Summer Garden Maintenance Tips
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 a 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.
Prune wisterias 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.
Deadheading roses encourages 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.
This is a good month to trim conifer hedges to keep them under control. Conifer hedges have received a bad press recently, mainly because of the notorious Leyland Cypress. It can grow very tall very quickly and is too vigorous for a small garden; if neglected, it can quickly become large and can be a nuisance. As with all conifer hedges it needs trimming at least once a year, preferably twice to keep it in check. If you start doing this while hedges are small, long before they reach the height and width you eventually require, you will have built up a good thick layer of leafy growth over the surface of the hedge.