Pruning and deadheading:
Prune Wisteria by cutting back the whippy growths made during the summer so they are within five or six buds of the main stem. This encourages the formation of flower buds for next year. The second prune should be done in February.
Deadhead roses to encourage the display to last longer. Don’t just take off the flower head. If you want to continue the display into autumn, you must prune down to a bud in a leaf axil lower down the stem. This encourages strong new shoots. Prune to an outward facing leaf to keep the centre of the rose bushes as an open shape (this helps protect from disease.) Don’t deadhead Rosa Rugosa as they produce attractive hips in the autumn which help to feed birds in winter.
Roses are greedy plants so after deadheading, give them a feed using a fertiliser specific to roses. Don’t use a fertiliser high in nitrogen as this encourages soft, sappy growth prone to attack from pests and diseases. I apply a good layer of well-rotted manure around the base of roses twice a year but if you can’t get hold of any, garden compost will do.
Continue to mow grass regularly during this month to encourage good growth. Mowing is the best way to ensure you have a good lawn. Once a week is fine but for a really good lawn twice a week. During dry weather raise the blades of the mower and mow less often. The grass is best left a little longer during dry periods because it will not be growing as vigorously. If it’s very dry leave the clippings on the lawn to act as mulch and help reduce moisture loss.
Don’t water established lawns unless absolutely necessary. If you have to water, really soak it once a week, rather than a sprinkling every day. Established lawns will turn brown in hot weather but it’s not worth wasting water on them, as the grass will soon recover.
Give the lawn a liquid feed unless you did so in June. Most lawns will benefit from a quick boost and there are many types of product on the market.
New lawns (laid or seeded earlier on in the year) will require watering in dry weather. This is vitally important; if it shrinks when it dries it’s virtually impossible to undo the damage when this has happened.