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What to do in the garden in July27 June 2014
The to-do list begins to ease off in midsummer, leaving you with more time to sit back and enjoy the results of all your hard work. Don't take it easy for too long, though - there are still a few jobs to be getting on with:
•Trim hedges now that the birds have fledged. Avoid cutting conifers back into brown wood, though, as they won't regenerate.
•Top up the pond during long dry spells, using rainwater if possible as tap water tends to encourage algae.
•Dry lavender for scenting the house, tying flowers in small bunches and hanging them to dry in an airy place out of direct sunlight.
•Plant autumn-flowering bulbs like nerines, hardy cyclamens and colchicums to make a gorgeous show of colour from September.
•Scatter slow-release fertiliser like pelleted chicken manure around shrubs and perennials to give them a boost into late summer.
•Trim strawberries back once they've finished fruiting, removing old leaves and weeds before mulching generously.
•Feed greenhouse vegetables like aubergines, peppers and tomatoes with liquid tomato feed to encourage lots of delicious fruits.
•Make water-holding 'moats' around thirsty veg like courgettes so water stays by the plant to soak in instead of running away across the soil.