VEGETABLES

FLOWERS

Continue to earth up potatoes as necessary. Only dig up what you need to use straight away as early potatoes do not store well.

Check lilies and fritillaries for scarlet lily beetle. Pick off adults, larvae and eggs to prevent damage or use an appropriate insecticide.

Look out for potato blight which is indicated by an early yellowing of the leaves. Destroy any affected plants.

Feed roses with high potash (K) fertiliser. Also sweet peas and clematis will benefit from a summer feed. Sprinkle the fertiliser around the plants and water in.

Protect summer cauliflower by bending the leaves over the curd.

Water hanging baskets at least once a day and feed weekly.

Lift shallots, they are ready for harvesting when the leaves are turning yellow and dying back.

Deadhead faded flowers regularly to encourage further flowering.

Continue successive sowings of beetroot, dwarf French beans, carrots, perpetual spinach, lettuce, peas, radish and spinach.

Cut down the stems of perennial flowers, such as lupins, hardy geraniums and delphiniums almost to the ground to encourage a second flowering.

Pick courgettes regularly to encourage continuous flowering. The best time to pick a courgette is generally when it is about 10cm (4 in) long.

Take semi-hard cuttings of shrubs such as camellia, ceanothus, potentilla and viburnum.

Thin carrots to a couple of cm (1 in) apart but to avoid attracting carrot root fly do this in the evening.

Increase garden pinks by taking 7.5cm (3in) long cuttings and insert them in small pots of compost and sharp sand. Place in a cold frame.

Tie celery stems together and mound up the earth around them.

Remove rose suckers cleanly at their point of origin.

Thin summer lettuces to 23-30cm (9-12in) apart.

Layer stems of border carnations to produce new plants.

Pick broad beans before the pods become tough.

Increase shrubs such as escallonias, weigelas and deutzias by taking half-ripe cuttings.

Harvest asparagus spears when they are 15cm (6in) high. Check for asparagus beetle and pick off the adult beetles as the appear.

Transplant wallflowers, sweet Williams and Canterbury bells into a nursery bed to continue growing until it is time to plant them out in the autumn.

FRUIT

LAWNS

Continue to thin fruit trees to encourage large, good quality fruit.
Control codling moth on apples by placing pheromone traps in trees.

Continue mowing regularly. Do not allow the grass to become too long between cuts. Trim and tidy the edges.

In dry weather water and mulch fruit trees.

Water thoroughly during prolonged dry periods.

Peg down the runners from strawberry plants to help them develop roots so that they can be separated from the parent plant in late August/September.

Troublesome perennial weeds in lawns can be removed by hand with the aid of a daisy grubber tool which helps remove the long roots. Alternatively use a spot on weed killer or selective weed killer for larger areas.

After harvesting has finished, remove the straw and cut off runners and old leaves from strawberry plants. Feed and water them to build up strong plants for fruiting next year. You can also remove netting to allow birds to pick off any pests.

The urine from bitches can cause yellow patches in a lawn and eventually the grass may die. Water should be applied promptly if possible to dilute the urine. However, training your dog to perform in an area set aside for her use will help to prevent the problem.

Espalier trees should be tied in as they grow. Prune any shoots off the horizontal branches or main stem to leave 3 or 4 leaves.

Mow the lawn just before you go away on holiday but keep the blades fairly high as a close cut will encourage the grass to grow more quickly.

Continue to hoe shallowly between soft fruits taking care not to damage the roots.

If ants become a problem in a lawn, use an ant killer that is safe to use on lawns.

Summer –prune pear trees, cutting all lateral and leading shoots (except the main shoot) to six leaves of growth.

Watch out for fungal diseases during hot, humid weather and treat immediately.

GREENHOUSE

GENERAL

Adequate watering is crucial in the hot summer months. This can be manual or automated but is a daily routine – typically in the morning and evening.

Check the soil in pots on a regular basis and water as required – probably daily at this time of year.

To minimise the risk from red spider mites, keep the atmosphere humid. If they do get a hold however, consider the use of a predatory mite.

Continue to remove blanket weed from ponds using a rake etc. If left to grow, it will choke the plants.

Ventilation is necessary to prevent the greenhouse from becoming too hot. Ensure that vents are closed at night if there is a risk of cold draughts. Also consider providing shade to delicate plants by painting the roof with greenhouse paint or covering with horticultural fleece.

Continue to remove weeds regularly and before they have time to flower. In dry periods a hoe is effective against annual weeds but deeper rooted perennial varieties will need to be dug out with a fork.

If peaches and vines are being grown the fruit will require regular thinning to encourage the development of larger fruit.

Towards the end of July you can take cuttings of box hedge. Cut beneath a leaf joint to give a 10cm (4 inch) long shoot. Remove the lower leaves and pot in well-drained compost.

Tie in any climbing plants including melons and cucumbers and continue to remove side shoots from tomatoes.  

Collect and dispose of slugs and snails during a late evening walk around the garden especially after a rain shower when they are most evident.