Paraic Horkans Top Tips for your Garden in Late July

Paraic’s Tips for Your Garden in Late July

Remove any damaged or dead wood before cutting approximately one third of the oldest branchesParaic Horkan
At this stage in the garden, the early summer flowering shrubs will be finishing up their colourful display and will require pruning. Examples of these shrubs would be Weigela, Kerria or Deutzia, to name but a few. You should first remove any damaged or dead wood before cutting approximately one third of the oldest branches to the ground. The thicker, older stems will require the use of a loppers or even a pruning saw. The idea is to create an uncluttered centre to the shrub to allow good air circulation and a pleasing shape to the shrub.

Summer bedding will still be very much in flower and should be dead-headed regularly. Dahlia, geranium, pelargonium, osteospermum and calendula are excellent examples of how regular dead-heading promotes re-flowering and prolongs the bloom time throughout the summer. Don’t forget your rose shrubs when dead-heading; ensure you remove the spent flowers by cutting down to the next leaf junction thus ensuring a well-shaped shrub.

For those of you who wish to save seeds of a well-loved plant, allow the faded flowers to remain on the plant and the seed pods to form and mature as the flower petals fall. The pods can then be picked by cutting from the plant with a sharp secateurs while they are still green. They should then be dried by spreading them on a piece of newspaper and leaving them at room temperature for approximately one week. When the pods are brown and dry, they can be opened and the seeds collected and stored until required in an envelope. Don’t forget to mark the envelope with the name of the plant and the date harvested to avoid mistakes when sowing later.

Your pots and containers still need a careful eye; watering and feeding regularly with Osmo Universal Plant Food will ensure a continued bloom time. Bedding plants such as surfinia, petunia or pansies can become leggy over the growing period. These can be “shortened” which simply explained means cutting back the over-long stems to an area of new growth closer to the base of the plant. This will encourage new growth and a new crop of flowers.

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With your beds, borders and containers well taken care of, don’t forget the hard surfaces in your garden or outdoor space. Have you treated the wood on your shed or fence? Any treatment is best done when the wood is dry and will extend the life of your fence, furniture or shed; protecting it during the worst of next winter’s weather. If weeds have become a problem on your patio or paths, treat the area immediately with Hytrol Total Weedkiller for hard areas. Do remember if treating weeds in a lawn to ensure you chose a lawn appropriate weedkiller such as Resolva Lawn Weedkiller.

You could also chop your fresh herbs and freeze them in ice-cube trays with a very small amount of added waterParaic Horkan
If you have herbs in your vegetable garden or in a container on the patio, consider harvesting some now and freezing for use later in the year. You can open freeze individual sprigs of herbs which should be stored in plastic bags once frozen. You could also chop your fresh herbs and freeze them in ice-cube trays with a very small amount of added water. Either way you can enjoy the taste of your home grown herbs throughout the year.

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