Long hot summer days!

Ideal weather for spending time in the garden, but not necessarily the ideal time to work in the garden. Summer months are often the most rewarding times in the garden, but a reasonable amount of time maintaining your gardens will help to prevent your plants running out of steam in the hot, dry summer months. Deadheading summer fl owering plants is essential to keeping a continual fl ow of blooms through the summer, this will also keep the plants looking tidy and prevent diseases settling in dead fl ower heads.

For the same reason it is essential to pick some vegetables frequently in order to keep a good supply going. Runner beans, courgettes and marrows will all stop producing a healthy crop if they are not cropped frequently. We used to grow rows of runner beans when we were a market garden, and Dad always kept the crop picked frequently, even if we could not sell them all, so that a constant supply of fresh young beans would grow, big fat courgettes and gnarled and hard runner beans usually signal the end of the season. Tomatoes and cucumbers grown in bags, pots or the ground also need attention to keep them fruiting.

High potassium feeds fed little and often will help to keep the fruit in tip top condition. Tomatoes will also need sideshooting to ensure all the energy is directed into the fruit. This practice involves cutting out the shoots that grow from between the leaf and the main stem, these shoots usually grow vigorously and do not produce good fruit, hence they need cutting out. This practice is not usually necessary on the small fruited, or cherry, varieties like Gardener’s Delight and Tumbler.

Cucumbers need a similar feed to tomatoes and make sure that the tendrils that the plant uses to climb do not wrap themselves around the fruit as they will distort growth. For those crops grown in the greenhouse it is essential to get as much ventilation as possible in the summer; an ideal way to do this is to take out a couple of panes of glass at the bottom to create a fl ow of air.

Although I am not a fan of roses, I do still admire the fl owers when they come out, there really is something about them that say ‘England in Summertime’. In order to keep roses healthy, keep spraying the plants every two weeks with a preventative spray against mildew, blackspot and greenfl y. It all comes in one spray, is easy to apply and is essential to healthy foliage. For those who like to cut roses for the vase, always cut back to the fi rst leaf with fi ve leafl ets on; this way you will get healthy new shoots that may produce more buds.

I have just installed an irrigation system in my garden, it is providing fantastic results and saves lots of time. I have put in about 50 metres of 16mm (1/2”) header pipe running around the outside of the driveway, and then put in around 40 individual 8mm pipes and drippers to each pot and hanging basket. The whole system took about half a day to install, works on low pressure with easy push-fi t joints and uses a battery-operated timer to turn the water on and off twice a day. All for an outlay of around £125, which will be saving me half an hour every day for the next three months - great value, and the plants are better for it too!


BOSWORTH’S Nurseries & Garden Centre
01536 722635
Only minutes from J10 off the A14 and midway between Kettering and Wellingborough

OPEN: Mon-Sat: 9am - 6pm
Sun: 10am - 5pm • Disabled Access

All Credit Cards Accepted


July/August 2015 Garden

July/August 2015 Garden