There’s still some useful gardening to be done this month, particularly when it comes to planting. You can be creating a beautiful summer garden in the depths of late autumn! Here, Ian is planting out some hollyhocks, which have been grown from seed a few months ago, getting established as young plants in the greenhouse until now. They appreciate a sunny spot, which will help bring out all its blowsy blooms when the time comes in high summer. It’s easy to plant perennials.
All you have to do is make sure they have enough space for their roots to establish comfortably, but you do have to consider what soil and aspect each of your plants needs, and when to plant them. If they’re bought as bare root, like wallflowers or geraniums, they’re best planted now or in spring, during the small yearly windows when the soil is at its most moist.
It’s easier with container grown hardy perennials, as they can be planted all year round as long as the soil is pliable enough. Bare root, however, do tend to establish better and produce a more robust rooted plant. Simply make sure the soil in the area you plant in is well weeded and not compacted, so roots can develop freely. Keep young plants well watered as they grow, and keep an eye out for slugs and snails!
Veg plots are ticking along nicely now the flurry of early summer sowing and planting is over and the rewards of plentiful fruits, veg and salads are being enjoyed.
With the breathing space this brings it’s a good time to plan out a new border, perhaps for long-term plants. If you have a space that’s not currently in use, consider planting it up with perennials that will provide you with food year after year. Depending on whether the spot is sunny or shady, you can find perennial vegetable plants for most situations.
This permanent feature in your veg plot will be lower maintenance than an area that’s constantly being rotated with different crops. With perennial veg, you plant once and eat forever! It will simply need regular weeding, mulching and watering if the weather is very dry.
Buy pot-grown plants and thoroughly soak the roots before planting on a cool day. Water plants frequently through the rest of the summer. Globe artichokes, horseradish and asparagus are three of the best perennial vegetables to grow in a sunny position. If your site is shady, opt for shade-tolerating fruits such as rhubarb, gooseberry or alpine strawberry.
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