Summer officially commenced on June 21st UK
SCIENCE FOR THE GARDENER BOOK TO BE PUBLISHED THIS YEAR
SEE CHAPTER 1 ON THE SCIENCE PAGE HISTORY OF PLANTS ALGAE TO ANGIOSPERMS
There are many jobs to do but we should make the most of this special time of year to relax and enjoy all our hard work and efforts over the past few months.
Important jobs to do in July and August
Warmer weather catches us on the hop when we get a dry period and suddenly find the soil, containers and baskets drying out very quickly.
A good idea is to add water crystals with compost and soil to containers and hanging baskets. They produce water filled jelly which lasts a considerable time and makes a big difference in hot weather. Compost and manure on its own dries out fast so some loamy soil will be required which will be a better water retaining combination. Newly planted trees and shrubs MUST be kept well-watered for a year!
Mulching with compost and especially manure for nitrogen demanding plants – such as roses – and some vegetables Brassicas (but not Legumes: peas) is recommended, but do keep watered. Mulching also has the effect of retaining moisture in all growing media. You will see very rapidly the improvement in your plants’ well-being. It’s very encouraging.
Lawns will rapidly dry out, even with some rain, which barely penetrates roots, so one thorough watering is proven to be more effective than an occasional sprinkle with the watering can. Add high nitrogen liquid feed according to manufacturer’s label.
Remove spring bulbs and leaves but keep stored bulbs dry and lightly dust with sulphur if any sign of disease.
Clear ponds and aquatic areas of surface congested oxygen plants/weeds now after a tough winter. Remove excess silt and general detritus and check and trim water plants and their containers.
Deed heading flowers can be a bit laborious but well worth the effort as it directs the plant’s energy to continue flowering rather than going to seed too early.
Plants and their families recommended in July-August. Pinks (Foxglove family). Lily (Amaryllis) Iris (wet or bearded), Sisyrincha, Dierama (Angels fishing rod), Tigridia (all Iris family). Euphorbia for fragrant foliage (Euphorbia family) and not forgetting those wonderful herbs (Mentha – Mint family) quick to grow from seed in a pot is best.
Annual Pelargoniums (Geranium family).
Harvest summer vegetables carrots, beans, onions and shallots, early potatoes. Sow winder brassicas and winter salads.
Just enjoy your garden, well deserved after a long winter.
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SCIENCE FOR THE GARDENER BOOK TO BE PUBLISHED THIS YEAR EXCERPTS PUBLISHED IN SCIENCE PAGE .CHAPTER 1 ALGAE TO ANGIOSPERMS