COLUMN: Don’t give up on your garden in the face of extreme weather

Longdendale Nursery, Sheila Ranson
Longdendale Nursery, Sheila Ranson

As we go into August and the middle part of summer things should be maturing and being able to start picking vegetables - broad beans, courgettes, soft fruits and tomatoes continuing to form, (remember to keep taking the foliage off around the fruit so it can ripen a little quicker) and plenty of ventilation for greenhouse grown, keep watered and feed with liquid feed.

Runner beans should be flowering now especially with the warmth we have had recently.

Keep cutting sweet peas to encourage them to keep flowering and dead head hanging baskets, bedding plants and perennials. Shrubs can be pruned especially after flowering, don’t be afraid to cut things back if they are intruding into other plants spaces.

Now is a good time to plant perennials and shrubs in those gaps you want to fill and it won’t take long to do so.

A lot of our perennials flower now until October, which is their natural time to flower because they have not been forced by being grown under glass etc.

I am amazed at the amount of poor quality plants that are for sale these days, you find independent nurseries know how to look after their plants and are knowledgeable about what they sell, also more importantly give advice on the plants and what to plant and where as well as selling the products.

Herbs can also be planted, things like chives, rosemary, sage and thyme, bay in the ground or in pots by your back door so handy to pick and to enjoy the fragrance, keep cutting to keep producing new shoots.

Hedges can be clipped back, but don’t leave it too late in the season as they need time to put on a bit of growth before winter sets in especially box hedges.

If you haven’t had much success with things this year, try a different way for next season, it has been a very difficult growing season right from early spring.

Don’t give up, everyone has been in the same boat, nothing that you are doing is wrong.

The weather going from one extreme to the other and for myself, being a grower of all that we sell. The more you put into gardening the more you will get out of it.