by June Cynthia
Garden carefully in hot weather, prioritising early morning and late afternoon for those essential jobs
Well it's certainly a hot one this summer so look after yourself and choose your time in the garden carefully. Early morning and late afternoon/early evening is best to get your daily chores done. Remember, as a general rule during heatwaves, keep your plants, vegetables and lawns well fed and hydrated. This is key to maintaining plant health, even more so for container plants and flowering baskets. Also make provision for a relative or a good friend to do the watering for you whilst on your holidays.
Sow all your chosen seasonal vegetable seeds or plug plants and water regularly.
Cut right back your sad looking perennial herbs, altough not thyme or Oregano, water well and give a liquid feed. This will encourage fresh new growth and will prolong the herb season.
Pay particular attention to your tomatoes. Water copiously by aiming directly at the roots, missing the leaves to prevent scorching, splitting and disease. Liquid feed is essential. Remove lower and over large leaves to aid ripening.
Continue to liquid feed, water, and harvest all green beans/peas.
We need to conserve all the rain water we can during hot summers, so inspect your water butts for leaks as they do have a life span.
Check on your bird baths. Clean thoroughly and keep water supply topped up daily as it evaporates very quickly during hot spells. I had a pigeon sitting in my bird bath for a good ten minutes.
Don't forget also to leave a few dishes of fresh water at ground level daily for hedgehogs and other small animals and insects to drink from.
And a daily check on your roses is important. Dead head as much as possible to keep your blooms flowering right into late autumn and sometimes into winter. Again, water well and treat with a light liquid feed, such as liquid seaweed.
When buying new plants, regularly water well at the roots until established. Liquid feed as necessary.
Continue to water, feed and to cut your sweet peas to prolong their blooming capacity. Remove any seed pods unless you wish to try sowing them for next year.
Once all these jobs are done, take some time to sit a while and enjoy your garden before you start to harvest your home-grown produce for jam-making and chutneys. Garlic and chillies are also ideal for making your own spiced and flavored cooking oils ready to give as Christmas gifts.
Happy August and enjoy!