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Taking care of your garden plants

The rainfall that descends between October-April gives most plants the waters that they need as the moisture will be retained within the soil. There will be, however times during the rest of the year when you will have to water the plants in your garden. Summer is the obvious one as a combination of the sun and lack of rain causes the soil to dry out.

This is a time when young plants need particular attention paid to them as they will wilt quickly, as well as those that are in containers and the plants you are cultivating with the intention of producing crops such as potatoes and soft fruits. The best times you should water plants is early in the morning before the sun fully rises, or at dusk when it is cooler. You should never water a wilted plant when it is in direct sunlight.

Gardening can be extremely time consuming, and you can save yourself a lot by regularly fertilising your soil with plenty of organic fertiliser such as fish and bone or blood, well rotted manure or a mushroom compost. There are other good organic fertilisers available that include such ingredients as seaweed.

Another good tip is to prune stems and dead wood that can, if left, attract diseases to your plants. It is, however, vital to prune properly with a good pair of secateurs that are very sharp. When you prune, you should cut the stem back to just above where you can see a healthy and outward facing bud or shoot.

Do a clean cut that is angled away from the shoot or bud. Perennials should be pruned after they have flowered, whilst those who haven’t flowered yet should be pruned in late winter.


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