Back in the garden, the recent hot weather has certainly stimulated the plants into rapid growth and if it keeps up the top job this month has got to be watering, watering and oh yes watering.
Here’s a few other jobs to think about:
- Pull up your dead daffodil, tulip and bluebell foliage now that they have died down enough.
- Now is a good time to plant up your hanging baskets and containers if you haven’t already done so. Remember that they will need watering twice a day and feeding once a fortnight. If you can it’s a good idea to use special hanging basket compost as it tends to have water retaining granules to reduce the need for watering.
- Now that the birds have flown their nests now is a good time to get your hedges cut and trimmed. We always try to resist the temptation to do it earlier so we don’t disturb them.
- It’s also a good time of year to trim your box hedging into shape. Traditionally, people say Derby Day is the time to do it. Make sure you choose a cloudy day so that the tender shoots don’t get scorched by the sun.
- Prune back Forsythia, lilacs and Choisyas now that they have finished flowering. You can also trim back Kerria, and towards the end of the month ceanothus and Spirea arguta.
- Keep an eye out for pests.
- As blooms start to fade towards the end of the month keep dead heading (roses, Scabious etc.) to prolong flowering.
- Cut back oriental poppies once they have finished flowering, they will produce new green growth which will look more attractive than dying leaves. Also cut Geranium phaem and Geranium sylvaticum right back; they will re-shoot in no time and you will get some more flowers if you are lucky. You can do the same with Brunneras.
- Continue to sow out your veg including tomatoes, runner beans, sweetcorn and courgettes. If grown in pots remember to keep them well watered especially runner beans. Thin out earlier sowings so they have plenty of room to develop.
- Some early potatoes should be ready for lifting this month. Wait until the first flowers start to open and then do a test dig to see if they are ready.
- Support larger herbaceous perennials such as paeonies, so that they don’t flop when in rains. I use hawthorn or hazel twigs as they look more natural than plastic or bamboo canes.
- Feed tomatoes and bedding plants once a week with tomato feed to keep them happy.
- It’s a good time of year to take softwood cuttings on shrubs such as Hydrangea, Deutzia, Philadelphus and Spirea. (see propagation tips).
- Keep mowing your lawn regularly, at least 5-7 days (or less), if you want it to look neat and you can cut a bit lower now. Remember to get the sprinkler out if it starts to dry out.
- Keep on top of the weeds.
- If you do have gaps in your border fill them with colourful bedding plants– think geraniums, dianthus and petunias for sun and busy lizzies and begonias for shade.