this week: the longer days al­low us to spend more time out­doors, Kathy Vi­vian has some ideas for you

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - GREEN SPACES -

FRESH salad veg­eta­bles are easy to grow at home and are much tastier than those bought pre-pack­aged. They can even be grown in con­tain­ers. For a con­tin­u­ous sup­ply dur­ing the sum­mer, sow in small quan­ti­ties ev­ery two to three weeks. Let­tuce seed grows very eas­ily, ex­cept if sown dur­ing hot weather. If there is a hot spell, give the seed and seedlings some shade un­til they have pro­duced their adult leaves.

Home grown herbs are an­other way to add fresh flavour to your food. Grow herbs near to your kitchen, and try grow­ing them in con­tain­ers if you don’t have a gar­den.

n If you haven’t planted out your sum­mer bed­ding or ten­der plants yet, they can go out now. June can be a dry month, so make sure they are wa­tered well un­til they have set­tled in.

Plants in con­tain­ers need to be kept fed and wa­tered dur­ing the sum­mer. Con­tain­ers may need wa­ter­ing even dur­ing wet weather as rain can run off the leaves and not reach the plant’s roots.

Re­move fad­ing flow­ers from plants to en­cour­age more flow­ers to grow. Sweet peas will stop flow­er­ing al­to­gether if they are not dead­headed reg­u­larly.

Con­tinue to watch out for pests and dis­eases and deal with them promptly. Try to use or­ganic meth­ods rather than petro-chem­i­cal sprays. Get to know what your plants need to keep them strong and healthy.

Prune de­cid­u­ous shrubs into shape once flow­er­ing has fin­ished. They will have the rest of the sum­mer to pro­duce new growth that will make next year’s flower buds.

The “June drop” is a nat­u­ral process where ap­ple and pear trees shed some of their de­vel­op­ing fruit. Once fruit has fin­ished shed­ding nat­u­rally, re­move any fruit that will be too crowded to grow to full size.

Kathy Vi­vian is a lo­cal gar­den designer with an in­ter­est in gar­den­ing to at­tract ben­e­fi­cial wildlife. See www. kathy­vi­vian­gar­den­de­sign.com or Kathy Viv gar­den on Face­book, Twit­ter and Pin­ter­est.

Let­tuces grown in your own gar­den are tasty and easy to grow

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