Monday, 26 June 2017

Summer routines

Just a quick note to share my regular summer schedule with you.  Summer goes from April through October!

  • Frequently keep on top of weeds and cutting lawns
  • Every week I scatter slug pellets (very thinly) to try to keep the snail and slug population down.  When you meet one huge one five feet up a wall you know you are not necessarily winning.  Most weeks I feed hanging baskets and pots.

  • Every two weeks, I treat my magnolias/camellias differently to the rest of the garden - three are in pots and one planted in the border.  They are watered with a sequestered iron feed.  I use Miracle-Grow but, again, any feed suitable for Camellias and azaleas will do.  The box says use from March to September but being this far North it is probably better to stop at the end of July (ish) as they can be too weak and sappy when they are fed  to stand any cold snaps which will turn up quicker up here. They need to toughen up a little. This is definitely needed if yours are looking in any way spindly or the leaves going a paler colour.  Two doses and my wan camellia is a third taller, full of leaves and they are dark green and glossy again.
  • Monthly - scatter a general purpose granular feed pretty much every where.  I use Growmore or Phostrogen - it doesn't matter what, just a handful of 7:7:7 strewn thinly will keep the garden fed. The numbers just mean it has equal proportions of nitrogen, phosphate, potassium so it is a general all-purpose fertiliser.  You can buy a specialised one for pretty much everything- like one for roses, or shrubs, or perennials, or clematis, etc etc etc but, unless you have loads of money and time it probably isn't worth it.  Ideally, of course, we should all be doing a Monty Don and smothering our borders with home made compost.
  • A couple of times in the season the lawn could do with a weed and feed treatment.  After the first one you will need to scarify the lawn to get out the (now) dead moss and last year's debris.  You might want to treat the lawn to another session some time later in the summer.  Again not too late so it can toughen up ready for the winter.
In hot weather:  I am currently frazzling in 28 degrees of heat so it is a good reminder that any pots or hanging baskets need daily (and sometimes more!) watering in very hot weather.  Any new planting, especially trees and shrubs, need frequent watering whether the weather is hot or not.  By the same token if your garden is reasonably well established don't worry about watering it - the lawn and garden will spring back quickly as soon as it rains even if it is looking a bit dry right now.

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