Set out below are some key points to help you keep your garden looking good all summer long.
Watering the garden
Water early in the morning or in the evening
Water deeply, not superficially
Aim to water the roots, not the leaves
Make sure you water any potted plants really well. They may need doing twice daily as they will dry out quicker than plants in the ground. You’ll know they’ve been adequately watered when you see the water coming out from the drainage holes at the bottom of the containers.
You may want to consider installing irrigation. This can be quite simple or complex, cheap or expensive depending on your garden.
Make sure you get someone to water your garden while you’re on holiday.
What is mulch? Mulch is a layer of material that is spread across the ground. Why do we mulch? Mulch is applied to retain moisture and control weeds. It also adds nutrients to the soil eg pea straw contains nitrogen.
What can you use? Pea straw is my favourite but you can get other kinds of mulch. If you’re using pea straw, wet it down well with the hose so it doesn’t fly away. I have also used Kolush Manuka and Seaweed Garden Mulch, which is exclusive to Palmers Garden Centre. I used this product around our lemon tree and all our standard roses. I have been very impressed by the surge in flowers soon afterwards and highly recommend this product to other gardeners.
Don’t use mulch in areas where you want to sow seeds directly because they won’t germinate through the mulch.
Liquid feeding/slow release
Liquid feeding nourishes plants, helping them grow strong and develop flowers and fruit.
Liquid feed on a weekly basis. You can use any plant food formulated for this purpose. I like Seasol as it is an organic tonic made from seaweed extracts. If you have a big garden, try to get one which you can attach to your hose. Otherwise dilute in a watering can according to the instructions on the back of the bottle. Alternatively, you can use a slow release fertiliser to feed plants. This will keep them going for up to six months.
As your garden produces, continue to pick veggies to encourage the formation of further flowers and fruit. If veggies are left sitting on a plant for too long, it drains their energy and inhibits the development of further fruit. This is particularly true for zucchinis, but applies to eggplants, tomatoes etc.