Thursday 5 July 2018

Gardening jobs...July

The hot weather has continued through June in the UK and looks set to stay for this month. You may not want to be too busy in the garden at the moment but it should be at its peak this month. Remember to cover up, wear a hat and apply sun cream if you are out in the sun. Above all enjoy the sight of your garden and all the hard work that has gone into it!

Move plants out of the heat – Help keep plants from drying out by moving any in pots to shadier spots.

Collect water where you can – If it does rain put out buckets, pots and whatever else you can collect the precious water with. Also use any water you use for rinsing in the kitchen or bathroom.

Mulch – Retain moisture by adding a layer of mulch around plants. Water first and then the mulch should help to stop the moisture from evaporating.

Don't worry about the lawn – Don't waste water on the lawn. If it starts to go brown once it does rain it will soon recover.

Keep picking sweet peas – If you let them go to seed the flowers will stop coming. Pick them when it is cooler in the morning or evening and then let the heat of the day release their fragrant scent.

Use strawberry runners – Pin down the runners coming out of the strawberries. In a couple of weeks they should have taken and you have new plants. Strawberry plants need renewing every 3 to 4 years to keep the crop at its best. Use the new plants from the runners to replace your old ones. If you don't want the new plants make sure to cut the runners off otherwise they will take energy from the main plant.

Weed it out – In hot weather you can use a hoe to gently lift the weeds to the top of the soil. The heat will then kill the weeds without you needing to pick each of them up.

Check potato crops – For first early crops check for potatoes while the above ground growth is still green and the flowers start to open. For first earlies eat once they are ready. Later crops are best for storing.

Look after tomatoes – Once the first fruits start to appear cut off the lower leaves on the plant. This will help to reserve energy for the growing tomatoes and also let light get to them to ripen them.

Deadhead – Keep deadheading flowers throughout the month. Not only do dead flowers look unattractive but a lot of energy will go into making seed heads. 

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