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Monthly Advice

July:

Top gardening jobs for August

 

1. Pruning of Wisteris and other vines which put out long tendrals.
2. Mowing - as required. While lawns have been dormant its mainly just been any weeds with deep tap roots surviving.
3. Dead heading of roses and other perrenials such as Ox-Eye Dasies
4. If you want to propogate any of your favourate plants for next year harvest their seeds.
5. Remedial work to garden structures.
6. Top up ponds and keep potted plants or less hardy ones watered - using water from water butts if available, if not think about fitting a couple.
7. Keep borders free of fallen leaves to prevent the spread of any disease..

 

Lawn Care

 

Your lawn may have turned brown, but don't panic - it should green back up shortly with some rain.

Any mowing should be done on a slightly higher than usual cut so as to not further stress the lawn. Use of a mulching mower will chop the material up into a very fine material which will not only help nourish but also retain moisture.

Consider a year round lawn care regime which will result in a stronger greener more drought tolerant lawn for next year.

 

Top Tip:The weather is likely to be hot for a while longer. Beware of Heat Street and Heat Stroke. Do you know the difference? Can you spot the symptoms of this killer condition?

More info: Identifying Heat Stress and Heat Stroke

Trees, shrubs and climbers

 

- Help climbers and ramblers wrap around their supports as they grow.
- Remove suckers growing from the base of trees.
- Prune deciduous magnolias if necessary.
- Prune June-flowering shrubs such as Philadelphus and Weigela after flowering.
- Prune for shape, to remove dead or overcrowded branches and to encourage new growth.
- Take cuttings from shrubs such as Choisya, Hydrangea and Philadelphus. 
- Like Clematis? Make more by taking internodal cuttings - taking a section of stem sections above and below a leaf, rather than cutting the stem immediately below a leaf joint.

 

Flowers

 

- Prop-up tall perennial plants to prevent wind damamge and losing what is often a short bloom anyway.
- Mulch borders to help retain moisture and keep down the weeds.
- Autumn-flowering bulbs, such as autumn crocuses, Colchicum, Sternbergia, Amaryllis and Nerine, can be planted now.
- Cut back delphiniums and geraniums after the first flush of flowers to encourage a second flowering period then feed them to support the new growth.
- Poppy's and love-in-a-mist (among others; typically wild varieties) will produce seeds that you can collect for planting later in the year.
- Divide clumps of iris.
- Keep digging out and treating weeds as required.

 

Greenhouse and houseplants

 

- Damp down greenhouses on hot days to increase humidity and stop it getting too hot.
- Any cuttings taken so far can be grown on in the greenhouse. 

 

Ponds

 

- Watch the water level of ponds and water features topping up as necessary.
- Aquatic plants can also benefit from feeding, dead heading and removing fading foliage to prolong their display and keep them healthy and looking tidy just like your flower bed. Cut back any pond plants that are getting out of hand.
- Think about pond hygiene; pull out blanket weed (leaving it at the side of the pond to allow beneficial insects to crawl back in).

 

Soft Landscaping

 

- Paint wooden structures now while the weather is dry. Fence panels are expensive so remember to protect them with a preservative.
- Start / build a compost heap if not already done so.
- Fit a water butt ready for when it rains.
- Mulch borders to help retain moisture in dry weather.

 

(With thanks to The Gardeners Guild)

 

 

 

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