One of the great things about this time of year is that you can sow edibles and eat your efforts in a few weeks' time. With the warm weather, you can sow straight to the ground or pots and don’t need a greenhouse. Radish, lettuce, beetroot, peas, and carrots, can be sown and enjoyed later this summer.
As the children finish school for the summer having a little easy gardening project is a great way to introduce them to the pleasure of horticulture and give them something to focus on during the summer break. Maybe give them their own little vegetable garden or a few pots for the to plant up. Many things will grow well in a hanging basket, as long as they’re watered sufficiently. Fit a hanging basket bracket at, or below, windowsill level and a hanging garden can be a great distraction.
Other holiday projects could include the building of a bug hotel – a fascinating project for any little David Attenborough. If you want to add a little education to a summer project then sowing something that will grow quickly allows measuring and estimating to be added to the daily/weekly fun. Beans are very satisfying as you can have fun guessing how far they will grow in a week, measure and compare with previous weeks.
I’m writing this article from Cologne Airport, I’m on my way back from one of the world’s largest garden trade shows. Three things stand out from this year and, bearing in mind the show was last held in 2019, they are all significant changes from the last show.
Henry Ford would be shocked – everything is available in every colour of the rainbow. Long gone are the days of black or brown being the only choice in garden furniture. Expect to see more colour, both vibrant and muted, arriving in the garden furniture next spring and summer.
Water is precious – regular readers will know that every so often I encourage you to install water butts and harvest this precious resource. There was a significant increase in the range – both size and shape – available so there really will be no excuse for not having a water reservoir or two in the garden. My particular favourite was one that hangs off your downpipe and holds 35 litres (7.7gallons). It has a slim profile and it’s possible to hang one above another.
Plastic is recycled and recyclable – a huge swing from 3 years ago when suppliers were moving towards a more sustainable world. Now everything is not only recyclable but made from recycled plastics – everything from pop bottles to fishing nets is being used. It is wonderful to see this now becoming the normal rather than the exceptional.
Throughout the summer the most important thing to do in the garden is to ensure plants have enough water. Hot, sunny, breezy days will dry plants out very quickly and a thirsty plant is an unhappy plant. Removing finished flowers will also pay dividends as plants will repeat flower; even more so if you feed your plants with tomato food every 10 days.