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Gardening in midsummer

Abundantly flowering plants in gardens or on balconies and patios lift the spirits of any garden lover. However, beautiful midsummer gardens do not spring up without regular care and attention...

Deadheads need to be removed on a regular basis. This is particularly important in the case of bedding roses and rose bushes. The deadheads should be cut off along with the two leaves lying underneath them. Cut back delphiniums and other herbaceous perennials once they stop flowering. They will then usually flower a second time.

When it gets really hot in midsummer, grabbing a watering can or hose is compulsory. You should preferably water plants in the morning or evening and not in the middle of the day when the sun is really hot. Plants should be watered right at the base and close to their roots - not on the leaves.

Weeds can be removed easily when it's hot. Hoe weeds on sunny summer days with a scuffle hoe, for example, and just leave them lying on the ground. The withered weeds will form an extra layer of mulch for the soil and protect it from drying out. If you do this regularly your garden will soon become a weed-free zone.

Dahlias start to flower from August onwards depending on the variety. Cut large sprays to encourage new shoots as well as giving you and your neighbours, perhaps, a little extra pleasure.

Do you like lamb's lettuce? Then now is the time to start planting the seeds. A slightly shady spot is good because the seeds germinate better here than in a sunny location. If you plant lamb's lettuce in the shade of tomatoes, cabbage or runner beans, the lettuce rosettes will be fully grown by the time the vegetables are ready for harvesting.

August apples and pears are ready to be picked once the fruits can be removed from the tree by twisting them gently. After the harvest, you can start pruning your fruit trees straight away.

As midsummer slowly turns to late summer, it is the perfect time to start making initial preparations for next season - the propagation of herbaceous perennials, for example. Most herbaceous perennials such as bedding plants and perennial ornamental grasses are long-lasting and easy to look after and can be easily propagated by splitting. After a few years in the same place, herbaceous perennials often form dense plants with an equally dense root system. If you want to propagate herbaceous perennials, you need to split the plants lengthwise along with their roots using your hands, a knife or a spade. Once the plants are split, they can be replanted in the desired spot in the garden and given a good watering. This rejuvenating procedure will ensure new growth and you can look forward to twice as many flowers. The best time for splitting and rejuvenating herbaceous perennials is in autumn after they have been pruned or in early spring. Early flowering herbaceous perennials should be split in August or straight after they have flowered.

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