Paraic Horkans Tips for your garden in Early July

Paraics Tips for your Garden July 2017

“It is best to weed in dry sunny weather as this ensures the young weeds do not get a chance to regrow”
Paraic Horkan

The warmer weather has encouraged all garden plants to produce strong new growth, flowers and seeds. Unfortunately this includes weeds as well. Weeding and dead-heading are a constant in any garden. It is best to weed in dry sunny weather as this ensures the young weeds do not get a chance to regrow. If you weed in wet/damp weather, there is a good chance these pests will have a chance to re-root. If a weed has managed to get established or is particularly difficult to reach or to dig-out, try using Roundup ready to use which can be applied directly to the leaves of the weed, not affecting those precious plants nearby. Roundup ready to use weedkiller is a systemic weed killer that works its way right through the plant killing from the leaves to the root. Read and follow instructions carefully

Dead-heading is another task that should be done regularly – little and often keeps the summer garden in full and continuous flower for a longer period of time. Remember when you dead head plants this is also the time to feed with Osmo Liquid Feed – it provides all the essentials that your plant will need to grow strong and healthy.

Early July is a good time to trim back and really put some shape on your hedges. Always use a clean sharp pair of shears and always do it during a spell of dry weather. A neat hedge is a wonderful frame for any garden. For those with box hedging edging used as a topiary feature, bed or path, you should consider using a nitrogen rich feed such as Top Buxus Feed Health Treatment to keep your hedge healthy. It is best applied on a dry day in the morning or evening. It can also be used as a treatment against box blight but remember to trim/prune out the affected areas before treatment and re-treat after one week. Now is a good time to clip your box hedging to keep it in shape.

Pots, containers and hanging baskets will require attention, particularly if we are lucky enough to have a run of good weather. They should be watered regularly and should be fed every two weeks with a liquid fertiliser such as Osmo Liquid Feed
to ensure strong growth and vibrant colour. For those who have their containers positioned close to the house or other garden structures, do ensure to check them even in wet weather as their sheltered position may mean rain is not reaching the soil. Don’t forget that your pot or container plants also need dead-heading to promote repeat flowering.

Over in the vegetable area do remember to ensure there is sufficient access to water, particularly if using raised beds which tend to dry out quicker in warm weather. It is always best to water the soil rather than the foliage to reduce the instance of mildew and other fungal diseases. For those of you growing in a greenhouse, do ventilate it regularly as the temperatures can rise significantly under glass, even on a cloudy day. Protect your potatoes with Potato Blight Treatment simply apply to the foliage and stems for blight free potatoes this summer. Apply in dry weather.

Fruiting plants will have a greater water requirement as they set fruit and will also need a boost to the potassium levels in the soil; a feed of Westland’s Sulphate of Potash at this time will give the required nutrients to keep the plants strong and encourage fruit development.

Don’t forget to keep pinching out the side shoots on your tomato plants. Ideally any side shoot below the lowest flowering truss should be removed entirely to ensure good air circulation thus reducing the risk of diseases and feed your tomatoes with Osmo Liquid Feed – it’s brilliant!

Indoor plants are actively growing at this time and will require some attention. They will require more frequent watering than in the cooler months and should not be let dry out. Including 5 or 10 drops of Baby Bio House Plant Food to every half litre of water used at this time of year will provide the necessary food for both the leaf and root structure ensuring a green and healthy houseplant. If you keep your plants in a sun-room, do remember to open a window or door daily to ventilate the area as your plants could scorch easily in the warm summer temperatures.

Summer bedding will still be very much in flower and should be dead-headed regularly. Dahlia, geranium, pelargonium, osteospermum and calendula are excellent examples of how regular dead-heading promotes re-flowering and prolongs the bloom time throughout the summer. Don’t forget your rose shrubs when dead-heading; ensure you remove the spent flowers by cutting down to the next leaf junction thus ensuring a well-shaped shrub.

Your pots and containers still need a careful eye with regular watering and feeding. Bedding plants such as surfinia, petunia or pansies can become leggy over the growing period. These can be “shortened” which simply explained means cutting back the over-long stems to an area of new growth closer to the base of the plant. This will encourage new growth and a new crop of flowers.

With your beds, borders and containers well taken care of, don’t forget the hard surfaces in your garden or outdoor space. Have you treated the wood on your shed or fence? Any treatment is best done when the wood is dry. The treatment will protect it during the worst of next winter’s weather, extending the life of your fence, furniture or shed. If weeds have become a problem on your patio or paths, treat the area immediately with Hytrol Total Weedkiller for hard areas. Do remember if treating weeds in a lawn to ensure you choose a lawn appropriate weedkiller such as Resolva Lawn Weedkiller.

Join Paraic on july 26th after 11.30am with Sean o Rourke on RTE radio for his gardening tips for July and august

By .