Mid Season Jobs for around the Garden
There's always something to be doing in the garden, whether it's pruning, tidying or sowing, so we've put together our top gardening tasks for July onwards.
Jobs for the Beds and Borders
Cut back faded perennial plants to keep borders tidy.
As your Penstemon flowers fade, cut them back to just above a bud to encourage more flowers.
Cutting back growth in hanging baskets can encourage new flowers and foliage and will revive the display. Make sure you that feed your baskets well after doing this.
Continue to tie in and train new growth on climbing plants.
Prune Wisteria now. Just remove the whippy side-shoots from the main branch framework to about 20cm from their base (about five leaves from the main stem).
Prune lupins to encourage further flowers.
If you need to prune your deciduous Magnolia, now is the best time to do it.
Divide clumps of Bearded Iris now so they have time to form roots and flowers buds for next year before the cold weather arrives.
Take cuttings from your favourite tender plants for over-wintering indoors. Cuttings can also still be taken from shrubs and herbaceous perennials.
Dead-head bedding plants and perennial plants to stop them self-seeding and to encourage further flowering.
Dead-head your roses to keep them looking tidy. Leave the flowers in place if your rose produces attractive hips (seed pods).
Dead-head sweet peas regularly to keep them blooming. Water daily in dry weather.
Capture seed heads from dandelions and other weeds. Collect them before they get a chance to release their seeds and spread throughout your garden.
Keep an eye out for pests on plants, early treatment is best.
Stop rust damaging hollyhock foliage by pruning out affected leaves and/or spraying with a fungicide.
Look out for Clematis Wilt. Symptoms include wilting leaves and black discolouration on the leaves and stems. Cut out all affected material and dispose of it in your household waste.
Now is a good time to spray ground elder, bindweed and other persistent weeds with a glyphosate-based weed killer as the plants now have lots of leaf surface area with which to absorb it.
Jobs for the Vegetable Garden
Pepper plants will benefit from being potted on into progressively larger pots.
Train cucumber stems upwards instead of trailing over the ground, to make the most of the space available. Simply tie in their long stems to vertical wires or a wigwam of poles.
If you're growing aubergines pinch out the growing tip once they have 5 or 6 fruits. Pick fruits while they are young. You can expect to start harvesting in mid to late summer.
Pinch out tomato side shoots each week. Cut off any leaves growing below the lowest ripening fruit trusses to improve air circulation and prevent diseases.
Boost your tomato crop by regularly feeding them with dilute tomato fertiliser once a week. If leaves look pale and yellow feed more regularly.
Feed crops with a general purpose fertiliser.
Apply a high-potash fertiliser once fruits start to form on peppers, cucumber and tomatoes. You can use this on sunflowers too.
Harvest garlic when the tops start to bend over and yellow. To find out more about harvesting and growing garlic read our 'how-to' guide.
Pick your courgettes while they are young. Regular picking encourages more fruit.
Encourage more marrows by harvesting regularly. Marrows that form in July and August should reach a good size by autumn. Let their skins harden in the sun before cutting them later in September or October. They can be stored into winter.
Pick, dry and freeze herbs for using later in the year.
Resist the temptation to harvest more rhubarb stems. This allows the plant to build up reserves for next year.
Pick runner beans regularly to prevent them becoming stringy and to make room for developing pods. Leaving mature pods on the plant can prevent further flowers forming and reduce your crop.
Water your fruit and vegetable crops daily in warm weather. Try to ensure that they are consistently moist.
Use grass clippings as a mulch around potato plants to stop tubers near the surface from turning green. Alternatively earth up your potato plants as they grow. If you're growing potatoes in bags, gradually add more compost until the bag is full.
Control slugs to prevent them damaging your crops. Try using a natural pest control to reduce numbers.
Tackle blackfly on broad beans by pinching off any affected growing tips.
Check for cabbage white butterfly eggs under brassica leaves and squash any that you find.
Clear away any diseased and spent foliage on and around your vegetable plants to keep them healthy.
Clear weeds regularly, as they compete with your crops for nutrients and water.