Gardening Times

One thing you can bet your hat on, and that is after the recent drop of rain, the weeds will be back with a vengeance. I know I go ‘Ho Ho Ho’ more than Santa Claus, but this is why its so important, to stop any growth before the weeds take hold. I remember one chap who was a keen showman giving me a tip about weeds. “Let the chickweed grow around your onions”, he said, “And it will act like a mulch and also be a natural feed”. I soon learnt about the art of gamesmanship, as the chickweed grew and grew, swamping my onions so much I could hardly find them. When I did, they were small with slug damaged stems. Meanwhile I discovered my competitor on the showbench who gave me that advice had a weed free onion bed, and went home with first prize! The only advantage was I learnt chickweed is actually delicious in salads! What’s that saying about knowing your onions? 

Timely Gardening Tasks for the next 4 weeks

Flower Bed & Borders

  • Dead head flowers to maintain more blooms
  • Spray Roses with fungicide to keep diseases at bay and remove and dispose of any diseased leaves. 
  • Keep a regular check for blackfly and aphids and either use a spray or squash them with your finger and thumb.
  • Secure plants where necessary to stakes or other supports.
  • Keep hoeing and removing weeds.
  • A good time to trim hedges as growth will have slowed down considerably.

Containers & Baskets

  • Maintain dead heading and keep a regular check under the rims of pots for slugs and snails.
  • Regularly water your baskets and containers to prevent them drying out.
  • Feed baskets and containers on a weekly basis with a high potash feed.

Kitchen Gardens & Allotments

  • Strawberries are now beginning to fruit. Look out for slugs harbouring amongst the crows of the plants which will take a nasty nibble if you are not careful.
  • Salad crops such as Radish, Beetroot and Lettuce will soon be ready for harvesting. Keep sowing these for continued cropping.
  • Sow French Beans and Carrots.
  • Lift Shallots when the leaves go yellow and allow to dry.
  • Make last pickings of Rhubarb and remove any flowering heads.
  • Keep hoeing to deter weeds.

Greenhouse

  • Remove sideshoots from Tomatoes and maintain weekly feeding of all greenhouse crops with a high potash feed.
  • Ensure Tomatoes are watered daily. Irregular watering can lead to split fruit or blossom end rot.
  • Ventilate greenhouse and when watering water the path to help build up humidity.

Lawns

  • Don’t be tempted to cut lawns too low as this encourages the growth of weeds.
  • If you regularly trim your lawn, once or twice this month leave the grass box off and let the clippings fall on the lawn. This will form a mulch and protect the shallow roots from strong sunshine.

Ponds

  • Scoop out any algae with a net.
  • Thin pond weed, but place it on the side of the pond to allow any creatures such as small newts to return to the water

Houseplants

  • Check houseplants for pests such as whitefly and take appropriate action.
  • Feed on a weekly basis.
  • Sometimes houseplants can make a nice addition to container displays in the garden, but if you do this make sure you don’t place your houseplant near an ants nest – or you will have some unwelcome visitors when your pot eventually returns indoors1

Wildlife

  • Keep bird baths and saucers topped up. It pays to change the water in your bird bath from time to time to prevent it becoming dirty and a breeding ground for mosquito larvae.

Good Gardening and until next time, Bye for now

Rick  Heyse

For additional gardening advice you can contact Rick at mail@torbaytimes.co.uk




Facebook