Top tips for getting your lawn in its best shape to get your garden ready for summer 2022

·4 min read
july gardening tips how to transform garden summer uk 2022 uk flowers plants - GAP Photos/Jonathan Buckley
july gardening tips how to transform garden summer uk 2022 uk flowers plants - GAP Photos/Jonathan Buckley

With the hot weather in full swing, now is the best time to make sure that your lawn and flowers are in the best possible position and health.

A garden can look infinitely better if the borders are nicely edged. If you’re pushed for time, this is one job I’d put at the top of my list. Most lawns are full of thuggish grasses and fast-growing weeds like creeping buttercup that are desperate to enjoy the richer soil of your beds.

By defining the edge of the lawn, you stop these weeds creeping across into your borders. Once creeping weeds or fast-growing grasses take hold it can be a time-consuming job to chase them back.

We all need boundaries – and lawn weeds are no exception.

Top tips for keeping your garden healthy during the UK summer

Lavender refresh

july gardening tips how to transform garden summer uk 2022 uk flowers plants - GAP Photos/Nova Photo Graphik
july gardening tips how to transform garden summer uk 2022 uk flowers plants - GAP Photos/Nova Photo Graphik

Is your lavender looking a bit tired and not growing like it used to? Lavenders do not last forever – I’d say that if you’ve had six or seven years out of your lavender then you’ve done well.

Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grosso’ is a cracker and a strong grower which produces long stems that can be used for cutting. It’s best to take cuttings every five years or so for a supply of young replacement plants.

Pumpkin party

july gardening tips how to transform garden summer uk 2022 uk flowers plants - GAP Photos/Tim Gainey
july gardening tips how to transform garden summer uk 2022 uk flowers plants - GAP Photos/Tim Gainey

A lovely project for the family is growing a few pumpkins or squashes.

For the ambitious, giant pumpkins can be a very rewarding and a fun way for everyone to get involved, why not start a competition with your neighbours? Try ‘Atlantic Giant’ or ‘Mammoth’ and grow a whopper.

If you’d rather eat your pumpkin then ‘Crown Prince’ is a super squash for flavour and firm, nutty flesh. Whatever your tastes, put two seeds into a small pot full of peat-free compost and thin to one seedling (the stronger of the two) after planting (at the end of May).

Top tip: place squash seeds on their sides when pushing them into the compost to reduce the chance of rotting.

Grow a salad

july gardening tips how to transform garden summer uk 2022 uk flowers plants - GAP Photos
july gardening tips how to transform garden summer uk 2022 uk flowers plants - GAP Photos

Salads are some of the easiest veg to grow. You can sow them in pots, troughs or in the ground as the weather warms up. I sow a few mixed salad seeds every month to make sure that I have a succession of leaves all summer.

Sow a few seeds thinly in a pot or straight into the ground and lightly cover them with compost or soil. After a few weeks they should germinate. As your seedlings grow, pick and eat the leaves when they’re young. Graze little and often to keep the plants producing. Make sure the ground or pot doesn’t dry out.

Pinch out

It is well worth pinching out the tops of young bedding plants – fuchsias, pelargoniums and cosmos are a few favourites that respond well to this.

What we’re looking for is well branched, bushy young plants – if we don’t remove the tips of the plants they tend to become “leggy” and too tall for this time of year. Take a pair of scissors and remove the shoot tip and about two or three leaves.

Although this seems harsh, all the lower buds of the plant will then respond by bursting into new shoots. This leads to more leaves and then many more flowers for the summer. Remember to keep your bedding plants in a frost-free place until the risk of frost has gone (start of June).

Grow ginger in a pot

Our tastes and the sort of food that we grow change in keeping with food trends. This year why not try some home-grown ginger? It’s so easy to get hold of a piece of ginger root from the fresh produce section of a supermarket. Take a small pot and fill with peat-free compost.

Trim your piece of ginger to fit the pot (ideally 5-10cm) and half bury the root in the soil. Water it well and place the pot on a sunny windowsill. In a few weeks, when you get a green shoot emerging, keep it well watered. Ginger likes a warm, sunny spot and in mid-June the plant can live outside. As the root grows, move it on to a larger pot and you’ll have your own fresh ginger by autumn. 

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