Thursday 22 March 2018

Ask Marie: Am I right to cut back nepeta and salvia in July to get an even longer season out of them?

Marie Staunton

I tend to like the flower borders to carry on right into autumn. Cutting back a few of the herbaceous plants by a third when other plants are in full swing will encourage another fine show of flowers later in the season.

Catmint and salvia can be cut back, and within a few short weeks will be in bloom again.

You can cheat a little with phlox by cutting back a third of the stems by half; leave the others alone. Those that you have cut back will come back into flower later on in the summer, prolonging the season for you.

My newly planted climbing rose is not looking well – all the leaves are brown at the tips. What am I doing wrong?

Even though we had a fairly cold, wet spring, the ground over the past few weeks has dried up a good bit and this is contributing to the brown tips on the leaves.

The plant is drying out, so keep an eye on it and water at least once a week until it has established itself in your garden.

Roses in pots are very hard to keep in good condition unless you are very vigilant and water and feed them on a regular basis.

If you only have a small garden with a lot of pots, then a little automatic watering system might be your best bet.

Irish Independent

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