Summer’s here! So let’s enjoy an afternoon cider in a pub garden, BBQ’s on the beach, bronzed buff bodies, slow-mo beach volleyball, studs in Speedos, sun-kissed lifeguards – oh, who cares what’s happening the garden!!

Sorry – not sure what happened there. The summer is well and truly here and you’ll be harvesting your crops on a daily basis – if you’ve been successful with your endeavours you’ll be eating the loveliest, freshest food on the planet.

So (safely) work on your tan and your garden at the same time with these handy hints:

Fill that hole Any of your early crops that you’ve finished harvesting can now be taken out to make room for oncoming plants. Space is usually the biggest issue for the home gardener so empty gaps are your enemy at this stage in the year. If you want to take your home garden to the next level look into ‘crop rotation’ plans. There is loads of advice out there on planting things in sequence to give you the best results everytime.

Spread ‘em Watering is your top priority – watering isn’t just about making your plants flourish – regular watering can also keep them from bolting. Hot, dry weather can be a real problem at this time of year – you should be using water from your rain water collection but this can quickly deplete in a dry spell. By spreading mulch around your plants you can help keep the soil from drying out and discourages weeds. It also looks pretty for when you’re smugly showing your friends around your kitchen garden with a glass of chilled pinot.

Time is ticking After all the waiting to sow at the beginning of the year we’re already approaching the last chance to sow some crops. At this time of year get your fast growing salads leaves in the ground and you should be feasting on them in no time. The time you have to get things in the ground varies depending on your location in the country so be aware of your climate – if you want a longer growing season you could always look into investing in a tunnel…

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Tunnel vision If you’ve got a polytunnel you’re growing period is going to be extended to give you extra time to sow and harvest. You will be able to start your planting earlier in the year and finish later, so if you find yourself getting green fingers it really should be a consideration. The great thing about polytunnels is that you can over winter things like salad crops so they effectively hibernate in the winter and stay fresh until you come in to harvest them. You can also have parties in the rain if you have a polytunnel – bonus.

Don’t forget the war against pests will be raging on, weeding is ongoing and watering is your most important task.

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So if you can tear yourself away from the beach and all the treats the summer brings, you’ll be rewarded in the garden with an abundance of food – or get the best of both worlds and hire a hunky gardener, then all you have to do is sit on your sun lounger and drink Diet Coke. Happy summer!

About the author: Adam Willcox
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