Colin Evan's garden tips
At the end of a scorching week in the sun, Colin celebrates summer with tree hollyhocks and chrysanthemums, along with tips on growing your own tomatoes and cucumbers. Just make sure you keep your plants watered, especially hanging baskets!
At last, summer is here, and what a start to June as the temperatures hit 26°C this week.
Temperatures nearly touched 30°C in in June 2006, so this is not unusual. That's why it's so important to make sure plants are well watered and mulched which helps them make speedy root growth well down into the soil where there is a great deal more moisture.
Plants making good root growth now will survive the hot days if we are to get a good summer.
One of the main problem is with the bedding plants as these may well have been planted during the last few weeks which means that they are still very much a root ball below the soil surface and will have made very little growth.
These are the one that need extra nurturing if they are to give growth and colour during the summer months.
Liquid feed combined with watering in the mornings and evenings will give your plants a good chance to get going.
If you have hanging baskets then they must never be allowed to dry out as they will wilt and it will be hard to get them back to the way they were when they were green and healthy.
Hibiscus syriacus better known as the tree hollyhock, one of our most free flowering shrubs of late summer. If you want a good variety which will work in most conditions then choose hibiscus syracus "Hamabo" which has blush pink and scarlet flowers.
Don't give up though, as this group of plants is one of the latest to come into leaf. At times gardeners have given up on them thinking the shrub has passed to the great compost heap in the sky.
1: Greenhouses and conservatories must be ventilated at all times now to allow air to flow through. Pests such as red spider mite will have a field day on your cucumbers and tomatoes if the air is still in the greenhouse.
In greenhouses, damp down the pathways each morning and evening as this will help to keep the air moist and prevent sudden wilting. And while we are on the subject of wilting, I have noticed great patches of mildew on the clematis so I have hit the plants with Bordeaux mixture which should help to eradicate the problem
2: Chrysanthemums should be making plenty of flowers by now so take out the side shoots if you want large blooms and and stop vigorous growth by pinching out the growing tips for a plant with dense foliage and flowers.
3: Cut back aubritia and alyssum straight after flowering and feed the
Ass the flowers of foxglove show masses of blooms remember that they will distribute their seeds to make more plants next year if you just leave them alone other than the odd watering.
last updated: 05/06/2009 at 12:31
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