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Something for the Weekend #10

This is that pivotal point of the year where you can look about and plan for your future July.

Enjoy this month from your lounger and dream.

What about that list leaves you wanting?

What would you like to be doing or seeing in your garden right now?

What do you want to harvest?

Do you need to order seeds, bulbs or make a new border plan?

Now is the exact right time to do that.

I’d encourage focusing on a couple of points of the year and spots in the garden then work backwards. You might need to replant in the autumn, create new beds and plan for next summer.

Consider the incremental steps to get to this time next year where you will be ticking off the tasks, gathering flowers and produce.

Knowing what you want and and planning your way there is where the fun begins.'

I had no idea we would be in a heat wave when I wrote this - but you can take for granted that July is usually very dry. A hands off approach is better. Let the garden conserve itself. The preparation is done and best to enjoy it! Seeking inspiration and noting what tweaks or new planting projects you'd like to do this autumn is a inspiring task this week. Sitting in the shade!

On the picking list are echinops, sweet peas, gaura, nicotiana, scabious, coreopsis, fennel, oregano, and dahlias. The herbs are now flowering so are perfect for cutting and will condition well; before they flower, the stems are more difficult to condition and end up drooping stems if cut sooner.

Three for the Weekend

1. Watering

I don’t need to tell you that the weather has caused havoc on the plots. But I will do anyway! The weather has caused havoc. We have very dry sandy soil which is very easy to work but the plants are struggling in this heat. I water once a week if there hasn't been a good rain fall. But some plants are needing a little pick me up sooner. The pots, with rich compost, are faring better than many plants in the raised beds.

Anyway, I gave the dahlias and more parched plants a good watering last night. Now that slugs aren't a problem and the plants more mature, evening watering is better than the morning; giving the soil a chance to absorb rather than evaporating the water, and the plants revive in the cool of the night. I think we will all be out with the watering can tonight!

2. Dead head Flowers

Plants are going to flower and set seed far quicker than usual. Have you noticed that plants are not flowering for as long this year? It doesn't matter how much you water them - the hot sun will wick water, transpiring moisture from leaves quicker than it can be taken up through the roots. To keep plants going through this heat wave, pinch off flowers as they go over and don't allow any energy left to go into making seed. Unless that's what you want! I am cutting some annuals back hard, removing all the flowers, hoping that the next flush will rise later next week when it is cooler again.

3. Review your garden

Record where there are gaps, plants need dividing (the echinops here are crazy!) and consider perrenials. This is a heads up that I will start sowing these next month; if you got my 'Seed Suppliers' email this week - have a look at these nurseries and order your seeds. (if not, hit subscribe and tell me in the notes - I will send it to you). I really think perennials will be the way forward to cope with intense summers like this one.


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