Colin Evans Garden Tips
Everything's coming up roses this summer, says Colin, reminding us that August rain can be great for the garden. Plus tips on turf, and how to turn your borders into a mass of pink starry flowers with plant of the week.
With sultry wet weather lately its easy to forget that these are great growing conditions.
Last week I said that getting into the garden to get on with the jobs of the season was difficult because everywhere was waterlogged, well, the soil must be quite dry below the surface, at least it is in my garden, because no sooner does the lawn become very wet, it dries out in no time.
Keep your Buddleia in bud
I have to say, though, I am envious of the continental weather at the moment since the sun has been shining non stop for weeks now. Still the likes of Spain and Cyprus are looking at parched dry earth and not the lush green conditions we are enjoying.
The positive side to all this funny weather is that the flowers on the summer shrubs, especially buddleia and roses are looking their very best. There are great cascades of colour and masses of green growth where they have been well watered by the constant rain.
The lawns looks especially healthy so don't forget to feed them as liquid feed applied now will help to keep the grass green once the autumn sets in and we get shorter cooler days, so make the effort and you won't regret it come October.
Colin's already been on the mower
Those of you wanting a new lawn should wait a while if turf is to be used as this will curl up and die if laid now. Even with the rain you still need to apply water to keep the new turf quenched.
The best time to grow a lawn from seed is September so now is the time to prepare the ground by applying a liquid weedkiller containing Glyphosphate over the weeds where the new lawn will be sited.
The weeds will be killed off right through to the roots and will not grow up through the newly sown lawn so wait if you can before getting your new lawn project underway.
SEDUM 'Matrona' has leaves plump and smooth because they are just full of moisture and the blooms are great gatherings of tiny pink, star shaped flowers.
The great feature of this variety is that it is less likely to collapse under the weight of its flower heads than other varieties. Planted in pathways or patios and in scree, sinks and rock gardens, this hardy border plant will flourish if given shade from direct sunshine.
1: Feed strawberry plants with high potash. A liquid feed is best and you can use tomato or rose feed as this does the job just as well. Pin down the runners which are growing from the mature crowns and save them for next years plants. Once the new crowns are established pot into bigger pots ready for planting out next year or simply plant them straight into the open ground or containers.
2: Prune back all flowered summer shrubs that are at the end of their flowering period. About a third back to a healthy shoot or dormant bud is a good rule of thumb. Take the opportunity to give some feed and apply a mulch at the base to protect from strong sunlight and winter frosts.
3: Deadhead rhododendrons now and be careful not to remove the little green shoot just below the old flower cluster as this is the flower shoot for next year. Once dead headed, apply an azalea feed and make sure the roots are well protected as they need to be kept from drying out.
last updated: 07/08/2009 at 18:14
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