Welcome to Garden King's Plant Doctor Blog, where our experts discuss and answer all your gardening questions. This week I'm talking about 'Summercycling', perennial baskets, rescuing your garden after heavy downpours and crops worth sowing again now for a bonus harvest.
Last weekend I visited BBC Gardeners' World LIVE at the NEC. This sell-out show attracted gardeners from all over the country and was extremely busy, but sadly the weather wasn't on our side! I did hope to write a bumper blog for you this week and talk about all the latest ideas and tips from the show, but the weather put a stop to that idea! However I'm sure you'll still find this week's update of interest.
One thing I did spot at Gardeners' World which some of you may already do in your garden is to use perennial basket plants in your hanging baskets - simply plant once, enjoy the bloom, let them die down and hey presto - your baskets will be back again in the summer. I hadn't thought of doing this before but I'm certainly going to give it a try! - And of course if you need any perennial basket plants, you know where to come.
Why not try 'Summercycling' - this brand new craze is set to sweep the nation and remember you heard about it here first! I visited a friend's house last night as he was throwing a garden party to christen his new garden furniture suite from Garden King. Being the flamboyant creative individual that he is, he had hung Christmas lights underneath the parasol. Hooray! - Summercycling was born. So dust off those outdoor Christmas lights and get an additional season's use out of them!
Well I have to say this is the wettest drought I've ever seen! All this rain (whilst good for watering the plants) is causing more damage than good. There's a lot you can be doing in the garden this week to rescue plants which have been hit hard by the bad weather. This excessive rain has bled the soil of its nutrients so it's time to give it a nutrient boost! Replenish your soil with granular fertilisers like Fish, Blood and Bone, Growmore and chicken manure pellets - all available at Garden King now, so stock up and get scattering in your garden.
During this wet weather it's important to keep your lawn well drained and prevent puddles developing - to achieve this simply sink a garden fork into the ground on a few spots around the lawn. Make sure you pull the fork out straight to avoid uprooting the grass. It's a great time to improve your lawn too, our Lawn Feed, Weed and Moss Killer is a bargain at only £10 a box (reduced from £19.99). One box treats up to 220m2 of lawn and is a simple to use, effective treatment. Use it now to reap the benefits of a lush green lawn later in the summer.
All those April showers have probably given your perennials a massive boost with masses of lush, soft leafy growth. If you haven't supported them, they've probably flopped in the gales and downpours. All is not lost though and you can still save them. Tall plants like cornflowers will have taken a real beating in the wind and rain, low level supports in the bad weather don't provide adequate protection. If you find you've got battered stems it's best to cut back the worst of the damage and and stake what remains.
Like it's gardeners, some of the veg that we grow gets a bit tired by the end of summer - have you thought about starting a second crop? If you sow more runner beans, courgettes, climbing french beans, peas and sweetcorn now, these plants will be ready later on for a bonus harvest. If you haven't got the space outside at the moment, you can sow them in pots or cell trays indoors. Germination will probably be much quicker at this time of year and young plants can be planted out straight away - so no need to harden them off like earlier in the year. If you've got the space in your garden or allotment, the soil should be warm enough to sow tender veg straight into. As ever Garden King is your one stop shop for all your seeds, cell trays, pots and multi-purpose compost.
If you have any suggestions, questions or comments - feel free to drop us a line, we'd love to hear from you! You can also email us at email@example.com, call us on 01283 550 516 and even add us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
Happy gardening x