Gardening, Gary, Grow Your Own, How To, Plants, Watering

 

Most of your plants need regular watering to survive, and the hotter it gets the more water they need. Watering big gardens and allotments can become a chore that takes time away from your other garden maintenance. Irrigation has been used to water large areas since the ancient Egyptians dug channels through their fields to divert river water. Luckily, you have a few more options available to you beyond diverting rivers. 

Irrigation types 

Irrigation works by supplying controlled amounts of water to your plants at set times, and there are a lot of ways you can do this. The method that is right for you will depend on how much sun your garden gets and if your plants have similar or different watering requirements

 

Sprinklers 

 

Easy to install and simple to maintain, the sprinkler system replicates rainfall by supplying water from above the plant. This is an easy way to water a large garden and if you get a simple lawn sprinkler can be one of the cheapest. There are advantages and disadvantages to a sprinkler system, and its usefulness will depend on your need: 

 

Advantages Disadvantages 
Covers a large areaCan cause overwatering
Can be automatedProne to disruption from wind
Can be used anywhereSome systems can be expensive to install
Low maintenanceNot the best system if you have different watering requirements

Soaker hose

 

These hoses are made of porous materials and release small amounts of water directly into the soil. More often used in vegetable patches and under hedges, this method of above-ground irrigation might be the best option for you if you want to conserve water. 

AdvantagesDisadvantages 
Conserves water Requires regular maintenance
Conserves soilTime-consuming initial installation 
Can be automated Low output
Waters soil directlyLimited coverage 

Drip Line Irrigation

 

Drip line irrigation is similar to a soaker hose but allows you more control over how much certain parts of your garden get watered. These systems can be placed at ground level or put over your plants if a more advanced line and nozzle system are used making it a good irrigation system for hanging baskets.

Advantages Disadvantages 
Conserves waterTime-consuming set up
Adjustable output Can be prone to clogging 
Long lifespanSlower than other systems 
Can be automated More advanced systems can have a big setup cost

 

Self-watering containers

 

These specialized containers are a great solution to keeping your plants watered if you are away for a short trip. These pots  have an upper pot that holds the soil and plant, while a lower reservoir holds the water and feeds it to the soil. Usually, these pots hold enough water for a few days, depending on the weather and evaporation rate – all you need to do is refill the reservoir. 

Tree bags 

Trees and shrubs need slow, deep watering to become established. Tree watering bags are put around the base of the tree and filled with water where they will slowly release it into the soil surrounding the rootball. They are an inexpensive and water-saving way of establishing 

Automate your system 

 

If you are going on holiday, are away a lot or want to spend time on other gardening jobs then automating your watering is one of the best things you can do. Setting up a basic automated system is simple and can be done in a few steps, all you need is a timer that attaches to your outdoor tap – this can be mains or solar-powered.

  1. Make sure your hose pipes and sprinklers are set up so you have total coverage of your garden 
  2. Attach your timer or regulator to your water source and set the times
  3. Connect everything together with
  4. Do a test run 
  5. Enjoy

 

Once you have the right irrigation set up you will find yourself with much more time to enjoy your garden and get the rest of your jobs done, making this a must-do job for the serious gardener.

Allotment, Gardening, Grow Your Own, Organic, Planting, Vegetables

July is the first month of the year where you get a really bountiful harvest. Loads of fruit and veg are ready to harvest this month, and there’s even more ready to be planted. Here is our at a glance guide to your allotment this month.

harvest of vegetables 

Harvesting 

  • Aubergines
  • Beetroot
  • Broad beans
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Chillies and peppers
  • Courgettes
  • Florence fennel
  • French beans
  • Garlic
  • Globe artichokes
  • Kohl rabi
  • Leaf beet
  • Marrows
  • Onions
  • Oriental mustards
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • Runner beans
  • Shallots
  • Spinach
  • Turnips
  • Celery
  • Chicory
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuces
  • Radishes
  • Rocket
  • Salad leaves
  • Spring onions

Sowing

  • Peas
  • Cabbage
  • Fennel 
  • Kohlrabi
  • Last Beetroot 

Planting

  • Spinach 
  • Leeks
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower 
  • Sprouting Broccoli 
  • Endives
  • Chickory 
  • Spring onions 

General Jobs

  • Weed regularly
  •  Mulch to conserve moisture
  • Feed tomatoes and peppers
  • Net against birds
  • Pinch out tomato shoots

Pests and Diseases

Aphids  – spraying your brassicas with diluted washing up liquid will deter them from landing on your crops. You can buy insecticides if you prefer, including a fatty acid soap to spray on the plants.

