During spring and summer, many garden plants will have a huge flush of growth that looks beautiful, fresh and green.
However, this kind of organic growth can become too large for gardens, or form a shape that isn’t ideal. Summer pruning allows gardeners to shape and train plants to a look and size that suits them.
Summer pruning also encourages flowering. By trimming back plants gardeners will help the plant to grow plenty of blooms.
Taking to her gardening blog, Blooming Lucky, Louise Findlay-Wilson has shared several gardening jobs that should be carried out in August. This includes three plants that should be pruned right now.
While there are different types of lavender gardeners can grow, Louise keeps English lavender in her garden as it is “hardier and longer-lived” than French and Spanish lavenders.
However, in order to keep this type of lavender looking its best it needs “firm pruning” in August. The gardening guru claimed that “the trick is to get the balance right”.
She instructed: “You must cut back quite hard otherwise your plant will become quite ‘leggy’. But don’t cut back so hard that you are cutting into old wood. If you do, you’ll reduce the flowering potential of your poor old lavender the following year.”
Louise added that gardeners also want to be careful not to remove any green shoots. Once the plant has been pruned it “will look less attractive” as all the old flowerheads will be gone.
However, it’s “well worth it” as this will result in gardeners receiving “nicely shaped lavender, full of healthy flowers next year”.
What’s more, come the winter, neatly clipped lavender will give gardens the illusion that it is tidier than it is.
Another one of Louise’s “big garden jobs for August” is to prune wisteria plants. This task proves to be essential to Louise as it grows all over the front of her cottage.
Louise said: “I know that if I don’t get on with this [pruning wisteria], the fast-growing climber will soon become a complete tangly jumble.
“Wisteria is pruned twice a year with the first pruning being done now. The second is then in January or February.”
3. Rambling roses
For those who have rambling roses in their garden, Louise recommends August as a “good time” to prune them.
She instructed: “Essentially cut back a third of the growth that has flowered. Then tie any remaining stems to supports.”
In order to prune the plants mentioned above in August, the gardening pro has shared “easy steps” to follow.
Start by tracing each long shoot of new wispy growth back to the base, then count along the length of new growth for five buds (leaves).
Gardeners will need to cut after the fifth bud at an angle in the direction that the fifth leaf is growing.
For those who see long stems with old seed pods on them, cut those stems off too, “to keep things looking tidy”.
Then all that’s left is to put the green leafy cuttings into a compost heap and “they’ll rot down quickly”.