Believe it or not, we are in the last couple of weeks of summer and heading into the best gardening weather of the year.
If you want a good flush of flowers on your roses in March, now is the time to give them their summer pruning. Just prune about 25 per cent off them, cut out any die-back and spindly growth, spray for black spot, feed with a complete rose food, deep water at soil level and mulch.
Due to the good rainfalls in spring and mid summer your wisteria will have grown rampantly. Choose the best looking stems to form the main frame of the plant for next season and tie them up, then reduce all other growth by about 50 per cent.
Take cuttings of nearly any garden shrubs now and they will be ready to plant out in autumn. Take a styrofoam box with drainage holes, fill it with sharp river sand, wet a plastic bag inside and tip out the water. As you collect the cuttings put them in the bag and they wont loose moisture. Then trim your cuttings to about 10cm and dip into rooting powder, wet the sand and use a stick to make a hole for each cutting. Place the box in a shady place and keep moist.
Prepare your gardens now for autumn planting by removing any spent plants and weeds, deep water, spread the soil with animal manure or compost, dust generously with dolomite and turn the lot in. Then cover with 10cm of mulch to stop any weed seeds germinating and get the worms and micro organisms working. Remember, the secret is in the soil and its preparation. All you will need to do in autumn is make holes in the mulch and plant.
What to plant now: Nothing! Its too blinkin hot. You are far better to concentrate on keeping what you have alive until we get past this hot summer weather and plant in March instead.
Finally: If you are feeling a little blue count your blessings and spend a little time in your garden, even if its just a walk and take in the beauty of creation. You will find that is has a kind of magical healing benefit for the mind and soul.
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