You will have to forgive me here, as I am now quite time pushed before my trip and there is a mountain of things to be done still before I leave on Sunday so these top tips are a direct copy from my Wednesday Q&A on the Yates Facebook page. If you haven’t been there before – you should check it out – but when I get back because I’m taking a break… Ordinarily I like to write things specifically with you in mind but in this instance needs must:
Once the garden is planted out we enter a sweet spot where the hard work is behind us and all we need to do is wait for the harvest. Although in the meantime you still need to keep on top of the weeds and if you remove all the tiny ones once a week with the sweep of a hoe then you shouldn’t have too much bother.
The other thing you need to watch for is watering. After a wet winter and early spring, the need to water can sneak up on you. The key to a successful garden is to ensure the soil stays consistently moist as it is the main method for plants to take in nutrients and move them around in the plant.
Top tips for keeping plants hydrated are:
· The best time to water is first thing in the morning which has the lowest risk of fungal disease and evaporation. Late afternoon / evening is next best but at the end of the day the best time to water is when you have the time to water.
· Avoid watering the plant leaves and aim the water at the soil where it is most needed.
· A good thick mulch on well-watered soil helps retain the moisture with the added benefit of reducing weeds
· It is better to water deeply every other day to encourage strong deep roots systems. Frequent but inadequate watering will cause shallow roots that dry out easily.
· To know if you are watering enough, wait a few hours and then dig down into the soil to see how far the water has penetrated.
· Don’t allow the soil to yo-yo between too dry and too wet. Inconsistent watering can cause problems with the soils ability to absorb water and also cause problems with the plant.
· Let the hose run a little before watering on the plants as hoses left in the sun can get very hot!
· An irrigation system or a timer on the tap can make watering more efficient and consistent and save you time.
Remember to keep the gardener hydrated. It is easy to lose time in a garden, so make sure you get plenty to drink and wear a hat and use lots of sunscreen.
I am just hoping we get some rain while I’m away – the sky always waters better than the hose, especially when it is in the hands of an Un-Gardener!
While I’m always also watch for new pests – aphids and caterpillars etc.
And remember the Team from Yates will be watching over you in case anything goes wrong, or you need help.
All the best with your gardens… I’ll see you back here on the 21 Nov!
Cheers Sarah : o)