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Weston garden centre on what jobs to do in summer

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Summer jobs in the garden are the subject of this week's Out in the Garden column, written by Mark Cox, of Baytree Garden Centre, Weston...

The two foot wide steel reinforced concreate walls of my temporary abode are perfect for keeping my living quarters cool during the day and not too warm throughout the night.

This has been a blessing these past few days as the summer temperatures have sky rocketed.

Garden water (57616538)
Garden water (57616538)

I did receive a visit from the present Mrs Cox this week and my solicitor who told me in no uncertain terms that at my upcoming trial I am not to try to represent myself again, nor should I under any circumstances pretend to be a barrister by wearing a barrister’s wig fashioned from a used mop head and to close any potential loop hole a new mop head is also banned.

Mr Jones, my solicitor, said that all I needed to do would be to stay out of trouble and that he would take care of the rest. With his words ringing in my ears and with my wife’s powerful Medusa-like do as you are told stare, I concluded that it would be best to do as I am told.

Back to the chain gang. It would be for a few more weeks, but at least they were summer weeks. For me the summer months of July and August are all about enjoying the fruits of your labour from earlier in the year. It is harvest time for strawberries, raspberries and currants, plus many other soft fruits. You can really taste the sun in them.

From now until the end of the summer watering should be, like mine, your main priority.

If you can, try to use grey water instead of tap water as at this time of the year water consumption increases and so does the risk of a hosepipe ban so wherever possible try to use water that you have captured yourself. Getting a water butt is a great way to collect and store free rainwater for use in the garden.

Mr McKay has two water butts which are attached via drainpipes to his greenhouses; it’s not difficult or particularly expensive to install yourself either.

Most people will have finished planting their summer bedding. However, that doesn’t mean that the work is over. Regularly dead heading your bedding plants and your hanging basket plants will encourage new flowers and stronger growth plus you lengthen the display of colour and scent that these plants provide into early autumn.

Dead heading your flowering plants is a great pottering task. You can spend a few minutes dead heading a section of your garden or several hours – that’s up to you.

In this warm weather you’ll find that your container plants are drying out quickly. When watering your container plants or any other plants in your garden, including the lawn, please do so in the evening so that the plants have all night to drink up the water rather than watering during the day which will see most of your work evaporating.

With unglazed terracotta pots, dampen down the outside.These pots have a habit of wicking moisture away from the soil. If you place a hand against one of these pots on a warm summer’s day, you’ll feel that the pot is very warm, and because terracotta pots are usually quite large this means that they have a sizable surface area in which to evaporate the water from.

Finally, if you have a greenhouse, make sure you open the doors or vents during the day and close them again at night to regulate the temperature and to encourage a good flow of air.

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