Plants on sale now and looking good this month:
- Buddleja, Sedums, Rudbeckia, Ceratostigma, Alstromeria and Hibiscus all looking good now.
Top jobs for August:
Wisteria needs regular pruning to keep the growth and size under control, but it will also improve the flowering display. Cut back the whippy green shoots of the current year’s growth to five or six leaves after flowering. This controls the size of the wisteria, preventing it getting into guttering and windows, and encourages it to form flower buds rather than green growth.
Summer prune fruits trained as restricted forms.
Summer pruning apples and pears allows sunlight to ripen the fruit and ensures good cropping the following year.
This is the main method of pruning for restricted forms such as cordons, espaliers, fans and pyramids.
Let the grass on your lawn grow longer.
This helps to it get through dry periods better without having to use as much water to keep it looking green. Raise the mower blades to about 2 inches and cut the lawn less often.
Deadhead flowering plants regularly.
Dead flowers, and a little bit of the stem below, should be trimmed off Lavenders now. If they have become straggly a harder pruning should be delayed until late spring.
Watering – particularly containers, and new plants, preferably with grey recycled water or stored rainwater.
Collect seed from garden plants.
Harvest sweetcorn and other vegetables as they become ready.
Continue cutting out old fruited canes on raspberries.
Summer-fruiting (floricane) raspberries – produce flower and fruit on year-old canes (the previous season’s growth).
Cut back fruited canes to ground level after harvesting in summer, without leaving a stub. Select the strongest young canes, around six to eight per plant, and tie them in 10-15cm (4-6in) apart along the wire supports
Remove the remaining young stems at ground level.
Lift and pot up rooted strawberry runners.
Keep ponds, water features and bird water feeders topped up.
Turn your compost heap over and water it thoroughly if it appears dry.
The decomposition process can be accelerated by mixing in some compost activator as you do it.