you now! Hanging above ground, baskets are much more prone to drying out or becoming neglected, which can really hinder growth. They’re simple enough to maintain, but can require daily watering – this is where waterproof basket liners come in handy, essential for holding in some of that moisture. These tips apply to both hanging baskets and bedding containers.
- Check the baskets each day and water unless the compost is visibly soggy. Make sure there are holes in the bottom of your basket to provide drainage and prevent problems with root rot.
- Once a week, add a good liquid tomato feed to the water for an extra nutrient boost. These plants crave potassium, of which there’s plenty in good tomato fertiliser (to avoid this, you can also add slow-release fertiliser gel or pellets to the compost at the time of planting).
- To keep the plants’ energy going where it needs to go, make sure you keep on top of deadheading – remove any faded or dead blooms with your finger and thumb, or snip away cleanly with gardening scissors. This stops your plants wasting resources on growing new seeds.
With a bit of daily attention, your hanging baskets should thrive and create great interest points at eye level in your garden.
Staking, supporting and tying in
Don’t risk hard-earned flowering perennials, fruit bushes or climbers becoming topheavy and tumbling over as they grow – now is the season to get busy with the bamboo, or hazel, or metal rods – whichever is your weapon of choice for supporting your fast-growing plants. Grab your garden string and scissors!
- Many lighter plants are happy to be staked with bamboo or lightweight plastic, one stake per plant. Just push your chosen stake into the ground next to the plant (making sure that the top of the plant still stands higher than the tip of the stake) and tie gently using string, about two-thirds of the way up the stem.
- Large clumps of plants, or fruit- or vegetable-bearing climbers, may need a sturdier wooden pole or even metal to climb up as they grow.
- As new growth comes through, train the stems gently to follow their supports as they should. Tie string securely around the stake, and then around the stems to hold them in place so that the wood can grow and stiffen the plants into place. Take care not to squash the delicate stems when you’re doing this, and it’s best to wait until the new shoot is around 10-15cm in length before you tie in.
This time of year, it’s really enjoyable to be out in the garden (as long as the weather holds), so make the most of it with these simple jobs, and enjoy!