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GARDENING: Welcome To Summer

Welcome to summer. Forecast is rain, wind, hail and baking sun.

A little more of the latter would be nice though. If you’re lucky enough to be off work on a dry day and find yourself staring at your garden (for the first time this year) and wondering what to do first, then here are a few helpful hints to guide you in the right direction.

Ok first things first. can you get into your garden since everything started growing at twice the speed thanks to all this rain? If not then it’s always good to make yourself the room to work.

Mow the lawn. Simple. The average lawn takes ten minuets to cut and it’ll look like you’ve achieved a lot in this short space of time, giving you the enthusiasm to carry on. Don’t scalp your lawn when cutting. I use the 2nd or 3rd setting on my mower (approx 3 – 4cm). This will help keep the green colour and you lawn cool in these hot drought days we’ve been having. (I’m still hopeful)! Most lawns should be cut every two weeks.

Prune back any of your shrubs that flowered in the Spring. For example the blue flowering Ceanothus. Give them a good haircut and remove any dead branches.

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The daffodil and other spring bulb leaves should be turning brown and crisp now. Once they have, then remove. By letting the leaves die back first you are feeding the bulbs ready for next years display. Any bulbs that come up just re plant as you go along. Remembering to generally plant the bulb twice it’s height deep.

Weeding. Everyone knows what a dandelion looks like so there’s no excuse for pulling them out, making sure you get all the root. Other ‘weeds’ can look pretty and flower as well as your bedding plants. So pull out what you don’t like. Remember a ‘weed’ is just an unwanted plant. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with weeds and one of my favourite bedding plants at the moment is the ‘Baccopa – Snowflake’ which started life as a Spanish weed!

Keep on deadheading. Bedding plants and Roses for continual flowers throughout the summer. General rule of Roses is to cut the dead flower off just above the next lowest bud (look for signs where the leaves and stem join) cutting at a 45 degree angle away from the bud so that when it rains the water falls off the branch and not into the bud causing it to rot.

If you’re in a drought affected area then a water-butt is a great investment. Especially during these wet weeks. Store your water supply until needed. You will be amazed at how quickly it will fill. My 200L water-butt filled up in two nights! Plus when you do water your plants you get to feel smug about saving the planet ad precious water supplies.

When watering your veg. and flowers give them a little feed every other week. I use ‘Tomorite’ which is a tomato feed but is also good for your bedding plants.

If you have any gardening questions you’d like answering then do get in touch with The Gay Gardener. Have a wonderful summer, keep the sun lotion up and happy gardening.


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