Prune the shrubs after flowering. Try to be stingy with your watering for hanging baskets. Shiny beetles could be chafer – some can damage lawns. Perennial salads are unusual but tasty. Watch for shade and sun to help buy the right plants.
1. Post-flowering shrubs
Unless space is plentiful or the plant provides shelter or privacy, prune recently flowering shrubs to restrict size and promote flowering. Shorten new shoots of evergreen ceanothus, especially where it is trained. The brooms crawl unpleasantly unless the young growth is shortened. Neither respond reliably if cut from older wood. Deciduous shrubs – deutzia and philadelphus, for example – respond well when older wood is pruned. Remove a third of the oldest shoots near the base or on a side shoot.
Most beetles are harmless, but Welsh June beetles, which are found all over Britain, and garden beetles infest lawns. The laid eggs now hatch into larvae that devour the grass roots until fall. They then pupate and the adults emerge the following spring. By the time the damage is visible, it is too late for the only control – the parasitic nematodes – to work. However, they can be applied in late summer, where damage is expected from previous experience and where adults are now seen.
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3. Water the hanging baskets
RHS research has shown that 12 ” diameter hanging baskets work quite well with just one cup of tea (160ml) of water per day, avoiding waste when water drips from hanging baskets and saving a lot of money. time and effort to producers. Calibrate automatic sprinkler systems to provide this amount and have water released below the surface of the compost to help plants make the most of the limited moisture. Overwatering, easy to do in bad weather, leads to poor quality plants.
4. Perennial salads
Pick perennial salads for tasty and convenient greens. Prune garden sorrel frequently to encourage new lemon leaves. For a cucumber flavor, try the salad burnet. When fresh but slightly earthy notes are desired, use Good King Henry, a spinach substitute. The spicy wild arugula is cultivated as easily as the annual arugula, but rather more spicy. Ground watercress is inedible when grown in full sun, but shade tames it
5. Strong sun
Midsummer is the best time to assess garden shade, which is so important when choosing plants. If you have more than six hours of direct sunlight now, count it as “full sun”; for three to six hours, “semi-shade”; two to three hours “moderate shade”; and less than two hours, the “deep shade” horticultural challenge.
Guy Barter is Chief Horticultural Advisor for the Royal Horticultural Society @GuyBarter
The Royal Horticultural Society is a charity dedicated to sharing the best of gardening and making the UK a greener place. Learn more at rhs.org.uk