In hot dry periods it is essential to keep up regular watering – otherwise, in addition to the obvious damage to plants, there can be knock-on effects, such as blossom end rot in tomatoes, splitting of root crops and flower abortion in runner beans.
Make sure that plants in containers are getting enough water – even if it rains, the foliage often deflects the rain away from the container.
Make sure you don’t cut back into the old wood, unless it already shows signs of new shoots, as this is unlikely to produce new growth.
For longer stems for cutting, also remove the buds from one or more leaf axils down the stem, depending on the variety.
Use collected rainwater, as our tapwater is too alkaline. However, if rainwater runs our, using tap water for a short time is preferable to letting the plants dry out.
Feed weekly with a high potash formula, such as tomato or “fruit & flower” feed, which, with dead-heading, will encourage them to keep on flowering into autumn.
Wildlife in the garden
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