Gardening tips


In the flower garden…

• Keep your Camellias and Rhododendrons well watered at this time of year to ensure that next year’s buds develop well.
• Keep patio container plants well watered and feed with a liquid fertiliser every fortnight.
• Stake tall or top heavy Dahlias and Lilies to prevent wind and rain damage.
• Dead-head bedding plants and perennial plants to stop them self-seeding and to encourage further flowering into the autumn.
• Cut back faded perennials to keep borders tidy.
• As Penstemon flowers fade, cut them back to just above a leaf to encourage more flowers.
• Cut back herbs to encourage a new flush of tasty leaves to harvest before the frosts.
• Prune summer flowering once they have finished blooming.
• Prune your Wisteria after flowering to remove all the whippy side-shoots.
• Trim back Lavender plants after flowering to keep them compact.
• Prune climbing and rambling roses once they’ve finished flowering.

In the fruit garden…

• If you have plants fruiting in containers, make sure you give them a high potash liquid feed to keep plants healthy and productive.
• Remember to feed your lemon tree throughout summer with a special citrus ferti8liser.
• Plant out any rooted strawberry runners for a good crop next year.
• Keep birds and squirrels off your berries with netting.
• Harvest your fruit trees – cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines and apricots should all be ready now! Early varieties of apples could be ready towards the end of the month.
• Freeze excess raspberries, blackberries and loganberries on trays for a couple of hours and then bag them up.
• Prune the fruited stems of blackcurrant bushes after harvesting.
• Cut back the fruited stems of your summer raspberries, leaving the new green canes for next years crop. Tie in next years raspberry canes to support wires or fencing.

In the vegetable garden…

• Water your vegetable and fruit plants daily in warm weather.
• Apply a high-potash fertiliser such as tomato food once fruits start to form on peppers, cucumbers and aubergines.
• Continue to feed tomato plants with a tomato fertiliser and remove leaves lower down on the plant to help air circulation and prevent disease.
• Pinch out the top of tomato plants to concentrate the growth into fruit that has already formed. Aim to leave 5 or 6 trusses of fruit per plant.
• Thin parsley to 25cm between plants so it can establish a good root system before winter.
• Pinch out the tips of your runner beans once they reach the top of their support. This encourages side-shooting and more beans at a manageable height for picking.
• If you’re growing aubergines pinch out the growing tip once they have 5 or 6 fruits. Pick fruits while they are young and shiny.
• Limit the fruits on squash plants to about three, but make sure these fruits are established before pinching out the surplus.
• Spring-sown carrot and beetroot will be ready to harvest now although they can be left in the ground to keep growing.
• Continue to harvest second early potatoes.
• Start harvesting maincrop potatoes as the leaves yellow and die back.
• Sweetcorn is ready when you can pop a corn with your thumbnail and the juices are milky.
• Lift and dry onions, shallots and garlic once the foliage has flopped over and yellowed.
• Harvest french and runner beans little and often to prevent them from setting seed.
• Pick runner beans regularly to prevent them becoming stringy and to make room for developing pods. Leaving mature pods to set seed can prevent further flowers developing and reduce your crop.
• Keep on top of weeds as they compete with your crops for nutrients and water.

Looking after your lawn…

• Don’t worry if your lawn is looking brown, the autumn rains will soon make it green again.
• Don’t feed your lawn yet, wait until autumn to apply an autumn fertiliser.
• If you’re planning on laying a new lawn this autumn, prepare the area now to give it time to settle. This also allows weeds to germinate so you can clear the area thoroughly before planting.