Jobs for the garden in July and August

July and August are months for keeping things going in the garden. 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…

Weeding, watering and deadheading

  • Keep weeding, tying in 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.
  • Mulching borders will conserve moisture (and help to suppress weeds), so may lessen the watering chore.
  • 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.

Pests and diseases, pruning and propagating

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cut back some perennials to encourage a second flush of flowers e.g. Geraniums, Heleniums, Salvias, Delphiniums.
  • These are good months for taking cuttings and propagating.

Fruit and Veg

  • 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.
  • It’s not too late to sow fast-growing catch crops such as oriental greens and salad onions, using up empty space and providing an additional harvest.
  • Now is the time to prune apple trees trained as espaliers and cordons.
  • Pick soft fruit as they ripen, harvest sweetcorn when ripe.
  • Remove tips of bean shoots once they reach the top of their support. Harvest beans once the pods are about 20cm long and before the beans inside start to swell.

How to look after your new lawn

Lawns, Ponds and Patios

  • Keep mowing regularly and edging the lawn.
  • Mow the lawn with a higher blade if there is a risk of drought.
  • 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.
  • 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……!

Photo credits: Istvan Hernek on Unsplash; Markus Spiske on Unsplash; “Blue flowers – our garden” by brewbooks is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0; Jon Sailer on Unsplash; ALDA Landscapes

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