Welcome to the 10 minute gardener for late summer, looking at quick gardening jobs you can fit into a busy schedule.
We’re at that stage of summer where all the hard work in the garden should be really paying off, in the form of healthy plants and lots of flowers to enjoy. I think this part of the year is actually quite lazy, with an emphasis on sitting back and enjoying the view, but there are still a few jobs that are worth ticking off the list. Here are some ideas for quick gardening jobs you can tackle in late summer.
Keep containers and baskets happy
You can prolong the life of your summer containers and hanging baskets by taking a few minutes to look after them. Remove old flowers to prevent seed pods forming, this is called deadheading and will make the plants produce new flowers. And remember that plants in containers and baskets exhaust the nutrients in their compost quickly; feed them every 2-4 weeks with a balanced liquid fertiliser.
Weeds grow really fast at this time of year, and they also compete with your plants for nutrients, light and water. Spend ten minutes here and there keeping on top of them and you can save yourself a lot of time later on; your plants will perform better too.
With the school holidays upon us, lots of us will be heading off on holiday. If you don’t want to return home to sorry-looking plants you’ll need to arrange some care while you’re away. If a friend or neighbour can’t pop in and do some watering, you might want to consider setting up an automatic watering system, these usually work by connecting them to a tap or water butt so they can drip-water your plants. Alternatively, put all pots and containers in your shadiest area, put trays under them, and fill with water on the day you leave. Give the whole garden a really good soak on this day too. And don’t forget your houseplants too; I’ve got lots of tips for keeping them alive while you’re away in this post.
If you’ve been growing strawberries this summer, your plants will probably have sent out ‘runners’ by now – these are long shoots with the odd leaf on them. If you peg these runners down into soil or a pot of compost they will take root; once this has happened you can cut them away from the parent plant. Free plants and more strawberries next year – what’s not to love?!
Are you managing to fit in some quick gardening jobs this month? Let me know in the comments.