Seeds to plant now:
Indoors or in a heated greenhouse
Rock cress, Aubrieta, Aubrietia
Outside under cover
Shows and events:
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Jobs to do in the garden this week.
- Tidy and cut back perennials.
- Sweet corn should be ripe enough to harvest. Pick when they are a pale creamy colour. However corn on the cob deteriorates quickly, so it should be used as soon as possible after picking.
- Gather seeds of alliums, poppies, aquilegias and salvias. Label and lay out to dry before storing.
- Take cuttings of tender perennials and shrubs. Including salvias, penstemon, lavender and rosemary.
- Make sure that ponds are topped up, if you need to top up your pond check the PH and nitrogen levels of the water afterwards.
- Spring flowering bulbs should be available in your local garden centre. Plan where you are going to plant them before you go and buy accordingly, it's great fun filling up those brown bags with bulbs, but can be expensive. If you have a small garden, or are planting bulbs in pots, think about using smaller varieties of bulbs. Miniature daffodils ('Tete-a-tete' or 'Topolino' ), dwarf tulips and crocuses. Plant bulbs of one variety together for effect. If the soil in your garden is wet and sticky in winter/spring, plant the bulbs in pots and containers, otherwise they'll tend to sit and rot. Plant bulbs 2 to 3 times deeper than their size. If you are growing in large containers, plant the bulbs in layers. Put the larger bulbs like tulip and daffodil in first.
- Wild flowers only need to be cut down once a year. Wait until they have finished flowering and the seed heads have ripened, adjust the lawnmower wheels onto their highest setting, remove the grass collection box and run the mover over them, or if you fancy a lot of exercise, try a scythe. Leave the cuttings on the ground for a few days to allow any seed heads to dry and for the seeds to fall. Collect up the remaining stems and put them in the compost heap.
- Lift marrows, pumpkins and squashes off the ground with straw or upturned plastic flower pots, in order to helo them ripen in the last of the sun, keep them from sitting on damp soil and reduce slug damage.
- Feed houseplants with liquid seaweed or a general fertilizer.
- If your tomato plants have been affected by blight, clear the plants and burn them, adding them to the compost heap will not kill the spores.
- Grass will need less frequent mowing in prolonged dry weather. If very dry, remove the grass collecting box and let the cuttings stay on the ground to conserve soil moisture.
- Continue to collect and store seeds from plants, for sowing next year. Store any collected seed in paper envelopes or bags, then put them in an air-tight container.
- Propagate hibiscus, lavender and rhododendron plants by taking semi-ripe cuttings.
- Propagate celamatis, honeysuckle and wisteria plants by layering.
- Collect and dispose of wind-fall fruit. Leaving them on the ground encourages pests and can damage your lawn.
- If the your grass has grown long while you have been on holiday, give it a cut with the blade set quite high and then lower a few days later, this reduces the chance of the grass going into shock and allowing weeds to get established
- If you are going on holiday either get a neighbour to water your house plants, hanging baskets and patio planters, alternatively put all of your plants including house plants on the patio or lawn, put the lawn sprinkler between them and connect the hose to an outside tap using a water timer (set the timer to come on twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening - 10 minutes each time should be sufficient). Test the settings before you go away.
- Feed tomato plants fornightly with a liquid fertiliser (this must be diluted in water to prevent burning the plants)
- Tie tomato stems to canes or stakes to prevent the weight of the fruit breaking the plant.
- Pond fish will eat more in the summer, feed them little and often, once or twice a day. If the food has not been eaten within 15 minutes, remove and dispose of the excess.
- Ensure that soil in hanging baskets and patio planters is kept moist. Remove fading and dead flower heads from plants, this will encourage new flowers. Feed hanging baskets and planters weekly with liquid fertiliser if a slow release fertiliser was not added when planting the basket.
- Move houseplants outside for some summer sunshine.
- Continually nip out side shoots from upright (cordon) tomato plants. These reduce the amount of food available to fruit baring branches. If growing plants in the greenhouse, nip out the growing tip after the plant has produced 4-5 fruiting trusses, reduce this to 3-4 if growing tomatoes outside. See here, for more information: https://youtu.be/zFBgCBaFSnk
- Lift, divide and replant chives.
- YouTube: Taming tomatoes in the greenhouse
- YouTube: Dead-heading and collecting seed from perennials
- Creating a hanging basket
- Sowing seeds
- Creating a compost heap
- How to lay a new lawn
- Removing large branches
- Updated photo gallery
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