COLUMN: Struggling plants need extra care on hot summer days

Longdendale Nursery, Blackbrook
Longdendale Nursery, Blackbrook

As we go into the second half of the year and the growing season everything should be growing away nicely, including the weeds.

A lot of people have been saying they have had a lot of plants suffer with the hot weather we had.

It certainly was hard work keeping up with the watering, keeping everything looking fresh, but have come through okay.

The intense heat of the sun doesn’t do plants any good what-so-ever, and up to writing, they are still very dry.

Still seems to be slugs and snails are in abundance and people have had trouble with mice this year, always some challenge with gardening.

Keep taking out side shoots on tomatoes as well as feeding on a regular basis, with plenty of ventilation too.

There is still time to plant tomatoes especially tumbling tomatoes in baskets outside and vegetable plants, including runner beans - they will catch up. You can grow runner beans in pots - four or five in a large pot will give you a reasonable amount of beans.

Cut back aubrecia when flowers have faded to ensure you have a good strong plant ready for next spring, it does take time for it to grow when newly planted.

It’s a good time to be planting hardy perennials, with a lot of late season colour to be had with the heleniums, phlox, sedum, inula, rudbeckia goldsturm etc and they don’t need to be in full sun.

They will all be full of bees, butterflies and insects when they start flowering. I am amazed at how many turn up on our plants.

Hanging baskets and tubs have really thrived in recent weeks, as long as they are kept watered and fed regularly, especially baskets as they can dry out really quickly before you realise it and it is still not too late to plant up a basket with trailing begonias, bacopa, oxalis, buzzy lizzy, petunias, filling in with lobelia.

One particular plant that has caught my eye and is popular is argyranthemum (pictured above), ideal in a pot or in the ground and flowers all season long, a really showy plant.