Gardening tips


  • To encourage new blooms, regularly deadhead bedding and perennial plants for as long as possible.
  • Prune wisteria by removing the whippy side-shoots from the main branch framework to about 20cm from their base (about five leaves from the main stem).
  • Encourage new flowers and foliage by cutting back growth in hanging baskets. Don’t forget to feed your baskets well after doing this.
  • Autumn-flowering bulbs such as autumn crocuses, Colchicum, Sternbergia, Amaryllis and Nerine can be planted now.


  • Harvest garlic when the tops yellow and start to bend over.
  • This month, harvest beetroot, peas, carrots, chard, potatoes, salad leaves, lettuce, and tomatoes.
  • Pick courgettes before they turn into marrows.


  • Cut off any leaves growing on the lowest ripening fruit trusses to improve air circulation and prevent diseases. Pinch out tomato side shoots each week.
  • Create new plants for next year by pegging down runners on your strawberry plants. If you don’t need more plants, remove the strawberry runners entirely.
  • Prune your stone fruit trees like plum, apricot, peach and cherry in summer to reduce the risk of silver leaf disease.
  • Prune the fruited stems of blackcurrant bushes after harvesting.
  • Water raspberries generously in hot, dry weather.
  • Feed citrus fruit trees with a special citrus fertiliser throughout summer.

Wild bird care

  • Ensure bird baths are topped up in hot weather.

Pest control

  • Pinch off any affected growing tips to tackle blackfly on broad beans.
  • Squash any cabbage white butterfly eggs found under brassica leaves.
  • Clear weeds regularly.
  • Determine which pest control is needed by hanging sticky traps in the greenhouse to catch flying pests.
  • Protect ladybirds, hoverflies and lacewings, which feast on greenfly and blackfly.


  • Use a spray attachment on the hose to aerate the water and help the fish while topping up ponds and water features if necessary.
  • Leave pumps on during warmer nights as oxygen levels are lower in such conditions.
  • Add upright marginal plants such as water iris if your pond lacks suitable plants for the fully developed larvae of damselflies and dragonflies to emerge from the water.


  • Reduce stress on the grass by setting your mower blades higher.
  • Encourage healthy green growth by feeding your lawn with a special lawn fertiliser.
  • Water newly seeded or turfed lawns in hot weather and don’t allow them to dry out.


  • Leaving your plants unattended while you go on holiday? Keep them hydrated with this simple self-watering technique: Cut a piece of twine and position one end in a bucket of water and the other in the soil. Ensure that the bucket is placed above the plants so that water can trickle down through gravity.