Gardening tasks for July and August

During the summer months the focus in the garden is on water: ensuring that all your plants get enough of it. Whenever possible, but especially in long periods of warm dry weather, use rainwater collected in a butt hooked up to your downpipe.

Dahlia, the flower of late summer

Dahlia, the flower of late summer


  • keep the weeds down by hoeing the soil regularly when dry,

  • mow the lawn weekly but set the blades higher in periods of drought,

  • water your hanging baskets and containers using diluted (as per label) tomato or rose food; this will help the plants produce more flowers, deadhead the plants for the same reason,

  • prop up tall perennials, if not done earlier,

  • clip box hedges and fast-growing hedges such as Leyland Cypress; this may need to be done 2 or 3 times in the growing season

  • clear algae, blanket weed and debris from the pond, and keep the water topped up.


  • keep up the mowing, weeding, deadheading and watering routine,

  • if you can, mow lightly and frequently, leaving the clippings on in hot weather to act as moisture-retaining mulch,

  • continue removing pondweed which thrives in warm weather; barley straw pads may help keep it down,

  • now, as you can see it clearly, is a good time to prune any deadwood out of your shrubs,

  • cut and rake up wild flower areas, they will soon green up again.

But most of all, remember to enjoy your garden. And how about inviting your neighbours for a friendly chat and a cuppa on the patio?