Summer is here!

Summer has arrived and we have been fortunate enough to have a really great summer so far. Temperatures have soared, hardly a breeze in the air and whilst I am not a sun worshipper I have to admit I have enjoyed my garden more this year. Last year we hadn’t long moved in and the people before us had lived here 18 years and had never gardened, in fact the only thing they used the garden for was plumbing supplies that they had left over when putting in the new bathroom. Along with the plumbing supplies, which I didn’t find until afterwards, was 6 foot high in weeds.

This year I have borders, a greenhouse, a pond, a chicken coop and run, vegetables grown, a start of a lawn and lovely areas for my children to play.

Hopefully you will have had chance to enjoy your garden as well as the beginnings of a successful harvest.

Your greenhouse should be at full steam ahead now but don’t forget to keep up the watering and feeding and remove the lower leaves from your tomato plants to enable them to focus their efforts on the fruit.

With regard to pruning, it isn’t too late to summer prune your apples, I have removed apples from the tree to leave about 3 in each bunch to enable those to grow bigger ready for autumn picking. The ones I take off I have used to make chutney and the ones that could a bit damaged I have fed to the chickens so nothing needs to be wasted.

Once your raspberries have finished fruiting prune them ready for new growth, I still have raspberries coming at the moment so will wait another few weeks.

And finally it may seem like the season is over, you have a lot of bare patches of land not being used but you can keep sowing over the summer to keep your garden productive over winter and into next year. I have listed some ideas below:

Outside

1. Dwarf French beans (I live in Southern England so still quite warm here, I can usually get away with sowing up until end of August, our first frost doesn’t start until end of October)

2. Carrots, beetroots, parsnips, turnips.

3. Winter radishes and swede

4. Swiss chard and leaf beet

5. Oriental Greens

6. Lettuce (move over to winter varieties), rocket, cress.

7. Fennel

8. Spring cabbage

9. Bunching and spring onions.

Greenhouse

1. Coriander

2. Salad crops

Hope this gives you some food for thought.

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