Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland




Don't let rain stop you

THE constant rain may have dampened your interest in the garden but there is still lots of work to be getting on with.

Watch out for greenhouse pests. Aphids and whitefly are already causing problems. They can be controlled by using insecticides such as Tumblebug or Malathion.

Transfer hardy annuals to the cold frame now in preparation for planting out.

To get the most from your Clematis, mulch around the base of the plant to keep the roots cool and moist. Provide trelliswork for training and tying in the stems as they grow.

Climbing roses and honeysuckle make ideal plants for Clematis to grow through. Start a spray programme now, for the control of mildew and blight on Rhododendrons with a fungicide such as Nimrod. This may be applied alternatively every 114 days. Make sure to spray under the leaf as well as the top.

Spring flowering shrubs can be pruned immediately after flowering, for vigour and to keep them to size. Forsythia, flowering currant, mock orange and flowering Wigelia can all be pruned quite hard as soon as the flowers have faded.

Removal of all old wood and old flowering stems will promote vigorous young growth, with larger, more attractive foliage this summer and better flowers next Spring.

This technique is especially effective with shrubs Wigelia Florida Purpureis and the lovely cream variegated mock orange.

Spring-sown roots and leaf crops in the vegetable garden will require thinning. With carrots, if you thin roughly one inch between plants now, your thinnings may be large enough to use. Later a second thinning could be possible.

Avoid too much soil disturbance though, as putting the remaining plants under stress could encourage them to bolt. Leafy crops such as lettuce and spinach will also benefit from thinning. Young leaves of modern varieties of spinach can be eaten in salads as well as cooked.
It's not too late to make outdoor sowings of more carrots, for fresh young roots late in the Summer and the same applies to turnips.

Salad crops such as radishes, lettuces and spring onions can be sown throughout the growing season.

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