In the beds and borders…

azaleaFinally, we’ve had some glorious sunshine, but after a few weeks of mixed, rainy weather, it’s easy to get caught out and forget to water pots, containers and more tender specimens – so make time each day to water the garden. Camelias and rhododendrons are particularly susceptible to damage if they dry out as their buds won’t grow properly for next year, so prioritise these plants if you have them.

Stake dahlias, lilies and tall perennials to stop them drooping and keep deadheading to encourage new flowers.

Trim lavender once it has finished flowering and cut back perennials that have gone past their best. You can also cut back herbs, to allow time for them to grow fresh new leaves to harvest before the frosts – alternatively let them go to flower (especially thyme) for the bees.

IMG_8320Prune wisteria and summer flowering shrubs after they have flowered, as well as climbing and rambling roses, once the flowers fade.

Collect seeds and mow wildflower meadows to scatter seeds for next year and remember to take cuttings of tender perennials for next year to pot up.

While growth is now slowing you’ll still want to keep weeds in control, especially in patio areas. You can apply boiling water to specific areas to kill off weeds if you don’t want to use conventional weed killers.

Fruits and veggies…

Pick runner beans regularly so they don’t become stringy and tough.

tomato_plantPinch out the tops of tomato plants to focus growth in the main plant and side branches. Remove lower leaves to prevent disease and increase air circulation. Keep feeding tomatoes with tomato feed.

Harvest french and runner beans, spring-sewn beetroot and carrots and main-crop potatoes.

Look out for cabbage-white butterfly caterpillers and remove and dispose of them as you see fit. Remove any leaves on vegetables that look diseased and burn them. Keep weeding veg beds so that weeds to don’t take water and nutrients.

Move and re-plant strawberry runners that have made new plants and harvest cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots. You can also prune the fruited stems of blackcurrent plants, once you’ve gathered the crop.

Lawn…

If your lawn is looking brown in places, it will revive come the autumn. Cut it on a higher setting now as growth slows down and brush away ants’ nests before mowing. If you’re thinking of laying a new lawn, prepare the soil ready for laying turf in the autumn.

Lastly…

waterlilyTop up water baths for the birds and keep ponds clear of too much weed. If you have water lilies, cut the blooms off below the surface once they’re past their best, so they don’t fall to the bottom and clog the pond.