This is one of the busy times in the garden when many of the fruit trees will start to ripen their fruit. 

Berry fruits are well through their season so a tidy up of any branches that have finished fruiting will give room for new growth in preparation for next year's fruit. Strawberry plants can look untidy so remove any old dry leaves and weeds then give them a side dressing of fertiliser to encourage some later fruit.

Vegetables that were planted in the spring will be ready for harvest, especially climbing beans which if kept well watered and picked each day will continue to produce right through to Autumn. Areas for winter crops should be prepared for planting. Leeks, parsnips and carrots may be planted or sown now. Many of the pests and diseases that attack our fruit and vegetable plants will be around now, so look out for them and treat as needed.

Summer prune the branches on trees and shrubs that are growing over paths, lawns or drives so that they do not become more of a problem.

The summer heat can be hard on our lawns, to keep them green water regularly once a week. They may also need to have a fertiliser applied. Don't mow too low and cut only one third of the grass leaf at any one time.

Summer annuals and perennials are starting to come into flower so the usual staking, dead heading and weeding are the main tasks; look out for insect pests and diseases on roses and other shrubs and treat as needed. 

There is a lot to do in and around the garden but the days are longer and the evenings cooler, making them a good time to work in the garden without getting too hot.

Enjoy your gardens, Michael Coulter

Remember: questions can be posted on HortTalk or you can email Michael directly at