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