It has been a long, lively and rather warm summer here in the UK. As the sun (finally) turns the heating down a couple of degrees, you may be starting to think about what needs doing in your little patch of paradise before we begin our delicious descent into autumn.
Attractive winter gardens are made in these last hazy days of summer. With the August bank holiday weekend just around the corner, here we list some of the best things you can be doing in the garden over the next few weeks to help it stay looking bright and beautiful as the nights start drawing in.
Giving your plants a haircut is an end-of-summer essential, but as always, we recommend taking a soft and gentle approach. Waiting until the very end of August/beginning of September before cutting your hedges back means you can avoid disturbing any birds who may have made themselves at home within their branches. If your herbaceous plants such as hardy geraniums and alchemilla have started going over (something that is more than likely with all the dry weather we’ve been having), now is the time to start cutting them back, unless you’re saving them for seed. Pruning fruit trees grown via techniques such as espalier (tying to a frame) and cordons (growing single-stem fruit trees) right now will ensure they are able to retain their graceful shapes over the coming months.
The end-of-summer harvest season is all about tomatoes, cucumbers, salads, sweetcorn, beans and peas, plums and figs, so keep bringing them in. Pay special attention to courgettes, cutting your veg from their plants regularly to keep them going for as long as possible. You could also take this opportunity to cut down any old, fruited canes of summer-fruiting raspberries.
It’s not time to stop enjoying tending to your flowering plants just yet. Keep trimming those dahlias to prolong their flowering period and be sure to keep watering, deadheading and feeding your flowers every chance you get. Spindly specimens that have lost leaves can be cut back a little further when deadheading to encourage new growth. Continue to give drought-stressed flowers plenty of grey, recycled or stored rainwater, even as the drought season starts to abate.
No sooner has one gardening season ended than another one begins. Have a look around to see which of your summer bedding plants you need to say goodbye to - and where you can introduce some new interest for autumn and winter. Remember that you can take semi-ripe cuttings from certain shrubs, climbers and herbs from late summer, to help you create an even more luscious and abundant garden for next year. It’s so important to give your plants the best possible start in life. Whether in beds or in pots, fruit trees, veg plots or virtually anywhere else in your garden, when planting out, it’s so important to give your plants the amino acids they need to be their most vigorous and vibrant selves. Breathing new life into stressed plants of all shapes and sizes and giving your plant babies the best start in life, our all-purpose, all-natural organic liquid growth stimulant helps build stronger, healthier and more resilient, blooms and produce which will survive and thrive in your garden for longer. We’ll be publishing a huge list of our favourite autumn/winter bedding plants in the coming weeks, so be sure to keep an eye out.
Have a fantastic bank holiday weekend and be sure to check back as soon as you can for expert gardening tips curated for you by our knowledgeable team of head gardeners!