Summer is a time to sit out in the garden and enjoy the features that you have created; the beautiful flowers that bloom, the well maintained lawn, the soothing water features. But, there is still some work to be done to keep all these features looking their best. Don’t worry; it’s not too much work. Just enough to protect what you have created form the elements. A very hot and dry spell can do a lot of damage to a garden. Here are some tasks which you may need to carry out:
• Make sure birds have water in dry weather. Birds are very important to the gardener’s environment. It may not always seem so (i.e. when they are raiding your fruits) but they do have their place in the natural order of things.
• Keep young plants and bedding fed and watered. Young, fast growing plants need energy sustenance to achieve their full potential.
• Deadhead flowers as they fade. It is important to make way for new growth, and also for appearances sake. There is nothing worse than having dead flowers on display in your garden.
• Prune shrubs that flower in early summer. This will encourage new growth and will also provide a platform for the new blooms. • Plant your autumn flowering bulbs. Get them in now and water them well. Don’t forget to keep an eye on them during the warm weather to come as you don’t want them to suffer from a lack of water.
• Pinch out runner beans as they reach the top of their canes
• Make plans for someone to water your garden if you go away on holiday. You don’t want to come back to a barren wasteland when you have put so much effort into getting your garden looking great.
• Keep ponds topped up – if you have a water feature in your garden the natural heat during the mid to late summer months will have an effect on the water levels. There will be a lot of evaporation and there may even be other factors involved such as animals drinking from the water feature. Both of these will reduce the water levels beyond what is needed to sustain, not only the appearance, but the effectiveness of the water feature to sustain whatever plant and fish/animal life live in the water feature environment. If possible top up with rainwater as using tap water, which is full of nutrients, can encourage the growth of algae.
• Water plants as they need it – keep an eye on plants and if you notice them wilting or drooping then apply water and watch the life return to them. Don’t overdo it as you can drown some plants.
• Trim hedges – cut back in late summer to prepare for the new growth in the spring.
• Prune back rambling roses, and trim lavender as it fades
• Mow grass less frequently if the weather is hot and dry. If you cut grass too short in this type of weather you may lose it.