Jobs in the garden in July and August include:.
- In the vegetable garden continue to succession sow salad leaves. The end of July is the time to sow spring cabbage either in a seed bed or where they are to grow.
- Dead head roses to encourage repeat flowering. Remove long stems – not just the heads -and you are pruning at the same time and keeping the plant a more compact shape.
- Dead heading plants such as flowering perennials, Dahlias and annual Geraniums (Pelagoniums) can prolong colour in the garden into the autumn.
- Water AND feed hanging baskets and pots containing annual bedding to keep them flowering up to the first frosts.
- Prune stone fruits such as Plums and Cherries.
- Cut down the canes of summer raspberries as soon as they have finished fruiting and tie in the new.
- Feed lawns with a nitrogen rich feed. This will help to replace nutrients leached by all the rain earlier in the year. If the weather is dry, raise the cutting blades on the mower so as to not cut the grass too short. And there is no need to water lawns – the grass will recover when the rain comes.
- Trim back Lavender plants after flowering. Cutting back the faded flower spikes to around an inch into the new leafy growth will keep the plants compact and encourage the growth of plenty of new side shoots.
- Other Mediterranean shrubs that have finished flowering such as Phlomis and Cistus should also be cut back (remove a years’ worth of growth) to keep them compact. They will flower on the new growth next year.
- In August, and through into September, cut deciduous hedges. Shape the hedges so that they are slightly wider at the bottom than the top. Plus when cutting keep an eye out for unwanted plants growing in the hedge (such as nettles at ground level and climbers such as brambles, wild clematis and honeysuckles and remove them (even if you can only chop them off at ground level) Left unchecked these ‘weeds’ can spoil a hedge such as beech or hawthorn as they can smother and cause die back of the hedging plant leaving you with a somewhat ‘gappy’ hedge.
- August is also the time to cut back the whippy growths of wisteria to five or six leaves from the main branches in order to control its size and encourage flower buds to form next spring.