Well… It is finally summer, and we should all find time to relax and enjoy the garden! Having said that, in between your tea-breaks, here are a few ideas to help maintain your garden in tip top condition!
Deadhead flower borders regularly to prolong flowering. Leave roses that produce attractive hips. Cut back delphiniums and geraniums after the first flush of flowers to encourage a second flowering period. Feed after
cutting them back.
Divide clumps of bearded Iris and take cuttings of patio and container plants ready for next year. Cut back plants in baskets and follow by feeding to encourage new growth and help revive tired displays.Tender perennials such as Fuchsias are best propagated from cuttings. July is a great time as young plants root more easily, cuttings should be taken from the tender new growth for the season.
Liquid feed containerised plants and keep well watered in dry spells. Mulching borders can help retain moisture, and keep down the weeds – this will save a lot of work. A really thick layer of mulch (2-3in all over) works best.
Autumn flowering bulbs can be planted now.Most perennial weeds are best dealt with in the summer when the weeds are in active growth. Digging out is often best if you are trying to avoid using weedkiller.Start collecting seed from plants you want to grow next year, especially Aquilegia Calendula, Poppy and Love-in-a-mist.Sow biennials such as Foxgloves, Sweet William and Wallflowers, Honesty and Forget-me-nots, to plant out in autumn for a stunning display next spring. Sow into large seed trays or a dedicated seed bed, then separate seedlings when large enough to handle.
Pest and diseases Vine weevils can also be a problem at this time of year. Watch out for aphids (greenfly and blackfly) and capsid bug damage on stems and leaves of young shoots.Look out for and treat blackspot on roses and scab on Pyracantha.
Avoid pruning your hedges until the end of August at the earliest if possible. The main breeding time for garden birds is between March and August so leaving the hedges can give them time to rear their young. Garden birds need all the help they can get!
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