Long, hot and lazy summer days are here! But the garden still needs attention.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most from the garden and still enjoy the sunshine.
**Plants will need plenty of water in prolonged sun and heat. Most of them will anyway. There are only a few plants that survive well in near-drought conditions. Check on your seed packets or online if you can’t remember but generally most plants will get thirsty in the summer.
**Keep cropping your salad crops and stop eating asparagus. It’s often said that asparagus season ends in mid-June but sometimes it goes on a little longer. Let the asparagus do what it wants to do. Often a tall fern will appear – careful these tend to be sharp – and you either cut it down in the autumn or let it flower and collect the seed. It’s unlikely you’ll get a good crop next year though if you leave it to flower.
**Keep on top of the weeds and check your plants daily for any disease or pests. Blight can be a disaster for tomatoes and potatoes. Check for signs of disease every day and if infected, it’s probably best to pull up the plant and burn it before it spreads. That’s the general gardening opinion but you may feel differently. If plants are spread out in the garden they are less likely to be infected.
**Some winter crops can be started now. You could get some oriental type cabbages or kale seeds going. And some of the faster growing vegetables can be started now. They will come on quickly in a good summer. Carrots, beetroot and even a few more lettuces can be sown. They may not reach full maturity but you can enjoy them when they’re small. Or buy some ready-grown plants at your local gardener’s market.
**Check strawberry plants and place some dry straw underneath swelling fruits. You don’t want them touching the soil as they will rot quickly or get eaten by slugs. Protect all soft fruits from birds with a wildlife friendly netting.
**Apple trees may have dropped some immature fruits in May and June but they could still need thinning out. Check all the bunches you can reach and take out any fruits that look weak or damaged. This will allow the others to develop more efficiently.
**Make sure all those little extra branches on your tomato plants aren’t growing. Pinch them out. If the plants have four trusses starting to develop their fruits, it’s often suggested that the next one should be removed to allow the plant to put all its energy into the already growing tomatoes. It does depend on your growing season though and the variety you are growing. Cherry tomatoes ripen quickly and you could perhaps have as many as a dozen successful trusses.
It’s all about the plants this month although you may have to drag the lawnmower out a couple of times.
P.S. These notes are taken from the Any Year, Any Time Garden Journal! Keep on top of the garden chores and get the most from your garden experience.
Download and print out the pages as you need them. Documenting your garden experiences gives you a heads up in the following year! Available at Etsy now and super cheap 🙂 Garden Journal