Whatever the weather or time of year there is always something to be done in the garden.
Each month we ask our managers to give us their advice on what we should be looking at at this time of year.
The Kitchen Garden
Plant out remaining tender fruit now, along with celery, aubergine and tomatoes. Continue to earth up potatoes. Late peas and beans can be sown directly into the ground. Watch out for caterpillars and aphids, and treat with insecticides to prevent further attacks. Layer strawberry plants by securing runners to the soil with wires – an inexpensive way of increasing your existing plants as protect fruit with a thick straw mulch.
The Water Garden
Water evaporates during windy or hot weather, leading to the water level dropping. The reduced surface area can be damaging for fish as there’s less oxygen available, so top up the pond if necessary. Ideally use rainwater from a butt, as tap water can contain chlorine and chloramines that can harm fish. If this is not possible make sure you add a dechlorinator to the pond when adding new water. Top the pond up slowly so the pond doesn’t cool down too quickly. Use an oxygenator or water feature to break the surface of the water to increase oxygen levels. Make sure you are not overfeeding your fish as this can lead to excess nutrients in the water which can then cause algae and blanketweed problems.
Gentle hardening off may be necessary but in general it is safe to put summer bedding plants out. When Cytisus varieties have finished flowering, prune back to encourage new growth. Check roses for aphids and blackspot and treat accordingly. As flowers fade, dead head and prune lightly, feeding with Toprose. Complete hanging baskets and place in their final positions install a drip feed system if you are in doubt about keeping up with summer droughts.
Use a liquid feed or Aftercut if you are concerned about dry spells. Spot treat weeds with a lawn weedkiller.
The benches that have been taken up with seedlings can now be used to support zonal pelargoniums, fuchsia, chrysanths and citrus plants. Keep them fed and watered regularly water in the mornings to prevent evening chills and to create humidity. Water Tomatoes regularly and feed with Tomato feed, pinch outside shoots and allow a maximum of four trusses. Keep cucumbers in a separate area and increase the humidity with regular damping down.