July 14, 2008

What to Do in the Garden This Week

Plant out bulbs of cannas and lilies potted up earlier in the season.

Remove the growing points from early peas which have finished flowering to concentrate energies on pod production.

Boost gladioli with a liquid feed every two weeks from now through to the first appearance of the flower.

Plant 'De Caen' anemone corms under cloches for flowering in the autumn and winter.

Deadhead border plants that have finished flowering, such as lupins, to prevent them from setting seed and encourage them to produce a second flush of blooms later in the year.

Pot up rooted basal cuttings of delphiniums taken last month.

Propagate strawberries from the plantlets that form on the runners. Plunge pots of compost into the ground and peg the plantlets down into the pots with bent wire. You can cut them from the main plant when they have rooted well.

Continue cutting back rock plants such as alyssum, aubrieta and helianthemum immediately after flowering, before they have had time to set seed.

Layer low-growing branches of chaenomeles, cotinus and magnolia now for good propagation results.

Continue to sow quick-growing salad crops such as lettuces, radishes and spring onions.

During dry weather raise the cutting blades on your lawnmower and mow without using the grass box so that the clippings help retain moisture.

Thin established seedlings of herbs such as chervil and dill to 15-30cm (6-12in) apart, according to the eventual spread of the plants.

THREE WAYS TO... Keep fish healthy in hot weather

Increase water movement with an additional pump, maybe to run a fountain or simply create turbulence on the pond's surface.

Make sure the pond is not overstocked. If it is, demand for oxygen will be high. An ideal capacity for a filtered pond is 50cm of fish per 1,000 litres.

If the fish seem distressed, increase aeration by spraying a hose on to the surface. Remember to add a water conditioner such as TetraPond AquaSafe first, to make the new water safe.

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