Gardening, the Big Sky and our clever acrostic crossword
Summer certainly took a while to get started this year but when it arrived temperatures certainly soared!
Watering is always an issue with container gardening. When it does rain the leaves can deflect the water away from the roots and in the heat (and breeze) watering is a daily requirement. If you started your pots off a couple of months ago it is likely that commercial composts will start to become exhausted of nutrients and therefore it will be necessary to supplement the feeding to promote continuous healthy growth.
Spring sown vegetables should be growing on nicely now and should be cropping. This is therefore a good time to plant subsequent crops of carrots, peas and salads etc. for later in the season.
High summer is when bedding plants are at their best. If you are growing sweet peas remember to pick the flowers regularly to ensure continuous flowering through the summer. If you haven’t planned ahead garden centres will still be full of wonder flowers ideal for planting on your boat. It is possible that there is not the selection of summer bedding that there was a few weeks ago – they tend to have a brief season of availability starting around Easter. There is no reason that one has to uses annual varieties in pots so have a look out for some of the low growing perennials. There is a wonderful dwarf Buddleia with clusters of purple flowers; try pots of Lavender, Alpine Asters and Scabious. Alpine plants are fantastic to grow in containers on boats because they are tough little plants which are used to growing in challenging conditions as well as keeping small and not obscuring the captain’s vision! If you want really low maintenance plants succulents such as the sedums (stonecrops) and House Leeks are fun to try – as well as, according to folk law, protecting you from lightening and bad witches! The juice from a house leek leaf is also supposed to be a cure for warts . If you are planning to do a bit of instant gardening pick up some pots of herbs from the supermarket next time you visit and plant them with a flowering plant or two and perhaps a chilli. With a little attention they will last the summer and be a convenient source of fresh flavour as you travel along.
You may also find a mini variety of tomato, often sold as pot plants in garden centres for those people who don’t have the inclination to start the plants off early enough in the year so you can have an instant flowering display and a mini veg pot.