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With warmer days on the way, it is time to get your garden ready for summer. Luckily, expert gardener Rob Smith has all the advice you need to get the most out of your garden this summer.
The first thing to do to get your garden ready for summer is to make sure it is tidy.
Rob recommended decluttering the shed and tidying the garage.
He also advised “sprucing up the garden and finally getting rid of all those broken or cracked plant pots, old bricks and other bits of garden waste”.
Rob said using HIPPOBAGs, from the rubbish removal service HIPPO, is a good way of getting rid of garden rubbish.
As for looking after your plants this summer, it is important to water them regularly.
Rob said: “Placing a large saucer under each pot will help reduce the need for watering and you can add water retaining crystals to baskets and troughs, saving you time and money, leaving you to enjoy the garden.”
Many gardeners will have already planted fruit and vegetables in their garden, but Britons can still sow salad leaves at this time of year.
“Sow tasty salad leaves little and often to keep you cropping home grown veg all summer; perfect for barbecues and alfresco dining,” Rob explained.
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“Try sprinkling mixed lettuce seeds into old buckets every two to three weeks, then within a month or so you’ll be harvesting sweet cut-and-come again leaves.”
Rob added: “If you’re growing veggies in a greenhouse, make sure to keep the doors and windows open as the temperatures rise, after all it can get hot in there and you don’t want your plants to scorch.
“Consider using shade netting to give your plants some protection from the sun in the height of summer.”
Tomatoes are another edible plant you can grow this summer. Rob said: “If you’re growing tomatoes inside or outside, remember its best to water the soil at the base of the plant rather than watering over the leaves as this can encourage blight, which in turn will ruin your plants and your harvest.
“Removing leaves which cover the fruit will also encourage your toms to ripen and taste super sweet.”
As well as watering your plants and edibles, they could also do with some plant food, according to Rob.
The gardener said: “Any plant that fruits or flowers will benefit from a feed during summer.
“You don’t need to buy lots of specialist plant feeds; using a good quality tomato food will work on anything from tomatoes to cucumbers, through to strawberries and raspberries.”
If you are a beginner gardener, Rob recommended growing courgettes.
He said: “Courgettes are quick and easy to grow, they crop by the bucketful and it can be griddled on the barbecue, made into courgette spaghetti, added to curries and pasta sauce and even made into chutneys and jams.
“Just remember to keep picking the fruit every couple of days or you’ll end up with a giant marrow; then again at least you’ll be ready for the village show if you grow a whopper.”
Lastly, Rob advised removing weeds from your garden to get it ready for summer.
The gardener said: “Annual weeds should be removed from your garden by hoeing or digging them up and adding them to your compost heap.
“However, if you have lots of problem weeds like nettles, dandelions or dock, why not put them in a HIPPOBAG to dry out so they won’t spread? Then, at the end of the summer you can add the desiccated weeds to the compost.
“Or simply book HIPPO to come and take the bag away, weeds and all,” Rob added.
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