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Tips on growing healthy plants this summer

If you’re new to gardening, or just want to create a plot that’s bursting with colour and life, making sure that your plants are healthy is key. Here are some tips to grow your best-ever plants this summer.

Know your soil type

Some plants thrive better in certain types of conditions, so it’s important to understand what kind of environments your chosen plants like, and how these potentially match your soil type and planting positions. Essentially, the right plant in the right place will flourish.

However, all is not lost if you have a particular plant in mind you’d like to grow, but your soil type isn’t suitable, as you can grow these in pots or containers instead of the ground. For example, acid-loving plants such as camellias won’t thrive in alkaline soils but can be grown in pots of ericaceous (acid-based) compost instead.

Start seeds off in trays

Plants can be given a head start to become strong and healthy by growing them in seed trays, and then planting them out when they’re a bit bigger. This will make them less vulnerable to attacks from slugs and snails.

Reduce the competition

Plants need space to grow if you want them to thrive, so this means reducing competition from other surrounding plants, more specifically, any weeds. Remove weeds with a fork or trowel as soon as they appear, to prevent their roots from becoming established and smothering your growing plants. For tackling persistent or extensive areas of weeds, you might need to use a weed control fabric before you cultivate the area for planting.

Water and feed

One of the biggest reasons that plants don’t perform as well as they ought to is because they aren’t supplied with the right amount of water or nutrients. Watering is especially important if you have pots or containers, as well as free-draining, sandy soil, so keep a sturdy watering can filled with rainwater by the back door. But, do bear in mind that some plants, such as Mediterranean herbs, are happy to survive in parched conditions and overwatering or overfeeding could actually kill them!

A general all-purpose liquid feed is ideal for many plants, but some plants have specific feeding requirements. For example, if you grow edibles, a liquid tomato feed will help to promote the formation of flowers and fruit rather than green growth and can be used for a wide range of fruit and veg, not just tomatoes.

If you grow plants in tubs and baskets these will require frequent watering to stop the soil from drying out. The nutrients in the soil will also become quickly depleted, so a top-up with a feed specially formulated for tubs and baskets will keep plants looking their best all summer.

Stake plants

As plants start to grow, some tall specimens will need staking with plant supports or tying in with garden ties to encourage further growth, and to prevent them from flopping over or snapping from heavy top growth.

To keep your plants strong and healthy this summer, stock up on your gardening supplies at Shonn Brothers.

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