July and August are months for keeping things going in the garden, and not only for the sake of the plants. If the weather is good, you will want to make full use of the garden with friends and family, and enjoy the results of your hard work.
Garden tasks can seem relentless, but keep going – it is worth it! And let’s be honest, all these jobs give you a brilliant excuse to get out in the fresh air and enjoy the sunshine (or if the sunshine is not in evidence, you get a good dose of oxygen at the very least!)
So without further ado…
- Keep weeding, tying in, mowing regularly, edging the lawn, and deadheading.
- Don’t forget when deadheading roses that this can be a good opportunity to give the roses a mini trim back to keep them neat and tidy.
- And, of course, watering will be a key task when the weather is hot and dry. Don’t forget that plants like Camellias and Rhododendrons develop their flower buds for next spring during the previous summer, and need plenty of water for the buds to form properly.
- Check for pests and diseases such as aphids, bay sucker, sawfly larvae, rust, black spot, scab, Clematis wilt. Treat with a suitable pesticide or fungicide if the problem is severe. Remove disease affected leaves to prevent the spread of the disease.
- Clear algae and blanket weed from ponds, and top them up if necessary. Don’t forget that the sumps of water features also need topping up in dry weather.
- Mow the lawn with a higher blade if there is a risk of drought.
- Mulching borders will conserve moisture (and help to suppress weeds), so may lessen the watering chore.
- The veggie garden should be in full swing. The old spent raspberry canes should be pruned out. Strawberry runners can be lifted and potted up.
- Cut back some perennials to encourage a second flush of flowers e.g. Geraniums, Heleniums, Salvias, Delphiniums.
- This is the time to prune May / June flowering shrubs such as Ceanothus, Philadelphus, Weigela, Deutzia, and Escallonia. Also prune Wisteria and Pyracantha after flowering, and deciduous Magnolias. Hedges can be trimmed in August (but keep an eye out for late nesting birds!). Remove rose suckers.
- Perennial weeds such as ground elder, and bindweed are growing strongly now, so this is a good time to treat them as they will take up the herbicide.
- These are good months for taking cuttings and propagating.
And in case you have any time left once you’ve got all that plant care under your belt, if the weather is dry now is a great time to treat/paint woodwork and re-sand block paving.
And then, of course, it will be time to light the barbecue……!