Trees, Shrubs and Roses

It is time to clip hedges of all kinds before the wood gets tough. Any heavy cutting back of a hedge should be left until the start of the growing season next year. Roses may need to be sprayed against blackspot disease if there is wet weather. Prune shrubs that flowered earlier, but only if they are too big for their allotted space. Check young trees for signs of drought. Check beech hedging for signs of beech aphid, which is woolly, and spray with insecticide if the infestation is heavy on a young hedge. Take cuttings of shrubs, using soft shoots of the current year's new growth.


Water containers of all kinds as often as necessary, or set them up with an inexpensive automatic irrigation system. Feeding is also essential and can be given in every third or fourth watering, or weekly if preferred. Bedding flowers should be in flower now in the open ground, also begonias and dahlias. Usually the problem of weeds is greatly lessened when the plants grow large. Perennial flowers are appraoching their best time and many can be used as cutflowers for the house.   


The quality of a lawn at this time fo year will lagely depend on whther there have been adequate rainfall and whether fertilizer was given. Do not water a lawn in dry weather - it is a waste fo time and of scarce water. If a lawn is pale or yellowish, it probably could do with feeding - lawns need to be fed at least twice each year. Taking the spring feeding in March/April as the first, most need a second one now. Feeding at this time is always a bit tricky because it will be counter-productive if the weather turns dry. Watch for rain on the way to make sure the fertilizer gets washed in.
Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs

Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs

The early varieties of potatoes will generally be used up before potato blight disease harms the tubers, later crops will need spraying in blight weather. Remove vegetables that have gone over and, to avoid gluts, try to use vegetables as soon as they are large enough. Make some late sowings of Chinese leaves, lettuce and radishes. If the soil is dry, some vegetables, notably peas, cauliflower and broccolia as well as cabbage might need watering. Sow spring cabbage seeds for planting out in September.
Greenhouse and House Plants

Greenhouse and House Plants

Continue watering and feeding greenhouse plants. Water plants in pots or grow-bags regularly. Train and side-shoot  tomatoes and tie in cucumbers and melons.  Take semi-hardwood cuttings of deciduous shrubs in the greenhouse, inserting them in compost made of two parts peat/ one part sand or vermiculite, use rooting powder. Cover wth white polythene.

Plant of the Day 22 July 2014

Plant of the Day 22 July 2014
Geranium riversleanianum ‘Russell Prichard’    geranium

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