May 30, 2019
“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.”
After a seemingly endless winter and disappointingly cold spring, summer has finally arrived! Cold nights and cheeky late frosts have ended, and we can throw open doors and windows, bringing the outside in. Hopefully.
Now is the time to plant out summer bedding, to keep lawns looking tidy and to deadhead bedding and perennial plants, thus keeping them flowering. And the really good news is that, if you haven’t done so already, you can now cut back those straggly and yellowing daffodil leaves without doing any harm to next year’s display!
Sedum Atlantis – Crowned by Chelsea
We are delighted to announce that Sedum Atlantis has been crowned as the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2019 Winner!
Sedum Atlantis is a plant for our times…drought tolerant, suitable for small spaces and attractive to bees. Its striking foliage forms rosettes of serrated green leaves with thick, creamy margins and tips that turn a pink blush in the autumn. The pink-tinged flower buds open to bee magnet yellow flowers.
The new leaves emerge in a beautiful creamy white, before developing into an attractive green with striking white borders and gradually forming a half metre wide cushion of drought-resistant leaves. To top it off, this plant then covers itself with a foam of bee and butterfly magnet yellow flowers from July through to September. Sedum Atlantis is a dramatic and versatile garden plant.
Versatile and happy in a hanging basket, window box, pot, rockery or border, this winning plant is available to order now.
- Continue to remove the side shoots from cordon tomato plants
- Harden off any indoor grown plants ready for planting out in prepared soil. Those that have already been sitting in a cold frame will be ready to go
- Give broad bean plants support and check for signs of black-fly. Remove any growing tips where you find evidence of this pesky pest
- Grass cuttings can be spread thickly on veg beds after watering to act as a mulch
- New potatoes will be ready for lifting. They don’t store as well as main-crop varieties, so lift just enough for a meal at a time. Now, where did I plant that mint?
- Summer bedding can be planted out, pots can be filled and hanging baskets placed in position
- Cut back yellowed foliage from spring bulbs but mark where they are so you don’t dig them up by mistake
- I know, I know, we haven’t had summer yet however it really is time to order your Dobies Autumn and Winter Veg Plants
What To Sow Now
Sowing little and often is the key to ensuring a continual supply of veg and of avoiding a glut. So instead of sowing a whole packet spread it out over a few weeks. The following seeds can all be sown this month:
- French Beans
- Salad Leaves
- Pak Choi
- Kohl Rabi
The first beetroot will be ready to harvest this month. When small and young the globes are so much tastier than the big old woody ones that are only good for pickling.
Dating back to the Romans, beetroot has contributed much to culinary history, not least of which is the fact that it brought us sugar. Today we tend to link beetroot to pink-stained fingers and an earthy flavour, but it can also help us to run faster! Back in 2016, Exeter University conducted research which proved that drinking a glass of beetroot juice before running 20 metres improved an athlete’s time by 2 per cent! Just hope they didn’t spill any on their nice clean running vests.
Only eating beetroot in its pickled form is almost a crime, as it’s delicious flavour can be enjoyed in so many other ways:
- Grate raw beetroot and combine it with grated raw carrot and top with a citrus dressing for a zingy salad
- Peel, brush with olive oil and roast either whole or in chunks to serve with puy lentils and halloumi for a gutsy dish
- Boil and mix with chocolate, flour, eggs, sugar, etc to make a deliciously moist chocolate cake
- Even the leaves are tasty when picked small and young, and added to a mixed leaf salad
Beetroot works well with:
Carrot Apple Ginger Chocolate Olive oil
Lentils Feta Halloumi Walnut Yoghurt
Hoe, Hoe, Hoe
On a recent edition of Radio 4’s Gardener’s Question Time, the panel was asked which of their garden tools they would save from a shed fire. The hoe came out a clear winner which really is no surprise. A sharp hoe, wielded with care, can rapidly smarten up any vegetable garden whilst saving knees and backs. Choose a dry, sunny day and leave the weed casualties to dry out before raking them up and adding them to the compost heap.
At this time of year your greenhouse will live up to its “hot house” name and doors and windows need to be kept open to encourage whatever airflow exists. Shade can be created by applying white shade paint direct to the glass (it easily washes off come autumn) or by fixing newspaper, fleece or similar to the glass with clips. If any plants do show signs of heat stress, then drape some fleece over them until they recover.
Hosing down the greenhouse path will help to raise humidity levels.
The temptation is to cram in as many heat-loving veggie plants as possible but remember, tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, chillies, etc. all need room to breathe and to expand, so no touching!
Maintain a consistent watering and feeding regime, taking into account that some plants will need more than others. And always follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding dilution.
Offer of the Month
To celebrate another wonderful year at the Chelsea Flower show, we are delighted to offer our Chelsea Favourites Collection at a very special price.
Add a touch of Chelsea to your outside space with our selection of classic perennials inspired by the show. This selection of 6 perennial varieties (3 of each) will bring colour and height to your borders and containers, not only this year but next year as well.
Varieties include Coreopsis Sunkiss, Rudbeckia Goldsturm, Geum Mrs Bradshaw, Lupin Russell Hybrid, Verbena Bonariensis and Heuchera Palace Purple, which are all familiar sights in the gardens of Chelsea, making them key to creating a look inspired by the show.