Late Summer, fine weather and holidays; we tend to forget about the garden. There is no better way to spend a fine day relaxing, than in the garden watching plants flourish, birds sing and bees buzzing around collecting pollen.
At this time of the year, there are many jobs we can do. In Galway, this tends to be our driest spell of the year!!! so we must remember to keep everything watered, in particular young plants and bedding plants in troughs, buckets, window boxes etc.
In the pruning department, now is a good time to clip most types of hedging. Bedding roses will put out more blooms also if the dead flowers are removed. Wisteria Fruit trees such as cherries and plums should be pruned now, to avoid any disease entering the wounds. Flowering cherries are also in the last category, so prune now.
In the vegetable garden, this is a time when a lot of vegetables come to maturity. You should still be wary of potato blight and spray with Dithane or Hytin if conditions are prevalent. You can also do late sowing of vegetables now such as carrots and parsley for winter use. Also sow spring cabbage and winter cabbage. Crops such as runner beans, broccoli and cauliflower may now be coming in a glut, so freeze them for use later. If you found broccoli went to seed, it may be just the conditions during the year or that you didn’t harvest it as it was coming in.
All soft fruit crops are coming in now also, you can freeze these if you have a glut. Apples and pears should be thinned on the trees, so as they make some size.
Greenhouse crops—side shoot tomato plants all the time. Plants should be fed with a liquid fertiliser every ten days to two weeks. If your tomatoes are green and a good size, pick them, put them in a dark, cool place and they will redden quicker.
For trees and shrubs, water regularly, generally prune after flowering. If you think plants need to be moved look at them now and plan it for the Autumn. If an area is lacking colour now, think of adding perennials for a splash of colour, in particular at this time of year any penstemons.
These are the basic jobs of the garden in later summer and can be very enjoyable and fruitful with a little work. After all, the garden is there to be enjoyed.
Bosco McDermott Jnr.
Glynn’s Garden Centre, Lydican