I love nothing more on a bank holiday than to get out in my garden! I am really hoping for some good weather ( not too hot, please ) as I have a list as long as my arm and really need to complete it by September.
I still have salad items on the veg plot, this year the tender sweetcorn from plant to plate in minutes, warm sun-ripened tomatoes and mixed salad leaves are enticing me out into the garden most evenings, I need to be quick though, before it gets much cooler and the slugs begin nibbling.
If you do have too many ripe tomatoes, peppers, chillies, courgettes, beans (pretty much anything goes) I have found a super recipe for ragu which freezes really well! This way you can enjoy the fruits of your labour well into the autumn.
One of my priorities for the long weekend, HERBS. They really have become quite unruly. On the plus side to this, the summer growth of oregano, mint, sage and rosemary releases a pungent aroma on a warm day and once I have cut back I will use the longer stems with cut flowers for my home.
Tip – I don’t have any fennel this year, however, I did pick up a great tip! To harvest, cut the stem off at ground level to allow regrowth (which will yield a few extra pickings).
Chives are scruffy once they get the brown bits and the flowers fade, so I will chop mine right back. If you have basil, I don’t, use up any now, it will sulk in the approaching cool damp mornings of autumn.
I have bought loads of bulbs to plant over the next few months, I love planting them knowing what joy they will bring after the cold winter. I am going to start to plant my early bulbs, winter aconite, crocus and snow drops. Then each month plant my other varieties in the order in which they flower. I am trying a different crocus this year which will give a warm orange glow amongst the usual purples and yellows, it is called Orange Monarch, I think it will look a treat. Don’t forget, if you are planting into a pot, it is a good idea to put a layer of bubble wrap into the pot before heaping the soil in, this will just protect the bulbs if Jack Frost is particularly keen.
As the grass growth slows I have raise the height of the mower blades to give the lawn some TLC. I am going to get scarifying, (raking out dead thatch and moss with a spring tine rake) this will really give the lawn some breathing space and encourage betting growth.
I do try each evening to snip off faded flowers. It really encourages regrowth by cutting back tatty foliage and getting rid into the compost bin. For tips on composting, Gareth has written a very useful blog.
Have a super bank holiday!