We all look forward to summer time; those long hot days and relaxing evenings, and for those who are keen on spending time in the garden it can be the best time of year to enjoy some of the fruits of your labour earlier in the year. It’s also the time of summer vacations, so here are some tips for dealing with your garden before taking off for the summer holidays.
Hit those hedges
To make hedges grow strongly and densely they need to be cut throughout the year. Make sure to stay on top of this task in late July in order to keep your hedge in tip-top shape.
Boxwood trees and bushes
If your garden features shaped boxwood bushes or tress, summer time is a perfect opportunity to cut them back, and if desired reshape them – you can easily make a unique template from a large piece of cardboard to use as a guide for cutting.
Once your lavender has finished flowering; cut back the shoots by around a third of their length so that less plant energy will be used for new seed production. This will lead to fuller and stronger blooms next year.
Now is an ideal time to take care of deadheading any flowers to keep them in shape. This should be done not only for aesthetic reasons but because doing so will ensure better growth of flowering shoots next year. This comes about because the plant can channel all its energy into creating these new shoots rather than diverting valuable energy to already wilting blooms. What’s more, wilting and dead flower heads can become hosts to fungi and pests – so best to remove them opportunely.
Sunflower first aid
If you’re a fan of sunflowers, but they’ve withered a bit following the latest summer storm, you can still save any damaged stems by simply splinting them with pieces of bamboo and tape – which will ensure that moisture is retained within the stem and help the repair process.
Even in August, before the end of the gardening year, it’s not too late to sow vegetables. Spinach, winter onions, lettuce and radishes can all be sown quite late without experiencing any problems.
Signs that it’s time to divide your shrubs include weaker blooms and balding inside the blooms. In order to rejuvenate them, simply divide them. Flowering shrubs should ideally be divided around August, by digging up each shrub and then carefully dividing it into smaller plants; about fist-sized is a good general guide. Get rid of any sick or weak looking roots while doing this, and then re-plant the shrubs in the desired locations – and just wait for them to bloom next season.
In the summer, there’s nothing better than relaxing in your garden in the evening and enjoying a cool drink and playing bingo games with family and friends as the sun goes down.