Weekend Work: Dig out the watering can

What to do

Watering is now a priority. Clay ground may already have cracked into craters, despite what seemed like plenty of rain in May. Hydrangeas flag badly when water is short; it has also been difficult to get young brassica plants established. Water them in their holes like leeks before stamping the ground round their stems.

The most efficient way to water single important plants is through a pot or length of drainpipe sunk into the ground close to the main stem of the plant. This way, you deliver straight to the roots and less water is lost through evaporation.

A plastic funnel delivers water well to shallow troughs and alpine pans. The water, which seeps through the bottom of the funnel, is taken up more slowly and comprehensively than if you splash over the whole surface with a watering can.

Bearded iris should be split up and replanted now. Break up old rhizomes, discard the pieces with no leaves and replant the new sections, cutting down each fan of leaves to about 15cm. Plant shallowly so the top of the rhizome is above the ground and can be baked by the sun.

Regular dead heading is important if annuals are to continue to make a show through August. Argyranthemums and osteospermums also respond well to regular winnowing. Trace the stems back to their base or to the point where they have a fresh bud before cutting.

Mildew can be an unsightly summer nightmare. Blue scabious seem particularly prone. Acanthus also looks bad. You can drench plants with fungicide. Or cut them down, water them and wait for new growth.

What to see

This weekend is wildflower time at the Garden Museum in Lambeth (see Cleve West, page 55). Tom Stuart Smith's favourite nursery will be there, selling trays of plug plants for attracting bumblebees or butterflies, greening up a roof or coping with dry chalk. Today and tomorrow (10.30am-5pm) at the Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1, admission £6. Call 020-7401 8865 or visit garden museum.org.uk.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Suggested Topics
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea