Apple and pear trees trained in cordons, espaliers and fans may need summer pruning. Do this gradually so the tree does not suffer too much of a shock. Leave the leaders at the ends of all the main branches untouched. Prune back the new side shoots that have been growing so you shorten each by a third.
Layer border carnations. Choose young side shoots that have not flowered and nick through the joint at the base of each shoot. Do not cut it completely. Bend the side shoots down and peg them firmly into the ground with a bit of bent wire. Cover the split stem with fine damp soil and keep the plant well watered. The layers should have rooted by early September.
Start planting autumn flowering bulbs such as colchicum and sternbergia as soon as you can get hold of them. Continue to dead-head petunias, roses, osteospermums and other flowers.
Goose grass has been particularly aggressive this year. Haul it away to the bonfire before it drops its seeds for next year's crop. Pollen beetles have left the rape fields in favour of the sweet pea crop. You can see them sitting in the keel of the flower. Showmen worry about the beetles spoiling the look of their prize blooms, but they do little actual damage.
Tie in the new growths of rambler roses and of other wall shrubs such as pyracantha and trachelospermum. Continue to nick out side shoots of tomatoes and tie them on to canes if necessary. Bush tomatoes can be left alone. I have been picking 'Tumbler' bush tomatoes since 4 July from plants set out in mid-May. Is there a speedier tomato in town?Reuse content