It is a well known fact that we gardeners are never happy with the weather! We are in the middle of a beautiful spell of sunshine but how many people have said to you recently that we really could do with some rain! Only a few short months ago we had more rain than we knew what to do with !
There are plenty of jobs to be getting on with in the garden just now. Top of the list for the Muck and Magic gardeners is keeping the hanging baskets and boxes well watered and fed. Tomato feed is full of potash which is needed for fruit and flower production so add some to your watering can every week and give your plants a treat You will be amply rewarded for your effort by having flowers blooming long into September and October. Dead heading is also essential. Picking over the dead flowers will make a world of difference to how long your displays last. This includes roses as well. Dead heading allows the young buds to come through and also makes a much tidier plant.
This is the ideal time to prune any stone fruits such as cherries and plums. Doing it at this time of the year reduces the chances of your trees getting a disease called Silver Leaf. However, leave pruning the apples and pears until winter.
Set the mower blades a bit higher than normal for this time of the year and leave the grass a little bit longer than usual. This will help take a bit of stress out of the lawn caused by the dry weather. Generally speaking, your lawn can cope without extra watering unless you have a bowling green surface or Wimbledon Centre Court. It may look a bit brown at the moment but it will recover. Save the watering for newly planted trees and shrubs that really need it.
Deutzias, Weigelas and Philadelphus can all be pruned back now after they have finished flowering. This will give the plants ample opportunity to produce new wood for the remainder of the season and it is this new wood which will bear flowers next summer. In the greenhouse it's a good time to start taking cuttings from your pelargoniums and fuchsias. It's also a good time to be making sowings of wallflowers, foxgloves and Sweet Williams ready for flowering next spring.
The new dahlia border has been planted up in Peasholm Park with help from Muck and Magic Garden Club volunteers. There are a number of different varieties and types growing away nicely now and there should be a tremendous display of flowers from August onwards. We are looking forward to holding Dahlia Day in the Park in September when Muck and Magic gardeners will be on hand to answer questions and queries about the cultivation and maintenance of this beautiful group of plants. Our only problem at the moment is keeping the plants moist enough at the roots. We really could do with some rain, you know!! The next Garden Club meeting will be held on Monday July 9th at Ebenezer Church Hall, Columbus Ravine, Scarborough, beginning at 7pm. Our speaker will be Geoff Gardener who is Chairman of the Northern Branch of the National Dahlia Society. It promises to be a fascinating talk so if you want to know how to get the best out of your dahlias, or just love gardening, you are welcome to come along. More details from Sheila on 07961 966617 or on the Muck and Magic website at www.allmuckandmagic.btck.co.uk