Growing a Midsummer Garden
Now’s the time to relax and enjoy your garden, as all the hard work you invested in sowing and planting earlier in the year starts to pay off with borders and beds looking their best for the long summer evenings. Devote your energies to keeping the garden well watered in hot weather.
Tie in young peas
Peas have rather straggly growth and like to be supported. Small twigs are a good way to do this, and strong, straight prunings from other shrubs in the garden will work well. Attach the pea stems with flexible ties.
Harvest edible flowers
Nasturtiums and other edible flowers, such as violas and roses, make delicious and eye-catching additions to summer salads. Gather the flowers as required, choosing flawless, pest-free blooms wherever possible.
Summer-fruiting raspberries should ripen this month. The “plug” or core will remain behind on the bush, and the berries should come away easily when ripe. If they don’t, they’re not ready to be picked. Pick ripe fruits regularly so that they are not allowed to rot on the bush.
Removing faded blooms will prevent plants from setting seed and keep roses coming for the rest of the summer. An easy way to deadhead straggly plants, such as pansies and petunias, which have smaller flowers and are more difficult to trim, is to cut them back with pruners or shears.
Care for baskets
Colorful summer hanging baskets will be at their best now with their profusion of plants but will need daily watering and regular feeding in the hot weather. If they start to flag and droop, unhook the baskets, and plunge them into a bucket of water to revive the plants.
Water for birds
During hot, dry summer spells, water for birds will be scarce, so provide pools, ponds, and baths for them wherever possible. As well as a continuous supply of drinking water, water for bathing is also important and helps to keep birds’ feathers in good condition.
Plant out late bedding plants
To ensure that any late summer bedding plants, such as Petunia, Alyssum, and Nemesia, have enough time to settle in and flower for the rest of the summer, plant them out as soon as possible in baskets, containers, and borders. Replace any tired-looking plants in your borders with healthy new specimens, and fill gaps to keep your garden looking lush throughout the season.