Carrot fly –   a particular problem between May and September when female flies lay their eggs the best defence to cover plants with horticultural fleece or place two-foot high barriers around the plants.

Cabbage root fly– attacking the roots of brassicas, these flies can cause a lot of damage to your plants. Female flies lay the eggs on the surface of the soil next to the stem of the plant. Place a piece of carpet (or cardboard or fleece) around the base of the plant to create a collar, this will stop the flies from laying their eggs on the soil. 

 

Gardening, Gardening Year, Planting, Plants, Wildlife

July is the height of summer, and usually the hottest month of the year, it’s a great time to sit and enjoy the work you’ve put in earlier in the year. July gardening is mostly about maintenance.

General Gardening Jobs

garden lawn

Top up bird baths, ponds and water features – June is one of the hottest months of the year so you need to check your birdbaths and ponds regularly to make sure they don’t go dry.

Trim conifers and other garden hedges – this is the time of year when growth can get a bit out of control, so now is the best time to trim in order to keep an even shape. Just make sure that you check the hedge for birds nests first.

Feed the lawn with specialist fertilizer –  this is your last chance to fertilize your lawn in order to keep lush green growth alongside regular deep watering once a week.

Remove floating blanket weed from ponds – this weed can be bad for water oxygenation so needs to be removed, simply put a pole or stick into the water and twirl it to remove from the pond.  Before composting, leave on the edge of the pond for a few hours so that any wildlife can get back to the pond

Think about which plants you would like for next springit might seem a bit early, but now is the time to get thinking about next year, and if you want to be ready for autumn planting it’s best to start ordering now.

Plants 

creating a sumemr garden

Support climbing plants –  continue to tie climbing plants to supports as they continue to grow this month.

Deadhead bedding plants – July gardening may involve removing dead and dying flowers from your border plants will tidy your garden and encourage new growth, giving you more colour for longer.  

Take cuttings for indoor overwintering – taking cuttings from your tender plants, shrubs and herbaceous perennials should be done this month to give you enough time to prepare them for overwintering and ready for next year.

Prune wisteria –  remove the side shoots from the main branch to about 20cm from their base, this will encourage neater growth.

Wildlife Care 

hedgehog in the garden

Put out food for hedgehogs – hoglets should be emerging from their birth nests this month so to give them a helping hand as they start to explore the world you can leave out water and meat-based dog or cat food (ideally chicken) on a plate or in a hedgehog feeder.

Plant low growing plants around ponds – this is the time of year where baby frogs should be emerging from ponds, and you can help them hide from predators or shelter from the  sun by planting low growing plants or allowing the lawn to grow near the edge of your pond.

Sow wildlife-friendly biennials – planting flowers like foxgloves, forget-me-nots and hollyhock is a great way to attract pollinators to your garden. By sowing now you are ensuring a source of food that’ll last longer into the year, giving them a better chance to survive the winter.

 

Decoration, Gardening, Gardening & Landscaping, Plants

Our Favourite Fast Growing Climbing Plants

Fast-growing climbing plants are a great tool for prettifying parts of your garden that you may not be so fond of. Within months, gardeners can see walls, fences, trellises, and pergolas transform into botanical displays.

All hardy, and with beautiful foliage and flowers, read on for our favourite fast growing climbers for your garden. 

What is a Fast Growing Climbing Plant?

A fast growing climbing plant is a vine that will quickly envelop a large surface with their stems and foliage. With some varieties capable of growing over a dozen feet per year, climbers are a favourite amongst those with a passion for decor and gardening. 

How Does a Climbing Plant Climb?

To avoid the sun, a climber will initially creep along the ground. However, once a climbing plant touches a new surface, chemical changes will prompt a new growing habit. From this point onwards, these vines will grow in an upwards direction. 

