Summer is nearly here with the days drawing out and the weather hotting up! You know what that means – more time to spend in the garden!
December is a great month in the garden. The cold is behind us and there’s still time to get flowers and veggies in and get the garden tidied up before Christmas. Don’t forget to keep a check on the weeds and keep your garden watered as the weather warms up.
It’s important to water gardens in the evening or early mornings, especially plants in containers as they will dry out quickly in hot or windy weather.
Our guide below will give you tips on what summer-loving crops to plant for a continuous supply of delicious homegrown vegetables, and how to have vibrant flowers looking their best for a beautifully bright garden.
Veggie Garden & Orchard
The summer months are a time of rapid growth in the garden so it’s important to stay on top of watering, weeding, feeding and spraying.
It’s not too late to sow seeds directly into the soil but pick things like beans, beetroot, parsnip, swedes, radish, lettuce, spinach and sweetcorn. For a continuous harvest in the coming weeks and months, try to sow seeds every 2-4 weeks.
Now is a great time to get some seedlings in the ground – Lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, tomato, sweetcorn, beetroot, pumpkin, courgette, capsicum, eggplant, melon, cucumber and gherkin. If you haven’t grown your own, your local garden centre will have a great selection to chose from. Why not even get the kids or grandkids involved over the upcoming school holidays?
Before the crazy Christmas period begins it’s advisable to stock up your horticultural medicine cabinet! Derris Dust or Caterpillar control are must-haves for any veggie gardener and it’s also a good idea to have something ready to fight off powdery mildew, copper fungicide and leaf miners.
Tomatoes will thrive being fed at least once a week with a fast-acting liquid feed. Remove laterals (side growths) on tall tomato varieties as they grow and ensure they are firmly staked.
Citrus trees will reward you well in the coming months if you give them a good feed but make sure you keep all of your fruit trees well watered to prevent fruit drop.
Applying a layer of mulch around your plants is a great to conserve soil moisture over the hotter months. Wood bark of shredded hardwood mulch will break down slowly so is a great option. Try to keep mulch at least an inch away from plant stems to avoid rot and fungus problems.
Late spring/early summer is a great time to sow your favourite flower seeds. Ageratum, cosmos, cyclamen, rudbeckia, salpiglossis, and zinnia are all great choices that will provide you with beautiful colour! Seedlings such as chrysanthemum, dianthus, gypsophila, portulaca and Salvia can now be planted out too.
It’s not too late to plant roses and perennials but you will need to ensure they are kept well-watered. Removing dead flowers from roses will encourage new blooms and keep them looking their best.
Once the leaves have died down you can lift spring bulbs and, and store in a cool dry place for re-planting next year. Use a garden fork to remove them and then use garden scissors to trim off the roots and any remaining foliage. Make sure they aren’t touching while they’re stored and keep them in a cool dry place.
A layer of mulch around the base of garden shrubs will conserve moisture and protect roots from the hot sun – especially Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Camellias.
To discuss you summer garden needs get in touch with goodGround today.