As summer progresses, the garden is in full swing. Many gardens are at their peak in July, filled with beautiful scents and abundant produce in the vegetable plot. It’s a lovely time of year to enjoy your outdoor space. As one of the hottest months, make sure to keep your plants watered and regularly deadhead flowers to keep plants looking good and enjoy a longer display of blooms.

Here are our tips for making the most of the month ahead:

– Keep plants looking attractive and encourage more blooms in beds, borders, containers, and hanging baskets by deadheading bedding plants and repeat-flowering perennials to encourage continuous flowering.

– Water plants in pots or containers regularly during hot spells. These dry out much quicker, especially if it has been breezy too. In addition keep an eye on any plants you have planted in the last year or so. They will still be establishing themselves and so the occasional water will prevent stress on the plants.

– Cut sweet pea flowers regularly to encourage continuous flowering. Sweet peas are hungry and thirsty plants and a lot of that demand comes from the large leaves. If you cut off any large leaves that have gone matte and slightly dusty looking, you allow the nutrients and water to get to the new growth and flowers.

– Cut lavender for drying by choosing newly opened flowers for the best fragrance. Hang them in a cool, dark place. Trim lavender after flowering to keep plants compact and bushy, but avoid cutting into old wood.

– Watch out for clematis wilt, which causes wilting leaves and black discolouration on leaves and stems. Remove all affected material and dispose of it in your household waste. To add resilience against clematis wilt in the first place, we always recommend planting new clematis plants about a couple of inches deeper than the existing soil level. This helps bury some latent buds so that the plant can sprout new shoots from underground if the top of the plant wilts or is damaged.

– Pick courgettes while they’re young. Regular picking encourages more fruit.

– Harvest runner beans regularly to prevent them from becoming stringy and to make room for developing pods. Leaving mature pods on the plant can reduce your crop.

– Start picking tomatoes as they ripen. Continue to remove side shoots, and feed and water the plants. Apply tomato feed fortnightly to crops in pots and grow bags to encourage fruiting. Remove the main shoot on cordon tomatoes where they hit the greenhouse roof or a leaf ot two above the seventh flower truss.

– Get ready, we will soon have potato tubers to plant for a Christmas crop. Grow in a sheltered spot.

– Protect your brassicas with butterfly netting to prevent cabbage white butterflies laying their eggs on your crops.

– Pick herbs often to prevent them getting woody and to encourage fresh bushy growth.

– If you have a greenhouse, dampen it down on hot days to increase humidity and deter red spider mites. Open vents and doors daily for adequate ventilation, and use blinds or shade paint to prevent overheating.

– Clear algae, blanket weeds, and debris from ponds, and keep the water level topped up. Algae can cause discoloured water, green scum at the edges, or dense mats of green growth under the surface, spreading rapidly in warm, sunny weather.

– Ensure frogs, toads, newts and hedgehogs can exit ponds via shallow edges or by laying a wooden ramp at the edge.

– Mow lawns regularly, but raise the cutting height during dry weather to leave the grass longer. Don’t worry if your lawn turns brown; it will recover when it rains.

– Don’t forget to arrange care for your plants while if you are going on holiday!