August is looming and with it comes not only the beautiful golden hues of autumn. It’s also the time when many families take their annual sun holidays. With that in mind, we’ve got some useful hints to help our readers prepare their summer gardens; keeping them in tiptop shape. So, if you want to relax while you’re away…read on.
The usual warm and wet August weather will make your grass grow so mow the lawn before you leave. Dead head all plants, especially roses – don’t worry, they’ll be in full bloom when you get back. Remove weeds! They’ll grow again while you’re away but at least the new ones won’t have taken too much of a grip, making them easier to get rid of on your return.
We apologise for using the ‘C’ word in July, but if you want those traditional Christmas flowers this year, now’s the time to get planting those narcissus and hyacinths. Feed and water all houseplants and move them away from direct sunlight. Our top tip! You could stand small potted plants on damp towels in the kitchen sink or in the bath. Don’t be tempted (like me) to squirt bleach down the loo as your parting shot; the enclosed fumes can actually harm your plants and may kill them.
If you’re a kitchen gardener, then try to pick ‘n’ freeze what you can before you go, and water what’s left. Lock up any expensive, eye catching garden ornaments in a secure shed. Then take a picture, and use a marker to brand anything large like garden seats, garden sculptures or giant pots that they’re left outside. In the unlikely event they’re stolen while you’re away, you’ve at least got something for the Gardaí to work from.
Don’t give the burglars a helping hand to either steal your tools or use them to break into your home. Tidy up and lock away all garden utensils, gadgets and machinery like lawn mowers, strimmers, spades, and ladders etc. If your shed is full, bolt them to a wall. Burglars are not the only summer scourge when it comes to garden maintenance, so treat any pest/parasite problems as you leave and before the kids knock six bells out of each other waiting in the car.