Watering is key this month, particularly container-grown plants and border plantings not yet established. Keep Camellias and Rhododendrons well-watered now to ensure good flower bud formation next spring. Top up ponds and bird baths regularly. Stake tall or top-heavy dahlias and lilies to prevent wind and rain damage.
Regular feeding and dead heading keeps the garden looking its best until autumn, dead-head lilies for a better flower display next year. Dead-head annual bedding plants and perennials to encourage them to flower into the autumn and stop them self-seeding, but it’s a good idea to leave some to form seedheads, providing a nutritious food source for birds.
Cut back faded perennials to keep borders tidy,. Cut back herbs now to encourage a new flush of tasty leaves you can harvest before the frost. Prune wisteria this month by removing all the whippy side-shoots from the main branch framework to about 20cm from their base (about five to seven leaves from the main stem).
Trim any lavender plants after they’ve finished flowering to keep them compact. Mow meadows now to help scatter established wildflower seeds. Lift and store onions, shallots and garlic when the tops have gone brown and bent over. Continue to pick fast maturing vegetables such as beans, peas and courgettes to encourage further cropping.
House martins will stay to rear a second, or even a third brood, so during dry weather, place a dish of mud in the garden that they can use to repair their nests. Leave out dishes of water and meat-based dog or cat food (ideally chicken flavour) for hedgehogs. The young hoglets need help fattening up before they go into hibernation in late autumn.