With June almost over, now is the time to prepare for the gardening tasks which face us this summer - and whilst you may think a lot of the hard work in terms of planting and preparation has already been done during Spring, you'll be surprised at how much there is still to do in the summer.
- If your decking or patio is looking a little grubby, is suffering from algae or moss - remove it without the need for extensive elbow grease. Instead, turn to your pressure washer and give it a thorough blast, before scrubbing any remaining dirt away with a hard bristled brush.
- Now is a great time to enjoy the flurry of flowers and colour which blooms throughout your garden. But it isn't just flowers which are likely to be growing throughout your flowerbeds - weeds will be too. One of the best ways to tackle this, without the need for chemical products, is to use a hoe to lift the weeds out of the ground, before leaving them on the surface to wither and die in the sun.
- Unfortunately, as much as we'd like them to - flowers won't last all season in our garden, so it's important to deadhead them. Once the flowers have become spent, we recommend you deadhead them at the earliest opportunity, as this will help divert energy from producing seeds into producing new flowers. For those taller flowers, make sure they're staked so they are adequately protected against any wind or adverse weather we may experience.
- Key to helping promote healthy growth in your garden is to water the flowerbeds, pots and lawn regularly. When watering your garden, it's equally important to remain water wise - which is why we recommend reusing dish water (as long as it isn't too greasy) or rain water which has been stored in a water butt.
- All your hard work in the garden can be undone by Mother Nature, so throughout June make sure you're keeping an eye out for any pests which could feast on your flowers or make your garden look unkempt.
If it's the neighbour's cat which is causing a nuisance in your garden, consider adding cat repeller rods in your flowerbeds. To protect any fruit plants from birds it's recommended to place light netting over the plants.
You should also make sure you are regularly checking your rose bushes for mildew, aphid, black-spot and other diseases. If they appear, tackle the issue immediately using a dedicated chemical treatment. [source: The Garden Helper]
- Your lawn will require a lot of TLC, including being treated with a complete lawn fertiliser to promote healthy growth, whilst you should also cut it on at least a weekly basis. As a rule of thumb, we recommend cutting a little off your lawn on a regular basis, although take care to only add a thin layer of grass cuttings to your compost bin. Adding too much grass cutting can result in a wet soggy mess rather than compost. [source: RHS]
- Shade your greenhouse to help keep it cool during the hot spells this summer. Providing adequate shading for your greenhouse will also help to prevent any scorching to the plants which you're growing in it.
- As June rolls into July, much of the gardening work will roll over too - including the deadheading of bedding plants and repeat-flowering perennials. By continuing to deadhead plants in July, you'll help to ensure continuous flowering to provide your garden with a wall of colour.
- Prune summer blooming shrubs, once they've stopped flowering, making sure to remove any dead or diseased branches. Carrying out such a task will help to ensure the shrubs maintain a healthy growth as the year progresses. [source: The Garden Helper]
- It isn't just jobs which have rolled over which will need to be carried out in the garden during July, you should also be using the month to plant autumn flowering bulbs to ensure come the new season your garden is greeted with new colour.
- Provide woodwork in your garden with a fresh coat of paint. Not only can this help protect the woodwork from the elements, but it will also add a new lease of life and additional colour to your garden - with minimal work being required. [source: RHS]
- Check your mulch hasn't decomposed, if it has add more and continue to check throughout the month to ensure you keep on top of it. [source: About.com]
- Collect seeds from your favourite plants, ready to start growing them during autumn and winter so you can enjoy them again next summer.
- If you've been growing fruit in your garden (or at an allotment) August is the time to prune restricted fruits, cut out old fruited canes on raspberries and lift / pop-up rooted strawberry runners.
- With August traditionally being one of the hottest months of the year, when cutting the lawn you'll need to take extra care. It's recommended to check your mower's blade for any imperfections - and sharpen / replace your lawnmower blade if necessary. You should also raise the height of the blade so you're only taking a little off the grass with each cut, this will help protect your lawn from drought damage.
- Continue to tackle weeds throughout your flowerbeds, patios and pathways. By tackling these little and often you'll be able to help your garden remain in top condition. However, it's recommended to avoid using chemical weed killers as these can have an adverse effect on your plants, shrubs and lawn. [source: Wyevale Garden Centres]
- During the month you'll need to make sure you're regularly watering and feeding your plants, especially those in hanging baskets and pots. If you're taking your annual summer holiday during August don't neglect your garden -ask a friend / neighbour to water it whilst you're away.
Keeping on top of your garden throughout the summer and carrying out the tasks mentioned above little and often, will help to ensure your garden continues to bloom and provides you with an oasis to relax and unwind in.