Keep your Foxgloves looking foxy
Colin Evans garden tips
If we feel the heat we can nip back into the shade, but what about our poor plants? Colin Evans is on hand to help and also dishes out expert advice on keeping your blooms blossoming and your lettuce leafy.
As summers go, this one is turning out to be rather good judging by the past two weeks. Although some of us still find it rather hot with the sort of temperatures normally found in Spain or the south of France.
While we can apply the sun cream and keep ourselves protected from the rays of the sun; trees, shrubs and border plants have no choice but to sit there and take all that is thrown at them.
Trees, especially Maples and Sorbus, have a built in mechanism not only to shed burnt leaves but healthy looking ones as well.
This reduces the leaf area, thus preventing the transpiration of too much moisture and will ensure that next spring the leaves will be back in abundance once again, and who knows, to face another few hot weeks of summer if the Global Warming lobby are to be believed.
You can help the smaller plants growing in pots to overcome warmer days by simply moving them into the shade and making sure they do not dry out.
If the hot weather continues keep an eye on those exposed plants as you may not be the only one who needs protecting from the sun.
Evergreen Ferns just love dark and moist areas of the garden and will grow and look good all through the year.
Some new varieties are now available and are becoming very popular either for open borders or for tubs and in some cases hanging baskets.
The best varieties are my favourites of Holly, Buckler and Crested Harts Tongue.
Planted in a hollow, among a group of rocks or by water these three varieties will not disappoint.
1. Pick Sweet Pea blooms first thing in the morning just as they start to open as this will encourage new blooms to form immediately. Be sure to continue watering with a liquid feed until the flowers have finished.
Sweet Pea blooms
It's worth keeping the plants healthy right to the end of the season as this gives you a chance to save some healthy seed ready for next year.
2. You can also collect other seeds now, especially those from the herbaceous border.
Cut off ripened flower stems from Foxgloves, Verbascum and other similar types and tie in bunches and hang them upside down in a dry place like a shed with paper bags over the ends to catch falling seed.
Once the seeds have been saved they can be stored in glass jars with holes knocked in the top and newspaper in the base to absorb moisture and put in a cool dark place ready for sowing next year.
3. With this great weather, continue to sow salads including lettuce, radish and beetroot into pots or the open ground.
If sown now on a continuous basis then you could still be harvesting salads well into the autumn.
last updated: 31/07/2008 at 12:41
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