With the holiday season well and truly upon us, in Gardeners World episode 20 2015, Monty shares some timely tips on how to make sure your garden doesn’t suffer while you are away. But there are some gardeners that aren’t leave home, as Joe Swift discovers when he meets Phillip Vowles, a prize-winning giant veg grower.
Gardeners World episode 20 2015:
Topiary is the art of training, cutting and trimming evergreen shrubs and trees into ornamental shapes. It’s an extremely useful way of adding structure, texture and year-round interest, no matter how small your garden. But to keep it looking good, you need to cut it on a regular basis, preferably on a dull, wet day when it is less likely to scorch.
When training a new piece of topiary, use some soft twine when tying in new growth to avoid it cutting into the plant’s stem. It’s best to do this when the stem is green rather than brown because it’s more pliable then.
Mow your lawn
Mowing a lawn helps to encourage thick, healthy growth and the development of fine grasses. But be aware that cutting it too short can stress the turf, which in turn can allow weeds and moss to invade. The height at which you cut will vary according to the time of year, but for most lawns in July and August, we’d recommend a height of 13-25 mm (½-1 in). For a crisp cut, make sure that the blades on your mower are nice and sharp.
Keep harvesting produce
Before you go on holiday, it’s really important to strip your beans, peas, courgettes, cucumbers and tomatoes of all their produce. If you leave them to their own devices, they’ll simply run out of steam and stop cropping!
Check plant supports
It’s worth checking whether your plants are adequately supported at this time of year as strong winds or a sudden downpour can flatten them in a matter of hours. Not only will this help prevent adjacent plants from becoming smothered, you won’t end up with those horrible S-shaped stems where fallen stems have attempted to regrow.