Climbing genuses can have differing methods of climbing, such as:

  • Twining: Twining plants, such as a Clematis, will twist around surfaces via their stems or leaves.
  • Tendrilling: Tendrils deriving from the plant’s stem will wrap around a surface, mirroring a coil.
  • Clinging: Stems produce clusters of roots that cling to a variation of surfaces; examples include Hydrangeas.
  • Scrambling: Scrambling plants, such as vigorous Roses, have long, vine-like stems that require a degree of support in order to climb.

Chinese Wisteria

Characterised by their pendulous flowers, Wisterias are one of the most popular climbing genuses. Commonly called Chinese Wisteria, Wisteria sinensis is a particularly vigorous variety, which can exceed 40 feet in height. As such, this variety will happily reach the second story of a home, and can blanket a fence within a single growing season.

Visible during spring and early summer, a Chinese Wisteria’s flowers will give passers by a treat with their delightfully sweet scent. With this sensuous feature accompanied by swaying movement, these flowers will add a romantic touch to a wall-side border.

Chinese Wisteria is a non-fussy climber, where it will tolerate most well-drained soils, and will thrive in full sun or partial shade. Drought tolerant, this climber will make a reliable addition to your outdoor space.

Style Tip

Chinese Wisteria is a long-living plant, and if you are meticulous about your garden’s planting schemes, you must put careful thought into new additions for the years to come. When flowering, Wisteria will become a focal point, so keep nearby shrubs well-pruned to avoid a busy look.

Forming drooping clusters of delicate white flowers, Wisteria senensis ’Alba’ is great for a particularly colourful garden, where its luminous white flowers will harmonise with every shade, whether warm or cool. If you are worried about your Wisteria clashing with  other plants, this is the climbing plant for you. 

White Passion Flower

Our Favourite Fast Growing Climbing Plants

Native to South America, the Passion Flower will flourish in tropical climates, yet withstand freezing winters. Due to this hardiness, they will make a resilient choice for your garden. If you want to swiftly cover areas of your garden with exotic blooms, why not opt for Passiflora ‘Snow Queen‘?

Snow Queen is a highly vigorous climber that will bear white flowers, adorned by green and purple stamens. The complex scent of these flowers encompasses a mix of sweet, earthy, and tropical notes, which will capture intrigue from friends and family. 

Flowering from summer through to autumn, Snow Queen can quickly grow up to 20 feet long, and will make a beautiful addition to walls, trellises, and fences. This variety is particularly perfect for enhancing a Mediterranean garden, or adding tropical edge to a cottage garden.

Clematis ‘Pink Fantasy’

Our Favourite Fast Growing Climbing Plants

With an abundance of stellate flowers, each etched by darker stripes of purple across their petals, ‘Pink Fantasy’ will prove a pretty addition to your garden. Able to quickly reach 8 feet in length, this Clematis will form gorgeous cover for trellises and pergolas. Throughout early summer to early autumn, Pink Fantasy’s flowers will gradually mature from deep pink to near white. As such, you can enjoy a plethora of seasonal colour. 

Clematis plants are esteemed for their generous flowering periods, which often last a full season. Therefore, if you are after a long-running display,  Clematis is the genus for you.  

Shade tolerant, this Clematis is a great option if your garden is north-facing. Despite being fast growing, this climber also requires relatively little maintenance (mostly deadheading and regular pruning to maintain neat growth)

Bluebell Creeper

A quickly growing climber, the Bluebell creeper is wonderful for embracing cooler tones in your garden. The nodding, campanulate-shaped flowers boast a vivid blue colour, which stands out against their dark foliage.

Present all summer long, these vibrant flowers will become your floral fairylights for archways and trellises. However, even when these flowers disappear, your outdoor space will benefit from pretty foliage all year round. The lance-shaped leaves of this climber create a gentle silhouette, yet are organised compactly to provide generous concealment; covering areas with greenery even in winter.

Due to its noteworthy qualities, the Bluebell Creeper has achieved the Award of Garden Merit; assuring you that you will be planting an easy to grow, hardy, disease and pest resistant, and beautiful climbing plant.