There’s not too much to do in the garden maintenance-wise at this time of year, but it’s important to keep up with deadheading, watering and feeding to ensure as much flowering as possible for the rest of the summer. Here’s a short list of other jobs to keep you occupied this month:
HEDGES & TOPIARY
Give hedges (both deciduous and evergreen) a final trim for the year over the next few weeks. Conifer hedges can suffer from dieback if they are cut back too late.
Trim back long growth on Pyracantha shrubs & hedges (without taking off the new winter berries which will be forming now).
When they have finished flowering, clip the flowers off Lavender and Santolina. Lightly trim the plants to keep them compact & tidy, but don’t cut back into old wood (the stem below the foliage growth). You can also tidy up Rosemary bushes now.
If you would like to save Lavender for drying, cut it now while it’s still flowering. Tie stems in small bundles and hang them upside down in a dark well-ventilated room to dry.
SHRUBS & CLIMBERS
Feed Camellias and Rhododendrons with a high potash fertiliser to encourage more flower buds next year.
Thin & shorten rambling roses, and cut a third of stems at the base to encourage fresh new growth.
PERENNIALS & ANNUALS
Continue deadheading flowering perennials as long as possible (plants which really benefit from deadheading include Knautia, Anthemis, Helenium, Scabiosa, and Salvia). Cut off flowered heads with secateurs, snipping the stems as low as possible to avoid leaving unsightly stubs.
Cut back hardy geraniums and other perennials which have finished flowering and are looking tatty. Leave plants which have attractive seedheads and stems for winter interest.
Plant autumn flowering bulbs such as Nerine and Colchicum.
If you have a summer meadow which is over, now is the time to cut it – when flowering is over and seed heads are ripe
Sow lawn seed from late August.
Clear out decomposing leaves and thin out oxygenating plants. Keep an eye on water levels and top up as necessary.
CONTAINER PLANTS & ANNUALS
Keep feeding your containers with high potassium for prolonged flowering.
Collect and store the seeds of hardy annuals and perennials you may want to sow next spring.
NB this information applies to gardens in the UK and of course, you need to take account of your own local weather conditions when carrying out any work in the garden.
Picture credits: Janet Bligh & Firgrove Photographic