By Millie Hurst
With warm summer days upon us and foreign travel plans up in the air, many of us are planning to spend more time in our gardens over the coming weeks. Celebrity gardener Rob Smith has shared some expert tips for caring for your outdoor space big or small, to help you keep it looking its best.
The allotment gardener and regular on Channel 4’s Packed Lunch revealed how to get the most out of your garden in the summer. 'Make sure you keep your potted plants and baskets well-watered in the warmer weather,' Rob begins.
Container gardening ideas are a great way to learn your way around your garden with the flexibility of being able to move plants around - but pots always need more thorough watering than anything planted in the ground.
'Placing a large saucer under each pot will help reduce the need for watering,' he says. He also says you can add water-retaining crystals to baskets and troughs.
Using large saucers that you can pick up easily from your local garden center will save you money on water bills. It also has the added benefit of leaving more time to sit back and enjoy the sunshine.
Rob Smith also has some words of advice for those who have joined the grow your own movement and have started learning how to grow tomatoes at home. 'If you’re growing tomatoes inside or outside, remember it's best to water the soil at the base of the plant rather than watering over the leaves,' he says.
Rob explains that this can encourage blight, which in turn will ruin your plants and your harvest. 'Removing leaves that cover the fruit will also encourage your tomatoes to ripen and taste super sweet,' he says.
So large saucers, water-retaining crystals and watering at the root will all make a huge difference to your plot throughout the summer.
If you're spending time away from home, however, you'll need the best self-watering systems to keep your plants thriving - or a kind neighbor!
Rob also recommends having a good old clear-out before the height of summer. Decluttering your shed ideas, tidying the garage, or sprucing up your patio ideas will help you start afresh for the summer season.
If you have broken or cracked plant pots, old bricks, or garden waste that have been hanging around, now is definitely a great time to get things in order.
Millie joined Gardeningetc in January 2021 as a news writer. When she isn't writing about gardening, she's tending to her small front garden. Her geraniums, dahlias and nasturtiums are looking lovely right now. She recently bought a bench for the garden and is loving alfresco lunch breaks and taking time to notice seedlings growing. She loves picking up some new plants at the local garden centre and is never without some fresh flowers at home.
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