Summer gardening tips
In roughly 3 weeks time summer will be officially with us and hopefully the results of our efforts will begin to bear fruit, literally.
If you haven’t already, cover your fruit trees and vines with plastic netting to protect ripening fruit from the birds.
June is a good month to start a number of herbs such as basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, mint, coriander, parsley, or chives. You can plant seedlings or alternatively most herbs start well by seed.
Remember with herbs, the best time to harvest most herbs is just before flowering, when the leaves contain the maximum of their essential oils. Cut herbs early in the morning on a sunny day.
It’s not too late to start warm-season crops such as corn and various beans. Salad items such as lettuce, tomatoes and peppers can also be planted. In some cases, people will be already looking at a second planting.
Plant or sow summer annuals such as salvia, nasturtiums, vinca, verbena, geraniums, phlox, marigolds,lobelia, impatiens, cosmos,sunflowers, zinnias, and alyssum.
For fragrance in the garden, use perennials such as Sweet Woodruff and Lily of the Valley.
Pest control is coming to the fore, if its not one variety of horrors that arrive to feed on your efforts, then its another.
Identify garden pests before you attempt to control them. Read any label carefully to be sure the treatment is compatible with the plant.
Make sure you apply the right amount at the right time.
To protect bees that pollinate many of our crop plants, please spray pesticides in the evening after bees have returned to their hives.
Indoor plants: Feed houseplants once a month, or apply a fertilizer diluted to a lower strength every time you water.
Protect sun sensitive house-plants from direct sunlight, so either move them to a cooler shadier location, or cover
your windows with a translucent curtain (foil or fine net).
Outdoor plants: Annuals as with all plants will need feeding all through the summer to keep them looking at their best.
After blooming ’deadhead’ spent flowers to promote another round of flowers, continue doing so as long as you can.
Use a controlled-release fertilizer for the duration of the growing season, there are lots on the market and the choice is yours, though, if you are using a granular type you may want to supplement feeding with a liquid fertiliser from time to time.
Stake tall floppy flowers such as foxglove, carnations, and delphiniums.
You may want to consider cutting back perennials like shasta daisy, black-eyed susan, coneflower, and lavender after first bloom to encourage a second round of flowers in the Autumn.
Also consider cutting back fuchsia, geranium, and margarite to encourage branching.
Prune evergreens such as Boxwoods, Camellia, Leucothoe and Junipers.
Be aware of your watering in confined areas such as hanging baskets and container gardens. They tend, can and do dry out fast on hot days. Hanging baskets exposed to sun should be checked daily and watered if required.
Also, outdoor hanging containers as with all containers should be sheltered from high winds and various other types of adverse weather conditions that do hit the region.
Remember, that the apple farmers spend huge amounts of money, time and effort on ensuring that they have netting to protect their crop. There is a reason, ask any resident of St Sornin Lavolps (2 minutes from Pompadour) what happened a couple of years ago in June, hail the size of golf balls rained down and caused extensive damage to property and possessions. The damage devastated vegetable gardens, fortunately not a lot of people were seriously hurt.
So, it does happen.
Roses are considered by most to be ‘simply the best’ and everybody has their own way of how they grow them.
A couple of things are for sure, as with most things in life and especially gardening. The amount of time you put in to the growing and subsequent level of care of your roses will determine what you reap.
For the novice here are some of the basics.
Ensure your system of pest control is as good as it can be.
Feed after each bloom cycle, water regularly, and remove spent flowers.
For climbing verities after they bloom make sure you prune them. This is because next years growth will be produced on this summers new growth.
With established lawns continue to mow, allowing just a little extra length in very dry or hot weather. Spike the lawn with a fork to improve its drainage.
Spray your lawn for weeds using a chemical or organic lawn-weed killer.
Planning for next year: you may or may not be considering where to place a new flower bed or boarder for next year in your garden. One idea that you may want to try is to make a model (yes, it’s Blue Peter time), but instead of using old toilet rolls and tissue boxes, try this.
Think about what you want to put in it ? Will the plants you are considering using stand long hot direct sunshine ?
If not go for shade, look at where the sun is during the afternoon and evening.
After deciding what and where, think about the size and shape of your boarder. Once that is decided, simply do not cut the grass in what you are proposing to be next years flower bed.
As the grass grows and as you monitor its growth, nature will supply you with most of the information that you will require. It will tell you how fast plants will grow, what area of your bed will get the most sun and heat.
In all it will give you a clear perspective as to the height of the plants you want to go to. It allows you determine the size and shape of the bed by cutting or not cutting.
For the enthusiast you may want to trim the grass at various levels to give you a cheap effective living 3D model of what you want to achieve. For the organic or wild flower grower, you may want to complement the grass with the abundance of natural flowers that grow here in France, its up to you.
After deciding what you want, cut in a marker line and mow or strim the grass to then proceed with the digging at a suitable time.
Remember that this method of modelling may be useful if you are considering a pool or other type of large garden use such as a vegetable patch.
Well that is it for now, happy gardening and see you next month.
Article kindly provided by Mark from Oak Garden Services
You can contact Mark directly if you would like more information on gardening or the services they offer
Tel: 05 55 98 62 03
Email: [email protected]