Hints and tips for July and August

All that planning and preparation is worth it in July and August.  Now you can harvest raspberries, currants, gooseberries and freeze any surplus to cheer up winter menus.  By the end of August, the apple and pear harvest can begin; these fruits can be stored on trays in newspaper.

Thanks to the rain in June, beans, peas and early potatoes will be ready for harvest and the annual courgette glut is under way.

When garlic leaves turn yellow, lift the bulbs and dry in a single layer in a dry place.

Sow seeds for autumn and winter salads.

Erigeron

This is a popular plant with bees – Echinops ritro ‘Veitch’s Blue’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clip, snip and cut

  • Early summer flowering shrubs like Philadelphus: cut back flowered stems to a strong lower shoot and remove one fifth of the old woody stems.
  • Clip privet, box, yew, cypress and other ‘hedgy’ plants now the birds have finished nesting in them.
  • Cut long whippy shoots of Wisteria to 5 leaves from the main stem.
  • Prune out flowered stems of rambling roses; thin out the vigorous new growth and tie it in.
  • Summer-prune cordon or espalier apples and pears
  • Cut non-flowering side branches of grape vines to 5 leaves and fruit- bearing branches to 2 leaves beyond the fruit bunch.
  • Cut back hardy geraniums to the ground after the first flush of flowers to get fresh foliage and more flowers later on.
  • Dead-heading keeps perennials and bedding plants flowering for longer.
  • In August, trim lavender, leaving an inch (2.5cm) of new growth.

Propagate

  • Take semi-ripe cuttings from shrubs – use the current season’s growth, cut below a node, remove the soft tips and place in gritty compost.
  • Divide bearded irises and plant the young rhizomes 12inches(30cm) apart.
  • Use strawberry runners to supply new plants for next year
  • Collect seeds from perennials and hardy annuals as they ripen; store in paper envelopes (labelled!) in a cool dry place until spring

For your diary

July 14th is the time for the Ewshot Show and they have a produce show – why not contribute an entry?  Crondall’s flower, produce and craft show is on the 27th (Schedule available at the surgery, post office and Clare Park (£1).

Church Crookham Garden society has its annual show on 31st August.  Entry is free for members (£3 p.a). You can find the handbook on their website.

Gardens open for charity

7th July Bumpers, Long Sutton NB- Helen Baker’s plant sale is here

14th July, 4th August  Dipley Mill, Hartley Wintney

21st July, 18th August The Thatched Cottage, and Berry Cottage, Church Rd , Upper Farringdon, Alton (joint entry)

14th July, 11th August Bramdean House, Alton

5th August ‘Selborne’ East Worldham, Alton

For more gardens open for charity go to ngs.org.uk