When our summer weather remains dry, effective watering may be necessary. If you water, apply well to soil at the base of plants.
Spraying water into the air or onto foliage doesn’t do much good at all, but do direct your watering can or hosepipe to the roots.
Early mornings or evenings are ideal watering times, when less evaporation is lost. Established shrubs can usually look after themselves. Herbaceous plants may die back, and lawns go brown in excessive hot weather, but should green up again during September rains.
Many summer perennials finish flowering this month until they are revived with richly coloured autumn flowers including Heleniums, Rudbeckia and Michaelmas daisies. Dahlias and tender Salvias will continue to produce their vibrant flowers until the first frosts of autumn.
Many evergreens can be propagated from semi-ripe cuttings now. Take 4-6in (10-15cm) lengths of shoots, trimming below a node. Dip in rooting powder and insert the bottom third into compost and water well. Hardy lavenders should be pruned now to keep them compact and encourage re-growth. Your structural houseplants can be moved outside for a while to fill gaps.
There may be perennial bargains at local nurseries as they need to shift summer stock ready for their autumnal displays. Cut back cottage garden classics such as sweet peas, long-flowering geraniums and cosmos to encourage more blooms for as long as possible. Try growing plants that produce showy seed-heads for winter-time, they look attractive and also help feed our garden birds If you’re going away, be sure to move containers into the shade, which will stop them from drying out too quickly. If you flood-water your plants roots before you head away and cover with a mulch or compost, it will seal as much moisture in from evaporation.
Don’t forget that you can ask a neighbour or friend to help whilst you are away. Todmorden in Bloom are delighted with our wonderful summer barrier and hanging baskets all around the town.
We shall always welcome more helpers. We are a small, friendly group and can often be found around town on Sunday mornings. For more information please phone Jean on 01706 817492 or see our website at www.todmordeninbloom.com or www.facebook.com/Todmordenbloomers