THE last frost we got was around four weeks ago, so it was safe to plant out summer bedding after that. The rain we have had this past week has also helped our summer bedding. Summer bedding are plants that will not withstand any frost, therefore they will only survive in any garden until the first frost- usually in September. People might say that a growing season from June until September is short but they are months that can be packed with colour.
June is the busiest month for planting up hanging baskets and patio pots and planter. Garden centres and super markets have on offer some great bargains. The garden centres are selling these plants at very attractive prices. There is also huge choice in varieties to choose from. The reason is that these shops want to entice customers through their doors with the offer of affordable summer bedding plants. This is particularly important as we emerge from lock-down. And, of course, once in the shop you tend to spend money in other departments.
Summer Bedding is a quick and easy way of brightening up any spot in the garden. Planted into window boxes, they look great on window ledges in the front of houses. Hanging boxes also add great colour and interest. With summer bedding, there are a few simple rules to keep them always looking their best,
Remember, if a plant is growing in a pot then it needs extra watering. A plant growing in a pot has less ability of store water and so is entirely dependent on you for water. As a rule, we would water every evening- except on a day that had a few heavy showers.
It is also necessary to regularly dead-head summer bedding. This is done by removing all the spent blooms.
This can be a finicky task and may be best left to the small hands of children! I find that this is a relaxing task to perform in the evenings once other household chores are completed. We would usually dead-head once or twice a week during the summer months. By the way, we dead-head all of our spent flowers, not just summer bedding.
All our herbaceous plants- Lupin, Geum, Peony and Poppy etc, are dead headed regularly.
Another hint is to keep feeding your window boxes and hanging baskets all summer long. Feeding them will ensure they stay healthy, fight off disease and, most importantly, produce more flowers. Any shop bought tomato food is great for summer bedding. Yes, tomato food helps tomato plants produce tomato’s but also helps summer bedding produce more flowers.
A lot of the stores offer deals on Tomato food around this time of year. We usually buy more than we think we need for this year and store it at home for future use.
As mentioned, there are a myriad of choices with summer bedding. New varieties emerge each year and there is something to suit all tastes. I would urge you, though, to choose varieties that offer something to pollinators ,examples being, Bacopa, Alyssum, Marigolds and lobelia etc.
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