This week I'm mostly concentrating on keeping the garden looking good. There's nothing too arduous to do, just a bit of watering, feeding and pruning!
Bedding and container plants
- Watering is the week's big challenge! Water to thoroughly soak the whole root ball and forget that finger on the end of a hosepipe trick! That may feel good, but the water evaporates before the roots can benefit.
- Water in the early morning or during the evening. Use greywater but only on ornamental flowers - keep it off the edibles if possible.
- Arrange holiday watering with friends and offer to repay the favour. Beans, courgettes, tomatoes, fruits and other surplus produce can work wonders in getting your plants looked after when you are away!
- Increase liquid feeding using Miracle-Gro, Phostrogen, Maxicrop or your favourite brand. It will keep the show going in your pots and baskets for longer!
- Regularly remove fading flowers - called "deadheading" - to prevent them from setting seeds. If they produce seeds, they tend to stop producing flowers.
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- Remove and burn severely infected leaves to reduce infection.
- If you did not do it last month, you should prune climbing and rambling roses to encourage new shoots. Completely cut out the old shoots that had lots of flowers.
- Feed roses with a proprietary rose feed such as Top Rose by lightly hoeing it into the surface.
Ponds and water features
- Top up the water level if it gets low. This will protect the lining from sunlight, which can weaken it.
- If you have too many oxygenating weeds in your pond, do not be tempted to add your surplus to ponds and rivers in the countryside. You may make an exception if you are certain that the plant is native.
- Keep birdbaths topped up regularly with clean water.
- If your compost heap appears dry, turn it over and water it thoroughly.
- You can accelerate the decomposition process by mixing in some compost activator as you turn it.
- Cover the top with an old carpet. This will keep in the heat generated by all the useful micro-organisms that break your garden prunings down to form good garden compost for the autumn.