The garden can be a very enjoyable place at this time of the year; sometimes rewarding, sometimes frustrating, but never dull.
There is still lots to be done, so if you are planning on holidays – don’t forget your plants, indoors or outdoors. People go on holidays and get somebody to mind the house, feed the cat, etc. but not their plants. Get a friend/neighbour to water your house plants, hanging baskets, tubs, window boxes, if dry! This will avoid having to look for replacements.
Continue regular mowing of your lawn. In dry weather mow less frequently and raise the height of your cut. Consider watering the lawn, if the dry spell is prolonged.
Your bedding plants will benefit now from regular watering and feeding. Feed with any liquid fertiliser (Miracle Gro, Phostrogen, Algoflash, Tomato Food, etc.) roughly every 10 days. Also dead head any old flowers and leaves.
In the fruit garden, if your fruit trees have too much fruit set, thin out the apples and pears, roughly one fruit per cluster left. Strawberry plants should have any runners they produce removed and any weeds from around them. In order to keep the fruit clean from rain splashing soil on to them, mulch around the plants with straw or hay. Prune raspberries by removing the old canes when the fruit has all been picked; around the end of August.
The vegetable garden will be coming into its best now. Harvest all crops, spinach, scallions, lettuce, brocolli, cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes, courgettes, radish, beetroot, etc. Watch out for pests, particularly greenfly, the caterpillar of the moth (green in colour) and the caterpillar of the butterfly. You can spray with any insecticide to get rid of these. If you don’t wish to spray, use netting over the Brassica plants and spray the greenfly with tepid water, with a drop of washing up liquid – let it dry for a day or two, then rinse greenfly off the plants with the hose.
Now is a good time to clip any hedges. Shrub pruning or flowering shrubs should only be done after they have finished flowering and only where necessary. Roses can be encouraged to flower well for the rest of the year by dead heading old flowers and feeding them. Feed with a granular fertiliser it its not too dry or with any of the liquid feeds.
There is a very useful tip in one of the Gardening Magazines this month, which some of you might find helpful.
Tip: “Many of us have a problem with cats in the garden. We found that if we soaked used tea-bags in diluted Jeyes Fluid solution and scattered them around the garden, the cats stayed away. I hope this will work for others”. Worth a try!
Lastly, we are coming into a busy period in the tourism industry. It’s nice when people compliment us on how nice a place Galway is. We can help in this by avoiding throwing litter out the car window or out on the side of the road. We don’t do it at home, so let’s not do it anywhere else and make it a neater place to live in.
Having done all these tasks, its now time to get the Barbecue and chairs out and relax and enjoy your garden, with hopefully some sun!
Bosco McDermott, Jnr.
Glynn’s Garden Centre, Lydican.