A little late with this month’s jobs I’m afraid, but many of them extend into August too.
There tends to be a lull around this time, between the early flowering and late flowering summer perennials, so dead-heading is probably THE most important and beneficial job you can do, to keep the garden looking vibrant and interesting. Extremes of heat, wet and wind are keeping gardeners on their toes and greenhouse temperatures have been soaring.
- Dead-head all flowering plants and cut back the early, hardy geraniums for a second flush.
- Cut back lavender after flowering, not into old wood.
- Feed roses.
- Water regularly, all plants in containers, as wind and sun dry them out very quickly. Water any new planting, especially trees.
- Open greenhouse doors and vents to reduce heat.
- Keep cutting the lawn, raise the height slightly if necessary in hot, dry weather and remember grass can scorch if watered if strong sun.
- Regular, frequent mowing will give the best results. Long gaps between mowing takes more time because the grass is longer, plus temperature and humidity build up – try putting your hands flat on the lawn on a hot day and see how much heat there is! This creates an ideal environment for diseases such as red thread. Keep blades sharp and replace when too pitted.
- Top up ponds and bird baths. When it’s warm, algae in bird-baths builds up in a few days, so a quick clean and a re-fill of fresh water keeps the birds healthy.
- Keep bird feeders topped up too, there are lots of hungry fledglings around as well as the adults.
- Three will be plenty of activity in compost bins, so keep them well supplied with chopped kitchen and garden waste (not evergreen clippings or pernicious weeds) and keep on top of the weeding.