MUST dos in the garden this month:
- Keep your plants protected from the heat by topping up mulch where needed.
- Agapanthus is the star of the midsummer garden show. Be sure to plant late-flowering hybrids to extend the flowering season.
- Keep an eye open for the flowering Silk Floss Tree this month.
- Effective watering is crucial - walk through your irrigation system weekly and inspect for leaks or blockages in fine sprinklers; water only evenings or early mornings; prioritise the thirstiest plants and only water them.
- Keep on top of weeding!
- Mow lawns weekly to make lovely soft picnic areas, and feed with organic fertiliser or granular fertilizer (2:3:2, 3:1:5).
- To sustain healthy summer growth, feed your garden with slow-releasing organic plant fertilisers.
- Keep things neat and groomed by pruning shrubs and plants that grow oh too joyfully.
- Feed and disbud dahlias if you want large blooms, and stake if necessary. Read more about caring for dahlias in the article below.
- If Hydrangeas are past their best, remove weak stems and deadhead.
- Deadhead annuals regularly, feed fortnightly with liquid manure and keep them well-watered, especially during dry spells.
- If you want to propagate Agapanthus from seed, remove the seedheads, collect the tiny back seeds when ripe and sow in seed trays.
- Feed roses at the end of the month to prepare for the autumn flush.
- If you haven't done it in January, give your roses a light summer pruning before autumn's flush.
- Maintain a thick mulch and water deeply and regularly.
- Read more about caring for your roses this month in the article below.
- Harvest early morning and late afternoon - picking and harvesting will stimulate growth.
- Continue to feed summer vegetables that are still producing good crops.
- Feed winter crop seedlings like cabbage, broccoli and Brussel sprouts with a fertilizer high in nitrogen.
- Lift mature potatoes and harvest garlic cloves before the leaves turn yellow.
- Cut back artichokes to encourage growth for next season's crop.
- Remove vegetables that are past their best and start preparing the soil for winter planting.
- Keep your eye on ripening seeds of coriander, dill, fennel and caraway to harvest before they fall.
- To prevent rotting and mildew, lift pumpkins, marrows, cucumbers and squash off the ground.
- Give these crops a go this month: carrots, seed potatoes, loose-leaf lettuce, and Cape Gooseberries.
- Give deciduous trees their final summer pruning.
- Feed deciduous fruit trees like apples, apricots, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums and quinces with a general fertilizer, and water thoroughly.
- Pick figs as soon as they are ripe and feed with a general fertiliser.
Indoor plant care
Pests and diseases
- Red spider mites thrive in the hot, dry weather.
- Armyworm, lawn caterpillar and mole crickets in lawns.
- Mildew on squashes, pumpkins and cucumbers.
- Tip-wilters on Dahlias.
- Rust on roses and bulbous plants.
- Hawkmoth caterpillars on fuschias and impatiens.
February's flowering favourites
Queen Anne's Lace
Queen Anne's Thimble