What to do NOW

Parenting - - Backyard -

Dur­ing th­ese dry sum­mer months, wa­ter be­comes im­por­tant. The sun is at its max­i­mum daylight hours and plants are at the height of their growth and pro­duc­tion. Whether you use a sprin­kler, or wa­ter by hand, it is im­por­tant to take your time. Wa­ter less of­ten but more deeply – the soil should be wet through to at least 5cm.

Think about the time of day when you wa­ter. Wa­ter­ing dur­ing the heat of the day is waste­ful as the wa­ter will evap­o­rate quickly, be­fore it can be used by the plants. Wa­ter­ing in the early morn­ing or evening is the best time. Group your pots to­gether – min­imis­ing their ex­po­sure to the sun will help to stop them dry­ing out.

If you are go­ing on hol­i­day, spend a lit­tle time giv­ing the gar­den a clean up be­fore you go. Har­vest ev­ery­thing that is ready or nearly ready and weed and feed any­thing that needs it. If you're go­ing to be away for a long time, en­list the help of a neigh­bour. Make it easy for them and set the hose and sprin­kler to your re­quire­ments, at­tach a wa­ter timer, and then it will just be a turn of the tap.

As your straw­ber­ries fin­ish pro­duc­ing, give them a tidy up. Start by re­mov­ing all the run­ners, putting them to one side. On the main plant re­move any dam­aged leaves, feed with straw­berry food or blood and bone and then re­plen­ish the mulch around them. If any plants are show­ing signs of dis­ease or have pro­duced poorly, then re­place them with the set aside run­ners. Con­tinue to use the run­ners to es­tab­lish a new bed if re­quired.

Trim away leaves from your bunches of grapes to ex­pose them to the sun and use bird net­ting to pro­tect them from the birds. Re­move any fruit that has fallen to the ground from omy­our your fruit trees – this will break the breed­ing cy­cle of Codlin and Guava moth. They bur­row into the ground to com­ple­tee their life cy­cle and will in­fect your trees again next spring.

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