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What to Do in the Garden This Week - July 17th

Published on July 17th 2020
A close up of sweet peas
This week I've some tips on hedge cutting, growing herbs and a bit of timely sowing!

Flowers and borders

  • Give sweet peas a liquid feed to keep them vigorous. This will help to ward off powdery mildew attack.
  • Check sweet peas also for greenfly. Remember that these great annual climbers do not tolerate some insecticides.

Lawns and hedges

  • Keep your lawn edges neat by regularly trimming. Inserting plastic or metal alloy edging support strips will stop the edges becoming ragged.
  • Trim evergreen hedges. They usually grow the most at this time of the year, so the cut ends are quickly hidden by new growth. Try to cut the top narrower than the bottom so that light reaches.
Man cutting a hedge with a power hedge trimmer
  • If you have a cherry laurel, use secateurs to cut. If you use shears or a hedge cutter, you are bound to cut those large leaves and may make a mess.
  • Check hedges for late bird nests before trimming them. Many birds have several clutches.
Check out this article for more hedge cutting tips:
A person cutting a hedge

Tips for Hedge Cutting

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Trees, shrubs and woody climbers

  • Vigorous climbers such as clematis, honeysuckle and perennial sweet peas will need tying up again. Support them well, and they will repay you with more blooms.
  • Move pot grown, lime-hating plants into a shady area of the garden when they have finished blooming. They will enjoy the cool, and you can bring something showier into the light for summer.


  • Plant mint in a large container. It will be happy in the shade. Knock it out in winter, divide in half and replant only half, as it will be happier if not crowded.
A mint herb plant in a pot
  • Sow parsley outside. It may help germination if you pour boiling water onto the soil before sowing. This may kill the seeds of weeds and diseases and is claimed to help.
  • Leave some chives to flower! They are brilliant for bees and butterflies and look lovely at the front of a flower border.
pink flowers of chives
  • Keep an eye on rosemary plants for the rosemary beetle. This is a new pest that arrived here from southern Europe in the 1990s. It's a beautiful beetle but devastating to rosemary and can attack lavender, sage and thyme.

Home grown food

  • Sow seed of spring cabbages outside in a seedbed. Transplant in autumn into the veg patch. Go old school with ‘Wheeler's Imperial’ variety, or modern with F1 ‘Spring Hero’.
spring cabbage Hero plants
  • Stop harvesting rhubarb and asparagus. This will give them a chance to build up strength for next year. Check your asparagus for weevils and promptly pick them off.
Asparagus shoots with beetles

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