Summer is the time of year for enjoying the outdoor life and making the most of your garden, whether it is enjoying a meal on the patio or hosting a barbeque for friends and family. However it’s still important to carry out those regular maintenance jobs at this busy time, so that your garden looks its best through the summer months.
1) Looking after your lawn
For a beautiful, lush appearance make sure that you continue to mow your grass regularly during this period of rapid growth. Little and often is much more effective than infrequent cutting. It’s a good idea to move any garden furniture such as benches, hammocks or tables regularly to avoid brown or yellow patches on the lawn and to give your grass a chance to recover. If your lawn is newly laid then make sure that it remains well hydrated so that it does not shrink during hot spells. Grass clippings can be added to the compost heap but need to be well mixed in with other material so that the clippings break down rapidly.
Make sure that you weed your lawn regularly to get rid of weeds such as dandelions and thistles before they turn to seed. Capturing seed heads before they can spread will reduce problems in the coming months. If weeds are well established then now is a good time to apply a weedkiller, whilst the plants are growing vigorously. Use a wood chip mulch on flower beds to help keep weeds under control, an effective strategy to reduce the time spent on weeding later in the year.
3) Pond care
A pond can be a central feature of your garden but it will require regular maintenance throughout the year. Have a regular regime during the summer months for topping up your pond or other water feature with fresh water and removing any dead foliage to keep the water quality optimal. Make sure that you remove dead flowers and leaves from waterlilies. This will ensure that weeds do not flourish, and will help to control algae which can create toxins harmful to fish and other aquatic creatures.
4) Be water wise
Regular hydration from June through to September is essential for thirsty crops such as tomatoes and cucumbers. Try to use water from the water butt and don’t forget to ask your neighbours to continue watering in the hottest months if you are going to be away on holiday. Alternatively why not set up your own micro-hydration system so that your plants are watered automatically whilst you are away?
5) Dead-heading plants
Removing dead flowers from shrubs such as roses will encourage them to continue flowering well into September, so this is time well spent. Summer is the time for deadheading annuals. If you neglect to do this the plant will waste energy on flowers that are past their best instead of producing fresh shoots. Set aside time for regular deadheading of not just flower beds, but also hanging baskets and containers, so that fading flowers are removed promptly.
6) Care for hanging baskets
Trimming off excess foliage from plants such as ivy can help to keep hanging baskets looking good and encourage new and bushy growth. A little regular attention can help to keep containers looking their best.
7) Pruning shrubs and hedges
Now is the time to cut back shrubs which have finished flowering, such as jasmine. Most hedges will also require regular pruning in the summer months to maintain their shape, especially topiary shrubs such as box, holly or yew.
8) Looking after your rhododendrons
If the weather is particularly hot and dry you’ll need to keep a careful eye on your rhododendron bushes. These are shallow rooted plants which can easily dry out particularly when they are young, when plants with deeper roots do not exhibit any signs of distress.
9) Vegetable care
Make sure that you pick any courgettes when they are small or they will grow into marrows. Harvesting the courgettes regularly will encourage the plants to produce more fruit, so that you get a steady supply. If you have a glut of vegetables, use them to make a moist and tasty courgette cake. Pick herbs regularly, to encourage growth, and dry and freeze any excess leaves for use later in the year.
10) Planting for the autumn
Now is the time to plant autumn flowering bulbs such as dahlias, crocus and begonias, ensuring that you have a vibrant display in the coming months. Dahlias do particularly well in a sunny location and need fertile and well drained soil in order to thrive.
11) Caring for your garden furniture
The dry summer months are the ideal time to catch up with maintaining garden furniture so that it looks its best. Hardwood furniture such as teak is durable and weather resistant but will benefit from brushing and washing with soapy water to remove any algae or lichens.
12) Contact Tetbury Garden Services
We can advise on any aspect of maintaining your garden through the summer months, including lawn and pond care. Tetbury Garden Services, based in Gloucestershire, offer a range of services including laying turf, installing ponds, fencing, lawn treatments, garden lighting and more. We cover Tetbury, Nailsworth, Avening and Minchinhampton areas. Whether you are planning a garden makeover or just need a few hours of regular help to maintain your existing plot, we can help.