Time for corn. Sweet.
Plant them in blocks for best pollination and be sure not to disturb their shallow roots. Mary Lovell-smith shares her growing tips.
EDIBLES • Sow broccoli. Before sowing, dig in blood and bone
or any nitrogen-rich fertiliser. • Sow sweet corn in blocks or several short rows. This aids pollination and helps protect against wind damage. Sow two seeds in each hole, with holes 15cm apart. Double sowing means the strongest seedling can be kept, the other discarded (or the frugal may like to plant it elsewhere). • Always keep soil around sweet corn moist, and avoid deep hoeing when weeding, as sweet corn has shallow roots which may be damaged. Mounding up soil around the base of the stalks will also help protect them from being blown over. • Sow oregano where it is to grow, in a sunny spot in the garden or in a pot. Once established, oregano is quite drought hardy and is handy as a ground cover (albeit a raised one). • A generous layer of organic mulch around the base of fruit trees will help conserve water and suppress weeds. • Pine needles around the base of strawberry plants
will prevent any fruit rotting on damp soil.
ORNAMENTALS • Clip evergreen hedges. • Plant, plant plant annuals and perennials. • Provide stakes or hoops as support for taller perennials, such as delphiniums, or those with heavy heads, such as peonies. • Sow candytuft, clarkia, love-in-a-mist, larkspur and shirley poppies where they are to grow as they dislike being transplanted. • Take softwood cuttings of tender perennial shrubs such as marguerite daisies, pelargoniums and fuchsia. • Prune spring-flowering shrubs such as japonica, mock orange, flowering currant and lilac after flowering. • Crowded, dead or diseased stems of Clematis
montana may also be removed after flowering. • Do not remove bulb foliage until it has turned yellow.
BITS & BOBS • Do not let glasshouses or tunnelhouses overheat as summer progresses, as this can kill plants. Open windows and door on hot days. • Glass may be white washed to reflect the sun, and external or internal blinds or covers used on plastic houses. • A cheaper option is shade cloth which can be placed over the structure and pegged down for the warmer months. • Turn compost heaps – keeping aside and using
any that are ready. • Start a heap if you haven’t one. They can be as simple as wire netting stretched around four stakes, or as fancy as a tumbler one, but it makes so much sense to turn kitchen and garden waste into fabulous humus-rich soil to feed your plants.