Bob’s Blog: Things Are Hotting Up

Summer is here and, when you’re not relaxing in the garden enjoying the fruits of your labor, there is still plenty to do. With the weather being dryer you needn’t mow the lawn as frequently—fortnightly will do. Remember to water plants regularly in the morning or evening and use recycled water or rainwater if possible, especially if you’re in a drought area. Now, what else needs doing?

Deadheading

You probably know that deadheading refers to the removal of dead or fading flowers. This easy summer task improves the look of your garden and encourages new growth. Perform it on all plants, whether they’re in your flower beds, borders or hangers. You can deadhead by hand most of the time, but will need secateurs for tougher stems.

Garden Harvest

Now’s the time to harvest your zucchini and summer squash, unless you’re growing for show. Other crops may be ready about now, too, including sweetcorn, peas, carrots, lettuce and potatoes. The right time to harvest vegetables is when they’re ready and not before or after. For instance, summer squash should have a tender skin that’s easily scored, whereas winter squash has a tough, inedible skin. Fruits like apricots, peaches and nectarines are also ripe for picking about now.

Gather Ye Seeds

Plants disperse their seeds in a variety of ways, so keep an eye on them if you’re aiming to collect them and multiply growth in your garden. Perhaps you’re giving seeds to fellow gardening enthusiasts as a gift. Choose robust-looking plants as the seed donors. If you harvest seeds before they ripen, they’ll fail to germinate, so some familiarity with the plant helps.

Pond care

Algae tends to be at its most aggressive during the summer. Clear it from your garden pond along with weeds and debris. During hot summer months, you may need to top up the pond with water, preferably using rain water. Avoid pouring a lot of cold water into a warm pond if you keep fish, as thermal shock can harm them.

That’s all for now, dear readers. Time for a snooze in the summerhouse.

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