We are a family run garden centre that is well known nationally as a specialist for bare rooted hedging plants and young trees. The Garden Centre always has a good selection of shrubs and plants which are not commonly found elsewhere, together with a wide range of the more commonly sought after plants. Established for over 50 years, the Garden Centre has recently been redeveloped to a high standard. Our shop contains the largest selection of seeds and bulbs for miles around, together with garden chemicals, tools, garden furniture and many other goods. Outside we stock peat-based and peat-free composts, paving, fencing, timber decking, garden buildings and greenhouses, and a large range of pots, statues and garden ornaments. Our aquatics centre has a good reputation for their excellent quality tropical, marine and cold water fish. The Gardeners' Retreat, our coffee shop/restaurant, serves fresh home cooked food and is an excellent way to round off any visit to the Garden Centre.
The move north of the summer jet stream means high pressure is dominating our weather currently, which is great news for gardeners – plenty of lovely warm sunshine! However, you need to be keeping a careful eye on your garden. Observing your plant beds, shrubs, fruit, vegetables and trees will help you decide how to remedy problem areas that crop up during this season.
Be mindful of the weather forecast. When you see a cool day appearing soon on the horizon, hold off any major watering until then. That way more of the water is absorbed by the soil and plant roots as opposed to being evaporated by the heat. However, newly planted stock, especially fruit trees and hedging do need a thorough soaking at least 2-3 times a week to help them fully establish. The amount of water needed will vary based on the plant variety (and soil conditions), so pay attention to labels or simply plant requirements. Beyond that, when you do water, do it early in the morning or early in the evening whenever possible. During the hottest stretches of the summer, think about watering deeply (longer) and less frequently.
When it comes to pots and hanging baskets plants, you already know they will dry out very quickly if not in the shade. The smaller the container, the quicker they will dry out. Check the soil, but plan on watering pots once or twice a day (first thing in the morning and early evening is usually best) when the weather really heats up. If you have an automatic watering system with a timer, adjust it to take hot and dry weather into account. Move container plants into the shade if you are going away on holiday and no one is watering your plants. Oh, and if you are going away, remove all the flower blooms on your baskets so you don’t come back to lots of deadheading and the plants having wasted energy on seed production.
Keeping weeds at bay
During the summer, weeds have a way of seemingly springing up overnight, stealing away the nutrients from the plants you want to survive. Get rid of them by picking them out by hand or use a hoe carefully between the plants. You can spot treat individual weeds in the flowers borders, vegetable garden, paths and lawns using Roundup Weedkiller Gel. Always read the instruction carefully before use.
Woes and foes
In terms of feeding your plants, some light feeding of stressed-out plants may be helpful. Apply a foliar feed through a sprayer in the cool of the day to help promote some extra growth. You can use Phostrogen or Miracle-Gro in a hose-end dilutor or simply add the fertilisers into a watering can with a fine rose fitted and apply that way.
For the general run of sap-sucking pests (greenfly, whitefly and blackfly) strong blasts of water can propel some harmful pests off your plants. Alternatively, opt for a chemical being mindful to spray late in the day when beneficial bees have disappeared for the evening. Do check at the Garden Centre for specific pest and disease chemical recommendations.
Think carefully about mulching
Mulch, mulch, mulch is the usual advice, however, it is pretty pointless mulching dry soil, better wait until the autumn and then think about applying some well-rotted manure/garden compost around your plants once the autumn rains have re-saturated your soil.
And finally…… don’t forget to think about yourself... it’s not only plants that can start to flag in dry weather. If you are working in the garden in hot conditions, it’s wise to take the following precautions... wear suntan lotion or sun block, work in the shade if possible, or out of direct sunlight; wear a hat or headscarf and take regular breaks and have frequent non-alcoholic drinks.
Buckingham Nurseries and Garden Centre, Tingewick Road, Buckingham, MK18 4AE, UK. Tel: 01280 822133 - Fax: 01280 815491 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org