Seasonal tips and topics
Summer Gardening Jobs
Lawns – Cut lawns once a week but do not cut them too short if it is going to be very dry.
Hoeing – get on top of your borders and get ahead with hoeing off young weed seedlings. Choose a nice dry day, so that any weeds that are missed from collecting them wither away in the baking heat from the sun. It’s worth noting, in hot weather try limiting the amount you dig, to minimise the loss of moisture in the soil.
Water – Water your plants in the morning or evening.
Support – Look out for any tall, leggy plants within your borders that could topple over or snap from high winds. These can be supported individually or as a group with canes and twine.
Secateurs – Early summer is the time to prune many of the spring flowering shrubs. Prune off growth that has just finished flowering down to an outward facing bud, along with any damaged or crossing branches within the shrub, which should be removed either to suitable growth or completely.
Greenhouses – Shade greenhouses to keep them cool and stop scorching.
Side shoots – Pinch out, side shoots on tomatoes.
Companion Planting Guide
Companion planting is all about creating plant communities which have mutual benefits to each other.
It can be an organic way to protect your crops from pests or it could help improve pollination of fruit and vegetable crops.
Although there is limited scientific research surrounding companion gardening, many gardeners find it extremely beneficial to their plant’s performance.
These are some of the best-known partnerships in flowers, herbs and vegetables to help you improve the health of your garden plants without needing to resort to pesticides.
Take a look at the companion planting chart below.
Avoid planting the same type of plant in rows or on masse together. As this makes it much easier for pests and diseases to find their favourite plants and then spread quickly.
Use tall plants such as peas or sweet corn to create partially shaded conditions for crops prone to bolting, such as coriander, lettuce and spinach.
Plant herbs throughout the garden and vegetable plot, as most have strongly scented leaves which help repel insects.
Plant lots of insect-friendly or bird-friendly plants, either amongst your crops or nearby. They attract natural predators such as birds which eat slugs, hoverflies which eat aphids and bees which pollinate your crops.
Take care with some companion plants such as mint – these are fast-growing plants and will quickly smother your crop. Grow mint in containers to keep it under control.
Companion planting chart
|Companion plant 1||Companion plant 2||How does it work|
|Cabbage, kale, cauliflower||Nasturtium||Plant Nasturtiums as a sacrificial crop. Cabbage white butterflies will lay their eggs on Nasturtium plants, keeping caterpillars away from your Brassicas.|
|Cabbage, kale, cauliflower||Mint||Mint helps to deter flea beetles, which chew irregular holes in the leaves.|
|Courgette||Calendula (English Marigold)||Calendula flowers are highly attractive to pollinating insects which will in turn pollinate your courgette flowers.|
|Broad beans||Summer savory||Summer savory helps to repel blackfly, a common pest of broads beans.|
|Carrot||Spring onions||Sow spring onions amongst your carrots – the smell of onion deters carrot root fly. The smell of carrots also deters onion fly from onions.|
|Carrot||Leek||The smell of leeks deters carrot root fly. The smell of carrots also helps deter leek moth from leeks.|
|Carrot||Mint||The aromatic leaves of mint help confuse carrot root fly, who find their host through scent.|
|Chrysanthemum||Chives||The onion scent will deter aphids.|
|French /Runner beans||Nasturtium||Plant Nasturtiums as a sacrificial crop – aphids love them and this will lure them away from your runner beans/French beans.|
|Onion||Mint||The aromatic leaves of mint help to confuse and deter onion fly.|
|Radish||Mint||Mint helps to deter flea beetles, which chew irregular holes in the leaves.|
|Roses||Garlic||The smell of garlic helps to deter aphids.|
|Roses||Mint, Chives , Thyme||The strong scent of these herbs deters aphids and blackfly.|
|Runner beans||Sweet peas||Sweet peas will attract pollinating insects which will in turn help to pollinate your bean flowers.|
|Sunflower||Chives||The onion scent will deter aphids.|
|Tomatoes||Mint||The smell of mint deters aphids and other pests.|
|Tomatoes||French Marigold (Tagetes patula)||The pungent smell of French marigolds deters whitefly.|
|Tomatoes||Chives||The onion scent will deter aphids.|
|Tomatoes||Basil||Basil reportedly improves tomato flavour and the strong scent of their leaves also deters aphids. A perfect partnership in the kitchen too!|
Exerts taken from Thompson & Morgan – See their seed range in store.