What to do now

Timing is everything in gardening — for best results. But there is some leeway. In this section, Garden.ie offers accurate horticultural advice reminders on the main groups of plants under Irish conditions, week after week.

  • Trees, Shrubs and Roses
  • Flowers
  • Lawn
  • Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs
  • Greenhouse and House Plants

Flowers

  • Water bedding plants in pots and baskets. Because the roots have filled the pots, watering has become more critical.
  • Feed the plants regularly, even as often, once a week,because the plants are now big and need more food to keep them growing and flowering.
  • Seeds of perennial flowers such as heleniums, delphiniums, lupins, mallows and foxgloves could be sown now for flowering next year.
  • Take off the seed heads of ladys mantle to prevent unwanted self-sowing.
  • Stake dahlias that become top-heavy, especially the large-flowered double forms.

Greenhouse and House Plants

  • Take cuttings of all kinds of shrubs now, using half and half peat/sand and covering with white polythene. Use rooting powder.
  • Continue watering and feeding greenhouse plants.
  • Be sure to water plants in pots or grow-bags regularly.
  • Train and side-shoot tomatoes and cucumbers.
  • Sow seeds of greenhouse primulas and poor man’s orchid for spring flowering.
  • Continue to water and feed hippeastrum bulbs regularly.

Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs

  • Repeat sow the salad vegetables that mature quickly.
  • Sow spring cabbage especially in the northern half of the country.
  • Weed control in the vegetable garden should be kept up to prevent weeds from going to seed and causing trouble in the years to come.
  • Begin summer pruning of young fruit trees that are overly vigorous, and trained trees. removing some young shoots and shortening ones over several weeks
  • Plant out Savoy cabbage and other winter varieties including cauliflower, if not already done.
  • It is not necessary to spray apple trees for apple scab, and pears for pear scab, unless there are long periods when the foliage is wet.
  • Pick herbs as they reach readiness and remove flowers to encourage new growth.

Lawn

  • Mow lightly, raising the level of the blades one or two notches.
  • Do not apply lawn fertilizer until the soil is moist after plenty of rain.
  • Wear and tear on a lawn in summer is quickly repaired when the weather gets cooler and the grass plants recover.

Trees, Shrubs and Roses

  • Early flowering shrub roses and ramblers that have now finished flowering could be pruned by removing some of the shoots that flowered.
  • Young trees and shrubs, planted in the last year or so, should be checked for signs of drought.
  • Garden hedge clipping can continue during this period, but make sure to check there are no nesting birds.
  • Some hedges, such as privet, lonicera and cotoneaster need more frequent clipping than others, such as beech, holly and laurel, and this requires more effort.