The key to prolonging these fantastic displays in your beds, borders and containers throughout summer is regular maintenance. If you’re planning on taking a summer holiday it is important to get into your garden to weed, dead head and cut back tired plants before you depart. Performing these tasks before you leave will make your life a little easier when you return.
Tackling any small weeds before they take over is much easier than waiting till they become too invasive. Once cleared, the best prevention method is to either fill the empty spaces with more plants or to mulch the entire area. We have some great offers on bedding plants (now just £1 a pack) and basket plants (6 for £6) which are ideal for filling any bare patches.
Deadheading your summer flowering plants should be carried out almost daily to encourage your plants to continue to flower right through the season. It will also help to keep your flower beds and patios looking neater and tidier as faded blooms can look unattractive and messy. Whilst deadheading some plants such as summer bedding is essential and should be carried out daily some perennials and flowering shrubs can be left as they will go on to produce attractive seed heads. Good examples of plants to leave are Alliums, Poppies and old fashioned roses.
Sometimes it is easier to cut back the plant and wait for new foliage to grow. Perennial Geraniums and Nepeta will by now have started to finish flowering. Their foliage will start to look overgrown and leggy and will benefit from being cut back.
After any deadheading or cutting back it is essential to give your plants an extra feed and water to ensure that they have enough food and nutrients to encourage the new growth to develop. For example, Miracle-Gro All Purpose Soluble Plant Food produces beautiful, healthy plants with more blooms; feed your plants in the garden and in tubs and baskets every two weeks with a feed such as this.
The original version of this article first appeared in the Tiptree Tribune.