Gardening tips


IN THE FLOWER GARDEN

• Prune climbing and rambling roses once they’ve finished flowering.

• Spray any perennial weeds with a systemic weedkiller, as the plants have a large leaf surface area which helps to absorb the weedkiller.

• Cut back any Clematis showing signs of wilting.

IN THE FRUIT GARDEN

• If you’re growing fruit in containers, make sure to give them a high potash liquid feed to keep them healthy and productive.

• Remember to feed citrus trees throughout summer with a special citrus fertiliser.

• Plant out any rooted strawberry runners for a great crop next year.

• Harvest your fruit trees now – cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines and apricots should all be ripe now! Early varieties of apple trees will be ready from the end of the month.

• If you have a glut of blackberries, raspberries or loganberries it’s best to freeze them, to keep enjoying them for a longer period.

• Tidy up strawberry plants and remove and old straw from around them to improve ventilation and reduce the risk of pests and diseases.

• Prune the fruited stems of blackcurrant bushes after harvesting.

• Cut back the fruited stems of raspberries, leaving the new green canes for next years crop.

IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN

• Water sweetcorn plants regularly and feed with a tomato fertiliser to get the best cobs.

• Feed peppers, cucumbers and aubergines plants with a tomato fertiliser once fruits start to set.

• Continue to feed tomato plants and remove lower leaves to help with air circulation and prevent disease.

• Pinch out the tips of your runner beans once they reach the top of their support.

• Pinch out the tip of aubergines once they have 5 or 6 fruits. Pick fruits while they are young and shiny.

• Limit the fruits on a squash plant to about three, but make sure these fruits are established before removing the surplus.

• Spring-sown carrots and beetroot will be ready to start harvesting now.

• Continue to harvest second early potatoes.

• Start harvesting maincrop potatoes as the leaves yellow and wilt back.

• Lift and dry onions, shallots and garlic once the foliage has flopped over and turned yellow.

• 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.

• Keep harvesting courgettes before they become too big.

• Clear away any diseased and old foliage around your veg plants to discourage pests and diseases spreading.

LOOKING AFTER YOUR LAWN

• Don’t panic if your lawn is looking a little brown, the autumn rain will soon make it green again.

• Don’t feed your lawn with a high-nitrogen feed now, as this will encourage lots of lush new growth which is easily damaged by autumn weather.

• Lawn growth slows in summer, so raise the cutting height of your mower to help the grass cope.

• If you’re planning on laying a new lawn this autumn then prepare the area now  to give it time to settle.

• If your lawn is infested with ants then brush the nests away on a dry day.