With water restrictions in force much of this months talk was again about  ways of making hand watering more effective. The use of lengths of nova flow drainage pipes put in the ground near trees and shrubs that can be filled with water on permitted days will direct the water into the root zone of the plants. When planting some tomatoes or other vegetable plants leave a shallow hallow around the plants to collect the water or for some plants sink a plant pot behind the plant that will direct the water into the root zone this will give a known amount of water to each plant.

In the Flower Garden

Now is the time when we are planting our summer flower plants so give some thoughts to planting more dry tolerant plants such as geraniums, portulaca, etc.

Care for your Shrubs

As camellias and rhododendrons finish flowering they should be pruned as with any other flowering plant in the garden. After the ground is well watered mulches should be put around the root zone of the plants to retain moisture
If planting new trees or shrubs mix some water holding granules with the soil.

In the Vegetable Garden

As summer approaches it is now time to plant out side warmer loving plants such as tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, beans sweet corn, cucumbers,etc. but still be on watch for late frosts or cold winds that will give plants a check. Plants will grow much quicker now so plants will mature faster so do not plant for successive harvest too close apart.

In the Fruit Department – Food for the Soul
As the plants begin to set fruit and come into full leaf so the time comes to look out for pest and diseases.Apples are flowering now so please do not spray until petal drop has finished as we do not want to kill the bees.

Pests and Diseases

There are now plenty of aphids around on many plants so a timely spray now will keep them under control. Codling moth will be around later in the month so spray then well after petal fall. I have seen some signs of powdery mildew on apples and roses so a fungicidal spray should be applied. As potatoes,tomatoes and peppers are now subject to the potato psyllid they will all need to be sprayed with an insecticide regularly to protect them from this new pest.