Latest news from JDB
Over recent weeks we have been giving a helping hand at callouts. A few weeks ago we received a callout to a bungalow where a rotten sweet chesnut had fallen in heavy rain. This summer has unfortunately come with both sunshine and heavy rain on the occasional day!
Top tips for July 2016
With a bit of luck we’ll get some sun this month and, if we do, the essential task in the garden will to make sure your plants get enough water – particularly those in containers that have a tendency to dry out quickly.
A bumper veggie harvest
Much veg and salad is at its peak now so pick it and either eat or store it before it goes bitter tasting or woody. Pinch out the tops of tomato plants and side shoots to encourage the plants to put all its effort into producing fruit rather than foliage. As you harvest your crops you can fill the space with new veg to enjoy later in the year. You can plant beetroot, carrots, dwarf French beans, lettuce, radishes and runner beans in July, enjoy!
Beware of clematis wilt
There are over 290 species of clematis. They originated from China and Japan with the first exotic clematis reaching European gardens in the 18th century. This versatile plant comes in evergreen and deciduous varieties and can flower throughout the year – unsurprisingly is one of the most popular garden plants.
Many large-flowered, hybrid varieties are susceptible to clematis wilt, a disease which is mainly caused by a fungus but it can also be a generic term used to describe a struggling plant effected by environmental problems.
A fungal infection in the leaves will cause them to wilt and the leaf stalks to turn black causing rapid wilting of the stems. There are no chemical treatments so the course of action to take is to cut out all wilted stems back to healthy tissue and destroy the infected material to prevent soil contamination. Disinfect pruning tools to prevent the spread of spores.
In their natural environment clematis prefer deep, fertile soil in a moist, shady habitat. However, they are often planted in pots that dry out or close to buildings that they can scramble up but stunt root growth. In such habitats the plant can suffer from root stress and poor growth with symptoms very similar to clematis wilt. In these circumstances try to minimise root stress by planting the roots deeper and applying a good covering of mulch.
Things you can be getting on with this month…
- Pick courgettes before they grow into marrows
- Keep deadheading bedding plants and repeat-flowering perennials to encourage flowering throughout the summer
- If you haven’t done so already apply a think layer of mulch (5cm to 7cm) to borders to help retain moisture in the soil and keep down weeds. Give us a call if you would like a dumpy bag of mulch delivered
- Stake or prop up tall perennials, such as lupins and delphiniums
- If we have a dry spell, raise the mower blades to help the lawn retain moisture and remain green
- Plant autumn flowering bulbs
- Keep water pumps or features turned on throughout hot nights to maintain oxygen levels in ponds
- Make sure bird baths are kept topped up with water
- Pick, dry and freeze herbs so that you can use them later in the year
Enjoy your garden! It will be looking its best at the moment so remember to kick back and admire the fruits of your labour