Jobs to do in the garden this week.

  • Flag Iris leaves will start to droop now that they have finished flowering. Lift and divide the clumps.
  • Pick strawberries as soon as they are ripe, left on the plant they will over ripen, rot and encourage pests and diseases.
  • Lift old strawberry plants before planting with new stock. Burning or disposing of the old plants, rather than putting them in the compost bin, will help prevent any disease and viruses from spreading.
  • Summer prune apple trees to encourage swelling of the fruit.
  • Depending on recent weather conditions and daytime temperature, gooseberries should now be ready to be picked.
  • Pinch out the tips of broad beans to discourage blackfly.
  • Continue to earth up potatoes, to stop the tubers being exposed to light, turning green.
  • Apple and pear trees will shed some fruit, this is known as the 'June drop'. This is quite natural, it's the trees way of restricting the amount of fruit that develop.
  • Feed established roses, fortnightly, with a rose fertilizer, dead-head regularly and check for aphids and black spot.
  • It’s time to lift and divide bearded irises. Replant rhizomes so they are sitting on the top of the soil surface.
  • Feed container grown fruit trees with a liquid potash fertiliser
  • Apply a weed and feed to established lawns. Water in with a hose after a few days if it hasn't rained.
  • Check shrubs reguraly for aphids, treat with a soap or chemical spray.
  • Stake and tie perennials to prevent them being broken by wind and rain. Remove fading delphinium flowers to encourage a second flowering.
  • The adult vine weevil, the number one garden pest, will be emerging from the soil as the temperatures rise.
  • Protect plants from slugs and snails with slug pellets, course grit or traps. Alternatively try to encourage birds, hedgehogs and frogs to your garden - all prey on slugs and snails. More suggestions to reduce slug and snail damage.
  • Hydrangea flowers will fade quickly in the sun, if you are growing them in pots move them to a shady area of the garden.
  • Prune summer flowering jasmine.
  • Sink pots of compost among strawberry plants and pin root runners into them.
  • Keep an eye out for clematis wilt, cut out any affected parts and burn or put the trimmings in the bin.
  • Cover strawberries and fruit bushes with netting to protect them from birds. Start to feed the plants weekly when the fruit starts to form.
  • Remove weak growth from autumn fruiting raspberries.
  • Regularly water trees and shrubs that were planted last autumn and winter. Their roots won't have had a chance to fully develop yet.
  • Cut grass weekly, long grass takes more nutrients out of the soil. It is also harder to cut and may leave yellow patches in the lawn.
  • Ensure that soil in hanging baskets and patio planters is kept moist, watering daily in dry weather or where baskets and containers are close to the house and may be in a 'rain shadow'. Removing fading and dead flower heads from plants will encourage new flowers to form and bloom. Feed plants in containers weekly with a liquid fertiliser, particularly if a slow release fertiliser wasn't mixed with the potting compost when planting up the baskets and containers.
  • Continually nip out side shoots from upright (cordon) tomato plants. These reduce the amount of food available to fruit baring branches. If growing plants in the greenhouse, nip out the growing tip after the plant has produced 4-5 fruiting trusses, reduce this to 3-4 if growing tomatoes outside. See here for more information : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFBgCBaFSnk&ab_channel=UKGardening
  • Take cuttings of shrubs: senecio, lavender, sage, rosemary, fuchsia, hebe, daphne, cistus, choisya and azalea.
  • Prune wisteria by shortening the whippy lateral shoots to about six buds from the main stems.
  • Tie tomato stems to canes or stakes to prevent the weight of the fruit breaking the plant.
  • Propagate hibiscus, lavender and rhododendron plants by taking semi-ripe cuttings.
  • Propagate celamatis, honeysuckle and wisteria plants by layering.
  • Lift, divide and replant chives.
  • Move houseplants outside for some summer sunshine.
  • If the your grass has grown long while you have been on holiday, give it a cut with the blade set quite high and then lower a few days later, this reduces the chance of the grass going into shock and allowing weeds to get established
  • If you are going away on holiday, prepare your garden a few days before you leave. Water all shrubs well, including roses and climbers, and lay a 50-75mm (2-3in) thick mulch around the base of the stems, to keep the roots cool.

    If you are fortunate enough to have a neighbour willing to water your baskets, greenhouse and borders, make the task easier by unravelling and connecting up the hose and leaving filled watering cans in accessible places around the garden.

    If you don't want your neighbour to come into your house, whilst you are away, move any houseplants outside so they can be watered, any orchids, cacti or succulents should be fine left indoors without water for a couple of weeks.

    If you don't have anyone to check on your plants, put all of your pots (including house plants), containers and hanging baskets (to stop them tipping over, sit them on large, empty flower pots) on the patio or lawn. Put the lawn sprinkler or sled sprinkler bar between them, connect the hose to an outside tap using a water timer (set the timer to come on twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening - 10 to 15 minutes each time should suffice). Test the settings and batteries before you go away.
  • Grass will need less frequent mowing in prolonged dry weather. If very dry, remove the grass collecting box and let the cuttings stay on the ground to conserve soil moisture.
  • Pond fish will eat more in the summer, feed them little and often, once or twice a day. If the food has not been eaten within 15 minutes, remove and dispose of the excess.
  • Feed tomato plants fornightly with a liquid fertiliser (this must be diluted in water to prevent burning the plants)
  • Collect and dispose of wind-fall fruit. Leaving them on the ground encourages pests and can damage your lawn.
  • Continue to collect and store seeds from plants, for sowing next year. Store any collected seed in paper envelopes or bags, then put them in an air-tight container.
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