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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
For additional gardening advice you can contact Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org