Clematis Montana always give a fine display of blooms at this time of year. But they are what many call a ‘mile a minute’ variety and can soon cover areas they are not supposed to. Clematis Montana should be pruned after flowering, so late May or even early June is an ideal time. Cut out any dead shoots, taking care with the untangling. Then cut back any shoots you feel are too tall or are straying the wrong way. Sometimes after an array of fantastic blooms you may not want to reach for the secateurs. But as I say, these rapid growing varieties can encroach on other plants in the border, so a bit of a trim won’t hurt. You don’t have to be very scientific because Clematis generally respond well to hard pruning and is hard to damage.
Timely Gardening Tasks for the next 4 weeks
Flower Bed & Borders
- If your spring bulbs appeared too close or did not flower sufficiently, dig them up, divide and inspect them and dispose of any showing signs of rot or disease.
- Plant out summer bedding.
- Roses will have started to bloom. To continue a colourful display dead head them on a regular basis.
- Lilacs always provide a wonderful display, but dead heading as soon as the flowers begin to fade will improve blooming next year.
- Keep hoeing.
Containers & Baskets
- Containers and hanging baskets can be planted up, but leave planting up of those in exposed areas until early June.
Kitchen Gardens & Allotments
- Continue planting brassicas in the veg plot. As the warmer weather approaches Runner Beans, Courgettes and Sweet Corn can all safely be planted outside. However if your site is prone to winds, it will pay to give them a little protection with fleece or old window frames for a week or so to acclimatise them to their position
- Sow French Beans, maincrop Peas, Beetroot, Carrots, Radishes and Lettuce.
- Continue to earth up Potatoes.
- Keep hoeing.
- Remove sideshoots from cordon growing Tomatoes. Feed these and other greenhouse crops with high potash feed.
- During warm days ventilate the greenhouse water the greenhouse floor. In addition to moistening the air and helping to cool the greenhouse it also helps to discourage red spider mite.
- The main mowing season is now definitely upon us, but don’t forget to trim the edges afterwards to complete the job.
- Apply weed and feed as required.
- Add Barley Straw to the pond to help prevent the build up of algae.
- Keep an eye on your fish for any signs of sores or disease.
- Whitefly have again been a particular problem this year. Apart from regular spraying, a pot of Tagetes or French Marigold placed next to infested plants will help deter these unwelcome visitors. Placing the seed heads on the compost of the plant also helps.
- As well as your plants, wildlife appreciates a drop of water at this time of year, so keep bird baths topped up and don’t forget a bowl of water for hedgehogs – hopefully to wash down the slugs and snails they have consumed in the garden.
Good Gardening and until next time, Bye for now