Summer Gardens

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As we officially welcome in the first days of summer and the daylight seems endless, our gardens are filled with summer swallows and late spring blooms.

In anticipation for an ever hopeful long hot summer there are a number of things we can do in the garden to ensure it stays healthy in the heat.

The main focal point of a garden is of course the lawn, but without attention it can quickly look overgrown, yellow and mossy. Regular maintenance, at this time of year, when grass growth peaks, is essential for a healthy lawn. Mow regularly in late afternoon to avoid morning dew and scorching mid day sun which can damage and dry out the freshly cut blades. Treat mossy lawns with scarification or vigorous raking either by hand or with a mechanical scarifier. Moss can also be treated chemically although wildlife and pets must be considered when using this method and organic safe products used where possible.

Finish off lawns with a sprinkling of grass seeds and a spray of water in the evenings for a perfect green patch and for further lawn maintenance information please visit the Royal Horticultural Society Website.

Watering plants correctly is also an important part of summer maintenance as flowers can wither in a matter of days if sunny spells continue. Water once or twice a week with plenty of water (water butts are great for reusing rain water) in the early morning or late evening to avoid  scorching of leaves and maximise absorption into the soil. Distribute water evenly rather than just soaking  the roots and ensure you are not waterlogging the plants,especially in pots.

This time of year is also perfect for adorning your house with hanging baskets; buy ready made from a local garden centre or create your own (find out how here). Use them to grow beautiful flowers or plant with strawberry and tomato varieties and water everyday to ensure the soil doesn’t dry out. Top up with fertiliser regularly to ensure your hanging baskets flourish throughout the sunny months.

This time of year is perfect for planting out vegetable patches; sow seeds for late summer produce or plant out seedlings (you can buy a wide variety at local garden centres) for a kick start. And if you haven’t the room for a plot or two why not create a potted patch? Sew salad leaves, beetroots, tomatoes and strawberries in pots which will thrive on a sunny patio, you could even try peppers, chillis and aubergines if you have a very sheltered spot. Just don’t forget to water and feed throughout the next few months.

Once your garden is planted out, watered, fed and flourishing don’t forget to sit back and enjoy the wonderful surroundings with a picnic, alfresco dinner or drink or two.