LATE SPRING -SUMMER

UK SUMMER 2019 30DEG + FOR 3 months killed this Prunus Kanzan

MAY JUNE JULY GARDENER 2021

CACTACEA -SUCCULENTS BRILLIANT COLOURS

Welcome to SPRING AND SUMMER 2021

Climate change

With climate change gardeners AROUND THE WORLD must be prepared for very varying and warmer weather conditions in summertime and extremes of LATE frost in the LATER SPRING  .  We may experience torrential downpours as well as a longer  scorching days 30.00* + in the summer months  so temporary shelter for our more delicate plants will  be required and increased watering even for trees .Last year has brought casualties not evident until this year with many gardeners getting shocks when beloved trees failed to flower and died ,myself included LOSING A VALUED PRUNUS KANZAN! (SEE PIC )

Global warming

We should not beat ourselves up over climate change as life must go on ,but should each try our best to follow good environmental advice from professional horticultural research.The UN -GOVT conferences are involving many countries and governments  in taking decisive urgent action to reduce green house warming  gas emissions from fossil fuels and currently livestock farming methods. International research is required to try to collect carbon and hydrocarbon emissions at source  but this may take much time yet.  Governments and populations will have to work closely together for drastic changes in lifestyles in the next ten years to hold temperature rises by cutting parts per million carbon emissions urgently .Science will win the battle but there are  immense challenges ahead for us all.

Plastic pollution

is more visually dealt with ,as we can painfully see it clogging up the world on land and waterways This will requre a world wide government recycling effort  reusing rather than burning waste to avoid huge increases in co2 emissions I have seen superb uses of recycling for wonderful sustainable purposes such as garden furniture ,building materials popular in planks  , granular plastic feed stock for injection moulding.

 

Gardening maintenance update 

FRESH HOME GROWN VEGETABLES T Down S Sset uk

Regular garden maintenance in summer is a must.  I find a daily check early in the morning helps to commit to memory those many jobs I ought to be doing!  Whether they actually get done is another matter!

Watering especially containers should be done daily as soon as soil starts to dry out.  Add organic mulch (manure, compost or leaf mould) to flower beds and water retaining crystals to containers and baskets.  Water crystals in containers will  keep plants in good shape if you are away I have found it reliable .

Lawns appreciate a high nitrogen liquid feed after the long months of winter and should be watered during long hot dry spells. Raise the height of mower blades and remove collection box to leave grass cuttings to add back nitrogen and  to protect new grass growth from burning at peak temperatures. This should help your grass try to remain green.

Stock up on fertilisers. The snow and heavy rains of winter will have leached away many of the main nutrients required by your plants.  I recommend tomato food (high in potassium) to boost flowering and phosphorus which will strengthen roots and stems, particularly if you are growing vegetables.  Ericaceous plants will react very favourably to iron sequestrate  and manganese liquid proprietary feeds. Its sometimes called ‘sequestered iron’ and is the vital food required for acid-soil loving plants.

PRUNING MAY BE REQUIRED

Prune large shrubs and dig out any unwanted suckers.  This will promote fresh growth but also give light and space for a healthier garden.  Deadheading flowers past their first flowering  date will often trigger a fresh flush of flowers and prevent the plant from going to seed.  If you are willing to give it a go, herbs are easy to grow from seed, although grow them in containers or they will take  over.  Cut, trim dry and eat on a regular basis.  Don’t you just love summer.! Basil is my special fragrance .

Test your soil with an inexpensive electronic meter

Kitchen Garden Forde Abbey South S Set uk

A kitchen garden if you have some space will provide a regular source of salad vegetables, just keep on sowing and picking.  Tomatoes can be planted out, but will do much better under glass.  Root crops grow well in a raised bed out of reach of the dreaded carrot fly.  Leguminous peas and beans do not require a rich nitrogen-manure  soil, they produce their own nitrogen nodules , but some manure around the roots is beneficial. Brassicas like some lime ,manure to produce good rich humus alkaline soil and if possible soil depth again with raised beds is welcome .

Greenhouses should be checked for over-wintering pests, red spider mite in particular.  A thorough soapy sponge down works well.  Allow plenty of air circulation and dampen the floor on very hot days.

A final tip – do not compost diseased plant material, or any protein or fat food waste or rodents will be attracted

Do e mail me if you have any science based garden queries tony@scienceforthegardener.com

 

Science for the Gardener Book SIGNED COPY available usually below Internet prices on  direct from www.scienceforthegardener.com CLICK ON DROP DOWN BOX ABOVE TOP RIGHT 

Enjoy the start to Summer

Tony