From Michael Coulter
December, the beginning of Summer and all those flowers, fruit and vegetables to grow and harvest. We are well behind on our rain fall and the ground is very dry so we need to manage our watering well to ensure that our garden will produce good results. Mulching will become more important especially around the shrub boarder and fruit trees. Watering well will make the plants grow and keep them healthy. Stressed plants are more susceptible to pest and diseases. Weeds also will be a problem with more watering so be sure to keep the hoe going while the weeds are small and leave 2 to 3 days after hoeing before watering to get the best weed control.
- The hot summer time is hard on lawns regular watering and feeding will help keep them green.
- Do not cut grass too low as the hot sun on the root zone tends to make the grass go dormant.
- Transplant young plants into the garden in the cooler evenings to reduce transplant shock.
- Water garden in the mornings if possible so that plants have dry leaves at night.
- Hoe weeds in the hottest part of the day to get a good kill of weeds.
- Fast growing perennials need to be supported before they get too tall to keep them straight.
- Dead head roses and other flowering shrubs to encourage more flowers.
- Pinch out the tips of annuals 2 weeks after planting to make them more compact and produce more flowers.
- Prune back any excessive growth on trees and shrubs that may be growing over drives or paths.
- As Spring bulbs finish their leaf growth and dry off remove leaves and cover over to help stop pests getting at bulbs. Some bulbs like tulips and iris are better lifted each year.
- Inspect plants to look out for any signs of pest and disease and take control measures if needed.
- Make successive sowings and plantings of veggies but give enough time between plantings so that crops do not overlap.
- Give fruit trees regular deep watering to help developing fruit to get to size.
- Start to sow crops that will be harvested in the Winter.
- Once grapes have finished flowering pinch back growths to 1 leaf passed the bunches to allow light and air to the developing bunches to reduce disease and make the fruit sweeter.
- Make regular watering and feeding to tomatoes, remove laterals and tie to supports.
- Harvest fruit and vegetables when they are at their best to help with continuous supply.