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We all love a bargain so who about some free plants? Now is the time to take cuttings of hydrangea to give you even more plants for next year. Take a 5 to 6”cutting from a branch, ideally one that hasn’t flowered this year, remove the bottom leaves and cut the largest leaves to half their size. Plant your cuttings in coarse sand and water well before placing a clear plastic bag over them and placing in a bright but shady place.
You can still sow herb seeds and start off some Basil outside in pots while its warm, all ready to bring inside over the winter. Basil, along with other herbs such as parsley, can be grown over the cooler months on a bright windowsill or of course in your Rhino Greenhouse. So along with that and harvesting your herb leaves and freezing them now, means you won’t go short over Winter.
Its a good idea to top up water in your ponds as it will evaporate during the hot summer months. Ideally, use rainwater from a water butt as tap water can shock your pond life and also has chemicals that can effect the balance. If you don't have a water butt, just a bucket left on a patio will collect enough rain to top up a pond as and when necessary.
As with ponds, bird baths will also dry up very quickly in the heat. Birds desperately need water during the Summer months, so keep your baths clean and topped up with fresh water daily. Its so lovely to watch our garden birds take a bath, splashing around, having a clean and enjoying themselves.
If you sit and watch in your garden you may be accompanied by a Hoverfly as they are in abundance during the summer months. Sometimes they can be mistaken for wasps, but they definitely won’t sting! They are great to have in the garden as they eat the pests you don't want to find. They look like wasps as a disguise to predators and they love to hang out around bright and beautiful Marigolds.
You may be overwhelmed with vegetables, which is exactly what you have worked for! Remember to harvest your produce when young rather than leaving them to mature too long. Runner beans are a classic allotment vegetable and whilst the long beans may help you win the village show, they taste far better when they are young and fresh. Same goes for courgettes, they are much tastier when small and by harvesting frequently, you will encourage more crops to grow. Why not treat yourself to one of these lovely personalised trugs by Loldean Timber.
Time to pick soft fruits now for summer deserts and puddings. A simple way to get more strawberry plants for free is to use strawberry runners to grow new plants. Pot the runner leaving them attached to the plant and as soon as they have rooted, clip off ready for next year. Remove all unwanted runners to allow the plant to re-energise.