As the Summer weather arrives many gardeners will be looking to navigate water restrictions and charges. Maximising the effectiveness of hand watering is crucial.

In the past I've used NovaFlow drainage pipes, these can be buried near trees and shrubs and filled on permitted days or with collected rainwater. This is an efficient way to channel water directly to the plant roots.

When it comes to tomatoes or veggies, creating shallow hollows or strategically placing plant pots can help to provide a measured water supply for each plant.

In the Flower Garden: Summer flower planting is underway, with emphasis on drought-resistant choices like geraniums and portulaca.

Shrub Care: Post-flowering, prune camellias and rhododendrons, followed by mulching for moisture retention. For new trees or shrubs, blend water-holding granules with the soil.

Vegetable Garden: Summer-friendly plants—tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, beans—are ready for outdoor planting. Watch for late frosts and space out successive harvests.

Fruit Department - Food for the Soul: Vigilance against pests and diseases intensifies as plants set fruit. Delay spraying apples until petal drop to protect bees during flowering.

Pests and Diseases: Combat aphids with a timely spray, and anticipate codling moth later in the month. Address powdery mildew on apples and roses with fungicidal spray. Regular insecticide application is crucial for potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers due to the potato psyllid threat.

Enjoy the Season, Michael Coulter

The CHS are working with the Southern Seed Exchange (SSE) to bring you a range of fabulous seed packs, for big and small gardens alike Take a look here.

Remember: questions can be posted on HortTalk our online facebook group or you can email Michael directly at: