Summer is now almost upon us – and that’s official. Meteorologists think it begins on June 1, because it is more convenient to split the year up into four different seasons of three months each. Astronomers, on the other hand, think summer begins on June 20, due to the nature of the earth’s axis around the sun.
Whoever you believe, if you are a gardener, then it is time to start tackling some key jobs to keep your plants – and buildings – in tip-top condition. Here Nelson Potter, garden furniture specialists in East Anglia, identify five tasks to prioritise.
Look After the Lawn
You should now be in the habit of cutting your grass regularly. At least once a week should be enough, although you may be able to reduce the frequency of your mowing if there hasn’t been much rain. And raise the cutting heights on your machine as this will keep the longer blades of grass intact, giving your lawn a much lusher, greener look.
And if there is a prolonged dry spell, you should ensure your grass gets plenty of moisture. One heavy watering is much better than lots of little ones, as this encourages deeper root growth.
Get the Paintbrushes Out
Summer is one of the best times to give your garden buildings and fences a new lick of paint, as dry weather allows any preservative to set better. If possible, start the job in shade, because if the wood is too hot, then the paint or preservative will soak in too quickly.
At Nelson Potter, as well as supplying a range of garden furniture, fencing, sheds and workshops to customers across East Anglia, we also stock block brushes and Protek Shed and Fence Wood Treatment, a long-lasting, waterproof wood stain which will bring out the natural beauty of your timber.
Put in Your Summer Bedding Plants
This can only really be done once the risk of frost has passed, which generally means towards the end of May or into early June. Busy lizzies, begonias, geraniums and sweet peas can turn your garden into a riot of colour.
Alternatively, if you have a greenhouse, you can grow the seedlings or cuttings – ‘plug plants’ – there and transfer them into your beds once you are sure that the night-time temperatures won’t drop below zero.
Prune the Early Bloomers
Some spring-flowering plants have already bloomed and will be ready for their first cut of the year. Trimming back deciduous shrubs like forsythia and jasmine now will mean they stand a much better chance of surviving a harsh winter – and of enjoying healthy growth the following spring.
And roses should be pruned and deadheaded regularly over the summer months to help them flower for as long as possible. Spent flowerheads should be cut off just above a leaf. The further down the stem you cut, the more compact your roses will be, but they will take much longer to flower again.
Keep on Top of the Weeding
Summer’s additional sunlight doesn’t just encourage all your lovely blooms, it helps weeds to grow too. In May and June these will usually start to rear their ugly heads, not just in the flower beds but between patio paving slabs and garden paths as well.
Either hoeing or removing the weeds by hand can be a better method of keeping these unwanted invaders under control than using a weedkiller which could damage the plants you want to protect. Mulch is also a good way of suppressing weeds – and also helps the soil to retain moisture and so promotes good plant growth.
Quality Outdoor Gardening Products from Nelson Potter
If you would like to know more about the range of gardening products we currently stock, you can visit our online shop here. Although our yards are closed to the public, we are now accepting web orders. Submit your order online and we will call you to organise payment and delivery.
As we are obeying all the current rules regarding social distancing, we are operating with a limited number of staff, so please bear with us if your order takes a little while to process.