Midsummer can mean a pause while your garden gets ready for the bright colours of autumn – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Keep your outdoor space looking at its best with this month’s garden jobs:
- Remove excess oxygenating plants from ponds and compost them after leaving them on the side for a little while so that wildlife can escape back into the water.
- Check for slug and snail damage and if necessary, set up traps and barriers or attack directly with wildlife-friendly pellets, available from the garden centre here in Betchworth and Godstone.
- Look out for earwig damage on dahlias – these beetle-like insects love to munch on petals, ruining your display, so trap them in a flowerpot stuffed with straw, hung upside down on a cane among the flowers.
- Give lavender a trim as soon as flowers fade, cutting back to about 2cm of this year’s growth to keep it compact and neat. Don’t cut into older, brown wood or it may not grow back.
- Prune philadelphus as well as other early summer flowering shrubs like weigela and deutzia once flowers have faded, removing a third of the oldest growth at the base.
- Keep sowing salads little and often to keep the supplies coming: look out for seed of endive, lettuces, rocket and pak choi on our seed racks and sow half a row now to keep you in fresh salads through autumn.
- Feed chilli plants weekly with a potassium-rich liquid tomato feed to encourage extra flowers and even more fruits right up till the first frosts.
- Harvest courgettes regularly at no more than 15-20cm long to enjoy them at their tender best: leave them to grow much bigger and plants quickly become less productive, so regular harvesting is essential.