Here at Ladbrokes we are very excited by the Hampton Court Flower Show and are offering you the chance to win a Gardening Set with our Botanical Bingo game. All you need to do is go through the Bingo card below and name a line of flowers for a chance to win. To enter visit our Facebook page and comment on the post with the numbers and the names for your chance to win.
10 Tips to Maintain your Garden this Summer
As the world's biggest annual flower show blooms this month at Hampton Court Palace, there's no better time to put the gardening gloves on and produce your very own show garden.
With these essential tips you'll ensure a vibrant garden, worthy of it's own exhibit, throughout the summer months.
Mow little but often
Keep your mower blade on its higher setting so grass stems can provide shade for the soil. Sprinkle the cuttings over the lawn to act as a mulch, which helps to retain moisture and provide shade.
To prevent the line on your string trimmer from jamming or breaking, treat with a spray vegetable oil before installing it in the trimmer. Make sure the blades on your mower or trimmer are sharp to keep a clean cut.
Change your fertiliser
Applying the wrong fertiliser in the heat of summer can burn your lawn and cause an increase of tender growth that will struggle in the hot summer weather. The heat reduces the soil's ability to absorb the nutrition, so always opt for liquid fertilisers that has improved absorption in high temperature
Choose well-composted mulches on borders, such as bark chips or shredded garden prunings. This will keep the soil temperature down and hold moisture.
A well-established lawn should require minimal watering during increased temperatures. Water deeply and less frequently to encourage drought-tolerant roots. Always water during the coolest temperatures to reduce evaporation and fungal growth.
Prevent unnecessary damage
Pulling a hose around the garden can often cause great damage to plants. Create hose guides using clay pots by inserting a roughly one-foot length of steel reinforcing bar into the ground at the corner of a bed and slip two clay pots over it: one facing down, the other facing up. These simple guides will prevent damage to your flower beds.
Protect your produce
There's no greater reward than collecting your own home-grown fruits and vegetables. Make sure to water your plants regularly and pick any fruit as soon as they are ripened. Keep a watchful eye on the temperature of your greenhouse. Keep them shaded on hot days, and spray the floor with water in the morning to create a humid atmosphere.
For your acid-loving plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, and even blueberries, use leftover tea and coffee grounds to acidify the soil. Lightly sprinkle about one-quarter of an inch, once a month, to your beds to keep a good pH balance.
Potted patio plants
Potted plants are the easiest way to bring any decking or patio area to life but they can be tricky to maintain. The next time you boil or steam vegetables, don't pour the water down the drain, use it to water your potted plants. The nutrients in the water will encourage the plants and enable them to thrive.
Encourage the birds
The hot weather can be a tough time for birds as the high temperatures can cause the ground to harden making it difficult to find food. Don't wait for winter to feed the birds in your garden, put out bird feed to supplement their diet-this will particularly help juveniles find their feet. Install a birdbath to encourage our feathered friends to the garden and hear that birdsong throughout the summer months.