As spring turns to summer, your garden is already getting plenty of colour, but now is a good time to think about how you want it to look next summer too.
Head Gardener Sue Broughton has shared some more great gardening tips on what you can do for your garden now – but also in readiness for next year.
As the temperatures rise, remember to be more liberal with the watering can. We get thirstier in the summer months and our plants are no different. Make sure your tubs and pots are regularly watered as plants don’t do well if they are allowed to go dry.
Try to get into the habit of giving them the same amount at the same time each day, morning or night, whichever is easiest for you. Remember to increase the quantity in very hot weather.
Don’t forget to deadhead too so your blooms keep flowering in the years ahead.
No doubt, you will already be enjoying a riot of colour in your gardens, but July is a great time to sow certain plants ready for flowering next year.
There’s plenty to choose from. You might want to go for Foxgloves and Sweet Williams, and maybe some wallflowers, which always look amazing when they come into full bloom in year two. Whatever you choose, it will certainly be worth the wait.
If you have an existing patch of perennial wildflower meadow in your garden, big or small, August is a great time to do some prep work. Cut it down, leave it for a few days to allow the seeds to drop before gathering it up and putting it on your compost heap.
It also means that your wildflower area is all sown ready for next year. I have a small wildflower area in the centre of my lawn at home, but you can have it in any small patch you want.
Beetroot, lettuce, radish and popular herbs are like Basil and Coriander - the choice is yours, but get sowing! If you already grow salad and herbs, no doubt your Spring supply is running low so make sure you re-plant to top up your supply. It’s best to plant every two to three weeks to ensure you get a successional crop.
You don’t need to sow salad or herbs crops in the ground either. Lined wine boxes, for example, are great and you can involve the kids too. They love being part of the growing process… particularly getting outside with their watering cans.
It will make your life so much easier to keep hoeing over the ground rather than having to stoop down and uproot weeds by hand. Even if you can’t see any weeds, just run the hoe over the top as it will kill any weed that is just starting to germinate. It will also prevent slug eggs, which are a big pain for gardeners.
Sue has one very important final message too…don’t work too hard! The long summer days are also the perfect time to just sit out and enjoy your garden, with a cold drink and good company.