Sow Today, Eat Tomorrow…

One of the great things about Summer is that you can sow edibles and eat your efforts in just a few weeks time. Now that the weather’s warm (or at least warmer!) there’s no need to start in the greenhouse – you can simply sow straight into the ground or a pot.

Radish, lettuce, beetroot, peas, carrots…. there’s so much you can sow now and enjoy later this summer.

Keeping the Kids Busy

A little gardening project is a great way to keep the kids entertained over the Summer holidays, while introducing them to the joys of horticulture. You could even give them their own little vegetable garden or a few pots to plant up – they’ll cherish that feeling of ownership.

Equally, many edibles will grow happily in a hanging basket, as long as you keep them well watered. Why not fit a hanging basket bracket at or below windowsill level for a child-friendly hanging garden.

The Grand Bugapest Hotel

Other holiday projects could include building a bug hotel – a fascinating project for any little David Attenborough. If you want to add a little education to a summer project then sowing something that will grow quickly allows measuring and estimating to be added to the daily/weekly fun. Beans are very satisfying as you can have fun guessing how far they will grow in a week, measure and compare with previous weeks.

A Sneak Peak at Next Year

I’m writing this article from Cologne Airport, on my way back from one of the world’s largest garden trade shows. Three things stood out to me this year:

1. A World of Colour

Henry Ford would be shocked – everything is available in all the colours of the rainbow. Long gone are the days or black or brown being the only choice for garden furniture. Expect to see more colour, both vibrant and muted, arriving next spring and summer.

2. Water Waste

Water is precious. Regular readers will know that I encourage you to install water butts to harvest this precious resource. There was a significant increase in the range – both size and shape – available this year, so there really is no excuse for not having a water reservoir or two in the garden.

My particular favourite was one that hangs off your downpipe and holds 35 litres (7.7gallons). It has a slim profile and it’s possible to hang one above another.

3. An Endless (Re)cycle

Plastic is recycled and recyclable – a huge swing from 3 years ago when suppliers were still grappling with this problem. Now everything is not only recyclable but made from recycled plastics – everything from pop bottles to fishing nets are being used. It’s wonderful to see this is now becoming the normal rather than the exceptional.

Final thoughts

Throughout the summer, the most important thing to do in the garden is to ensure plants have enough water. Hot, sunny, breezy days will dry plants out very quickly, and a thirsty plant is an unhappy plant. Removing finished flowers will also pay dividends as plants will repeat flower; even more so if you feed your plants with tomato food every 10 days.