Summer beckons as we launch into full strength growing season now in all our Irish gardens and allotments. Are you ready to do what it takes to make your Irish garden, balcony or urban backyard a welcoming oasis?
Read on for a quick checklist for your garden this summer…
Start Sowing in Your Garden!
- If you want a riot of colour this summer - start sowing all those lovely summer flower seeds and the remaining late summer bulbs that you want to establish before high summer
- Get moving and planting into those beds, pots, window boxes and hanging baskets if you haven’t begun already
- You can even create new beds with treated railway Sleepers
- Aiming for some re-wilding on your property? Fancy keeping the bees fed? Keep the momentum going with sunflowers, nasturtiums, poppies and cornflowers
- Start sowing your summer vegetable patches as well. Start planting the seedlings from tomatoes, courgettes, runner beans and French beans into their beds and trellises
- Start planting herbs like basil seeds in your polytunnel or greenhouse
As May marks the return of proper summery, sticky weather and nature’s fecundity, say hello to heat, bugs, fungus and weeds too!
- Time to Tackle pests like Viburnum beetle larvae, lily beetles and aphids
- Watch out for fungal diseases and treat your flowering plants and vegetable patches with the appropriate repellents
- Start clearing off weeds in larger areas with a hoe or attack them with a fork and fingers in smaller beds
- Start watering more regularly. Time to dust off the hose and watering can and start your routine of watering early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
At the end of May and into June, it’s all about managing growth, cutting back where you need to and supporting new growth as it emerges.
- As growth continues, cut back, prune and trim your bushes, and hedges
- This includes a scheduled lawn mowing session too! We think every fortnight would be just right. You may even want to use this growing season to fix patches of lawn with fast-growing Lawn Care seed
- Early spring flowering plants will be calling out for a trim too. Deadhead flowers where it is necessary to make way for the 2nd round of growth - like roses, peonies and other seasonal plants
- Start potting on where necessary as your potted plants start to outgrow their containers. You can also move indoor potted plants outside for lashings of sunshine
- Westland Multi-Purpose Compost is perfect for all life stages of plants. Ideal for seeding, pricking out & potting-on. Using this composition leads to stronger plant development
- Additional staking may be necessary at this stage in your vegetable patch
- Remove crops as they overreach or prune back the bottom growth of crops like tomatoes to facilitate the growth of fruit
- And it is also time to replenish plant feed, especially in the vegetable beds as the new round of growth spurts continues - you may also want to feed garden shrubs, trees and hedging
- The weeds will be growing too, so build this practice into your weekly gardening routine
- Consider using Weed Control Fabric . It is easy to use as an effective weed suppressant and is manufactured from non-woven spun-bond polypropylene. Ideal for use under chipped bark, flower beds and borders.
- You can also apply the Hygeia All Natural Path and Drive Weed and Moss Killer. It kills all weeds & moss quickly with a glyphosate free formula. Most importantly, it is Biodegradable, with naturally occurring ingredients
With temperatures soaring (hopefully they’ll soar!) in summer, keep your plants watered.
- Continue watering regularly as a rule unless there is an extra wet summer in Ireland. Nevertheless, make sure those plants in your glasshouse are taken care of
July is a good time to focus on the next round of late-season crops and facilitate late summer displays.
- Remove spent annuals and spring crops. It is also the right time to cut back on early perennials as they go over
- Re-pot containers with late flowering summer shrubs and plants like Dahlias and some Lilies
- Continue dead-heading to keep those flowers coming all summer
- Don’t forget to keep on top of those weeds too especially as they mature from wildflower to seeding. You should weed every 2 weeks at this stage - make sure the seedheads don’t embed
- As growth continues especially with climbing plants and in vegetable patches - revisit supports and add additional staking where needed
- As flowers start to go to seed, they can be structurally beautiful. Why not collect and store attractive seed heads for winter decorations?
- As the temperatures continue to stay high - keep watering in glasshouses and into pots that may not have access to rainwater
- Pay attention to your vegetable patch as fruit and vegetables will need a steady supply of water as they mature. Don’t forget to water your tomatoes about 3 times a week
- You can even start planting out biennials if there’s space in the garden
- Time to even think about early harvest especially if you’ve got some excellent courgettes or even courgette flowers or cucumbers
Pesky pests will be even more prolific now as there are lots to feast on
- Keep an eye on slugs and snails as they’ll eat up your veggies, and new leaves
Start thinking about the next year. Yes, you heard right!
- At the end of July - it’s worth planning your bulbs for autumn. Start planting bulbs like nerines, cyclamens & lilies
- If you have a greenhouse - start sowing cabbage seeds as we begin to plan for the winter growth too