Hopefully, you will reap the rewards of your spring gardening efforts during the summer. To keep your garden in peak condition through to autumn, there are a number of jobs you can do to maintain your lawn, borders, and pots.
No Waste Watering
When the weather is dry, watering becomes the number one job. The best time to water is early morning, as watering in the midday sun can scorch your foliage.
A hosepipe is an essential piece of equipment in most gardens. With the right fittings, a hose can be used efficiently without wasting water. The Ultra-Twist spray gun, for example, can be used as a sprinkler for the vegetable path and to gently irrigate newly sown seeds.
Prepare for dry spells with some simple water conservation ideas. To keep soil moist, add pot toppers or gravel pebbles to pots and containers and a layer of mulch to your beds and borders. Gro-Sure Smart Ground Cover is a great new product that provides better cover than traditional bark, keeping soil moist as well as giving borders a makeover. For hanging baskets, add water-retaining crystals. A great water-saving product to invest in is a water butt if you don’t already have one. These can be your saviour during prolonged dry spells, as well as being economically and environmentally friendly.
Having a water butt to collect rainwater is another great way to conserve water. It can be a real saviour in prolonged dry spells.
Vital Vittles for Plants
When plants are growing quickly, they use up a lot of nutrients. Regular watering in the hot summer months also washes away some soluble nutrients that are essential for plant growth. A little plant food provides essential sustenance to encourage continued healthy growth. If you are using an All Purpose soluble feed, just pop a scoop or two in your watering can when you water.
Container care is often overlooked. Feeding containers regularly with a standard feed like Miracle Gro can make a big difference.
Spray, Feed & Water Roses
With roses, you get out what you put in. To achieve top quality roses that provide fragrant flowers all summer, keep feeding and watering them and watch out for any disease. Sprinkle Rose Food around their base and spray with a specific product like Rose Clear. Prune roses to ensure a second later bloom of flowers. Cut back on the stem as far as where the flowers stop being produced.
A Healthy Green Lawn
To keep your lawn in top condition, we recommend a lawn feed like Aftercut All in One. It should be applied evenly when the soil is moist and rainfall is expected. During prolonged dry spells, you will need to water the lawn for several days after application.
When mowing, avoid cutting grass too short as it puts the grass under stress and allows weeds to invade. Target small patches of weeds with a dedicated lawn weedkiller.
To help your plants produce more flowers – instead of putting energy into seed production – deadhead frequently. If seedpods develop, plants come to a standstill and often die.
Use a light pair of pruners, like the Burgon & Ball RHS range, and regularly pick over your plants – think of it as giving them a haircut! This will also help them product decent growth for the following spring.
The Holiday-Ready Garden
If you have a well-deserved trip coming up, the last thing you want is to come back to a garden full of dead planters and pots. There are a number of ways you can ensure your garden blooms while you relax:
- The obvious answer is to ask your neighbours. Even if you have a watering system in place, it helps to have a friendly eye to watch over it. If you wanted to give a small gesture of appreciation for their help, you could give them a Hillier Garden Centre gift token.
- Implement an automatic watering system. The Hozelock range of sensor and cloud controlled watering devices, for example, can be programmed via an app to water at times that precisely suit the garden’s needs. This is an efficient use of water and gives peace of mind when you are away for longer periods.
- Use Aqua Save Watering Cones. Screw these simple cones onto the end of a drinks bottle, tip upside down, push into the soil and fill with water before you depart. The cones deliver a steady release of water at the roots. A 2-litre bottle is recommended for plants requiring a lot of water and more than one cone for holidays longer than a week.
- Create a self-contained garden. If you have a sheltered garden, a low-maintenance way to keep it healthy through the summer is to choose plants that create their own canopy and require little water. Salvia, Lavendula, Origanum, Echinops, Choisya, all grasses and Miscanthus Sinensis ‘Variegatus’ are just some of the number of plant varieties we recommend for this sort of garden.
There is nothing better than being out in the garden in the summer sunshine, but be sure to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Wear a hat and sunscreen with a strong UV filter and avoid being out in the midday sun.
Wishing you a glorious summer in the garden!