HIHS On Line Magazine: July 2018

Links to This Month's Articles

Home Page Photo: Hydrangea 'Annabelle'
Weed Control
Cactus and Succulents
Cut Roses
Spinach Makes You Strong?
Bolting in Vegetables
The Deckchair
Water Works
Gorse - Furze - Ulex
Hanging Baskets

Home Page Photo: Hydrangea

Hydrangea arborescens tolerate cold winters and dry summers,
so if you've failed with hydrangeas in the past, try this one.

'Annabelle' produces a mass of large white flower heads in July
and richly deserves the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

Enjoy the winter seed heads, by planting in an open position
to catch the frost and glimmer in the light.

Prune very lightly in spring, do not cut down hard.
Just tip the stems back to the highest shooting bud.

Link to RHS horticultural advice: Hydrangea.

Weed Control

pulling weeds
Weeds are a constant trouble for the gardener
There are a number of on line sites offering good advice.
Use this link for: Six tips for effective control.
Use this link for: RHS video weed control.
Use this link for: Notcutts Tips and Tricks.

Cactus and Succulents

The British Cactus and Succulent Society website
contains some very useful information sheets.

Titles include: Composts and Repotting, Pests and Diseases,
Propagation, Seed Raising, Growing Year, Where to Grow.

Use this direct link to access.

Cut Roses

Cut roses are susceptible to an air pocket in the stem,
to avoid cut with sharp clean secateurs, with a long stem
and place immediately in a bucket of water.

Ensure a clean vase and warm water, add floral nutriment
and to keep bacteria levels low add:
1/4 teaspoon of bleach per quart of water or
a penny or an aspirin tablet to the water.

Check the water level daily topping up as necessary.

Do not remove all of the foliage.
Place away from fresh fruit, which can shorten life.
Locate away from direct sunlight and heating radiators.
Never use flower food with metal containers.

Spinach Makes You Strong?

cast members
'He's strong to the finish 'cause he still eats his spinach,
he's Popeye the Sailor Man'
Spinach was said to be especially rich in iron,
but the initial annalists had made an error,
putting the decimal point in the wrong place.

However spinach does has a high nutritional value
and is extremely rich in antioxidants,
especially when fresh, steamed, or very quickly blanched,
boiling for just four minutes can halve such goodness.

Easy to grow and provides an all year round crop.
Link to RHS horticultural advice: Spinach.

Bolting in Vegetables

A nuisance in the summer vegetable garden is bolting
when crops put on a vertical growth spurt to flower
and set seed before the vegetables are ready for harvest.
resulting in little that can be salvaged.

Day length is the biggest influence on bolting,
heat and/or water stress can speed bolting still further.
If a plant is having a tough time of it,
it stands to reason that it's going to want
to hasten seed production before it's time's up.

Link to RHS: Bolting in Vegetables.
Link to further advice: Preventing Bolting in Vegetables.

The Deckchair

In England, John Thomas Moore took out a patent in 1886
and started manufacturing the first deckchairs in Macclesfield.

The use of a single broad strip of canvas has been credited
to a British inventor named Atkins in the late 19th century.

Early in the 20th century the hiring out of deckchairs
became established in British seaside resorts.
In 2003 Blackpool boasted 68,000 deckchairs
were available for hire at £1.50 per day.

July, the perfect time, to bring out the deckchair from the shed,
to sit and take time to enjoy your garden.

Water Works

As the summer warms up and the soil looses moisture,
don’t waste water on established plants at the allotment,
concentrate on giving an evening soaking to:
raspberries, cucumbers and melons as the fruits are swelling;
potatoes when they are flowering;
and lettuces and spinach, to discourage bolting.

Link: Water saving tips for the gardener.

Gorse - Furze - Ulex

The plant genista inspired the name Plantagenets,
the English Royal line from 1154 to 1399.
It is said that the association begun,
from the nickname of the Count of Anjou
father of King Henry II.

A genus of about 20 species of spiny evergreen shrubs
in the subfamily Faboideae of the pea family Fabaceae.
It thrives in coastal situations and on poor, stony soils

The flowers are edible and can be used in salads,
tea and to make a non-grape-based 'wine'.
High in protein it is eaten as forage by some livestock,
such as feral ponies, who may eat little else in winter.

Link to RHS horticultural advice: Ulex europaeus.

Hanging Baskets

Time to give hanging baskets a little tender loving care.
Each day water night and morning through dry spells
and add a liquid feed once a week to sustain flowering.

Regularly remove dead flower heads and a selective trim
to any leggy plants will encourage new bushy growth.

Remove a plant from a mixed basket if not performing,
and where detrimental to the overall appearance,
ease it out and replace it with something appropriate.

Link to more detailed advice.

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