SUMMER is nearly here and already we are seeing some areas with intense temperatures.
As the heat rises our plants, vegetables and fruit need more water so we must begin to increase our watering regimens.
Where possible a good mulch will always help to retain moisture – mulches can either be organic (e.g. bark or compost) or synthetic (e.g. polythene or woven plastic).
And always maintain a well functioning irrigation system with frequent checks for blocked dippers, microtubes and sprinklers.
In some instances new drippers etc may need to be installed.
As we move around the garden and arrive at our fruit and vegetable patch we are reminded that June is a great month to direct seed melons, water melons, cucumbers, courgettes and pumpkins.
At the same time we can be preparing seedlings of celery, broccoli, cauliflower, and leeks in trays or modules.
In Garden La Palma we already have a good selection of plants for planting now, including tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, chillies and much more.
Meanwhile, if we leave the veg plot behind and take another look at our flower garden and borders, now is a good time to sow or plant portulacas, camations, and petunias. There is also still time to plant some climbers.
And while busy admiring our outside plants we must not forget all our interior and patio plants.
With days of rapid growth these plants are going to need feeding.
A good liquid feed with regular watering will be well rewarded as your plants develop.
Some spring flowering shrubs and bushes may now benefit from a light pruning to encourage more vegetative growth and good flowering the next time around.
Most roses after the spring flowering can be pruned back and will give another great display of colour and perfume in the late summer.
Do not forget to keep a tab on the appearance of pests and diseases as early detection and prevention is far better than trying to cure a heavy infestation or pest attack.
June can be a particularly bad month for aphid and fruit fly.
Most garden centres can usually answer your pest and disease doubts and recommend possible treatments.
The summer being such a good time for outside dining and barbecues a small herb garden is also a must and as always a good selection of culinary herbs offer fantastic additions to any dish.
Basil grown outdoors at this time of the year will give an abundance of leaves for home made pesto, which added to salmorejo adds a little zest to this traditional Andalucian dish.