Gardening Magazine

Keeping Your Summer Containers Going

By Notcuttsuk @notcuttsuk

Keeping your summer containers goingThe rain that we have had over the past few days has been very welcome – the smell of the burnt earth that is given off as a shower starts is one of my favourites. Summer rain after a long spell of dry weather always seems comforting to me, especially when it is gently falling in the evening, so that gardening is not rained off during the day! The showery weather has also taken the pressure off watering and the plants look better for it – they always seem more vibrant after a good dose of rain. Plants can be kept alive by watering with a hose from the mains but never seem to thrive as they do with rain water.

My containers that were planted right at the end of May have been superb and thanks to the long term fertilizer granules that I incorporated into the compost before planting up, I have not needed to liquid feed as of yet. However, the thundery rain showers have been quite heavy and a couple of the tubs were flattened – their lush growth knocked over by the heavy drops and wind. I have been busy removing the spent flower heads and trimming back some of the long, straggly growths to encourage more growth from the middle of the plants and later flowers until well into autumn. I like to trim a few containers at a time if they need a drastic haircut, so that there is still color on others whilst they are growing back. Once the pruning is done, I liquid feed with Notcutt’s All Purpose Plant Food which I dilute in the watering can. It is best to feed in dull weather or first or last thing in the day so that the leaves are not scorched by hot sun, so I maker this one of my first jobs of the day! Depending on how they grow back, I will probably liquid feed once a week from now on to supplement the fertilizer granules in the compost.

Slugs and snails are on the march once again and this humid weather is ideal for them and Greenfly, so I am careful to put a few organic slug pellets down as soon as it has rained and keep an eye on the tips of the plants for Greenfly attacks which I treat with a ready to use Provado ‘Ultimate Bug Killer’. A light spray of this chemical is all that it takes to kill the aphids and one application will last for weeks. If just a few aphids are seen, I rub them off with my fingers – gruesome but a good organic control!

My permanent container plantings of Hostas have been beautiful this year, along with the white Lilies that are starting to flower now. I have been careful to keep slug pellets down and this has paid off but I will start to feed these once a week as well to keep them looking good.

For now, it’s back to the deadheading and trimming to keep the color coming!

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog