THE prolonged spell of good weather has been fantastic for spending time enjoying your garden.

The west of Scotland has enjoyed some of the hottest weather in the UK this week, but the heat also brings a few issues to the fore.

We gardeners are constantly going on about watering, but for a very good reason - your plants will die without it.

Pay particular attention to bedding plants and hanging baskets as these need more water than trees and shrubs.

It is worth noting that you shouldn't water in full sunlight or late morning.

When the sun shines on to water drops the water acts as a magnifying glass and can cause scorching on the leaves and flowers.

Evening is the best time for watering, but beware as it will bring out the dreaded midges.

One area that is often forgotten about when watering is the lawn.

Grass is in its peak growing season at the moment and a little water will go a long way.

Frequent cuts are also good and feeding and weed treatment is at its most effective when the weather is warm.

The mild and wet spring followed by warm weather has also caused fungus to be prevalent around the garden as well, but is easily treated with a suitable fungicide.

Roses, in particular, are prone to black spot, easily identifiable by, as the name suggests, black spots all over the leaves.

Again, spraying will take care of this without damaging the rose.

Bugs are also common just now, greenfly and aphids in particular.

If you are in doubt there are two easy way to check for bugs.

The easiest way is simply to look. Check both the top and underside of the leaves. Most bugs are easy to spot.

The other way to do it is put a sheet of white paper under the leave or branches and shake the plant.

At least some of the insects will fall onto the paper and are then easy to spot.

Treatment with an insecticide will soon take care of any problems, but bear in mind you may have to spray more than once to catch any of the insects eggs that hatch after your initial treatment.

Most of all, take advantage of the good weather and enjoy your garden!