Gardening tips


IN THE FLOWER GARDEN

• Cut back faded perennials to keep borders tidy.

• Dead-heading flowers in hanging baskets will encourage new flowers. Make sure you are regularly feeding them with a liquid fertiliser.

• Cut back hardy geraniums and delphiniums after the first flush of flowers to encourage new growth and further blooms.

• Continue to tie in and train new growth on climbing plants.

• Prune wisteria now. Just remove the whippy side-shoots from the main branch framework to about 20cm from their base.

• Prune lupins to encourage further flowers.

• Now is the time to prune deciduous magnolias.

• Dead-head sweet peas regularly to keep them blooming and remember to water well daily.

• Spray persistent weeds such as ground elder with a systemic weed killer.

IN THE FRUIT GARDEN

• Thin out the fruit on your trees to produce good size crops.

• Feed container grown fruit regularly with a high potash fertiliser.

• Feed citrus plants throughout the summer with a special citrus fertiliser.

• Peg down the runners on your strawberry plants to make more plants for next year.

• Prune your plum, apricot, peach and cherry trees now. This will reduce the risk of silver leaf disease.

• If you are growing apples or pears as cordons, fans or espaliers give them a summer prune now to maintain their shape.

• Prune the fruited stems of blackcurrant bushes after harvesting.

• Raspberries are shallow rooted so they will appreciate being watered generously in hot weather.

IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN

• Pot on pepper plants as they grow into progressively larger pots.

• Train cucumber stems upwards to make the most of space available.

• Pinch out the tips of squash and courgette plants to encourage branching.

• Pinch out the growing tip of aubergines once they have 5 or 6 fruits.

• Pinch out tomato side shoots each week. Cut off any leaves growing below the first truss to improve air circulation.

• Feed tomato plants weekly with a tomato fertiliser, if leaves are pale and yellow feed more often.

•Apply a high potash feed such as tomato fertiliser once fruit on peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes has set.

• Harvest garlic when the tops start to bend over and yellow.

• Pick your courgettes whilst they are young. Regular picking encourages more fruit.

• Pick runner beans regularly to prevent them becoming stringy.

• Water fruit and vegetable crops regularly in hot weather.

• Harvest beetroot, peas, carrots, chard, potatoes, salad leaves and tomatoes this month.

• Clear weeds from around your plants regularly as they will compete with your crops for nutrients and water.

LOOKING AFTER YOUR LAWN

• Feed your lawn with a specialist lawn fertiliser now.

• Do not allow new turf or seeded grass to dry out, water regularly.

• In prolonged dry weather, set your mower blades higher to reduce stress on your lawn.

• Brush out any ant nests on a dry day, always brush them away before mowing.