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Author: Julia Smith, Posted: Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 09:00

I know that I keep giving you jobs to do in the garden, but one thing I would say is that you must make time to be able to sit out and enjoy your plot, no matter how big or small it is.

Make sure you have a comfortable cushioned seat and a small table to place your cup of tea on – or glass of something cool and refreshing – and just sit and enjoy. This is what all the hard work is about!

Keep watering regularly

Now for some more jobs. Pinch out the tops of tomatoes that are grown outside when there are three trusses of fruit, and keep on removing side shoots (unless they are bush tomatoes). Keep watering regularly or you could end up with blossom end rot where the ends of the tomatoes go brown.

Keep watering and picking runner beans, as if you leave the pods on the plant it will stop producing flowers. Get neighbours to help themselves if you are away on holiday – it can be a bribe to get them to water the garden! Stand pots in the shade or in a child’s paddling pool if you can’t get anyone to pop in whilst you are away.

Some early apples might be ready for picking now. To check, lift the apple in the palm of your hand and give it a slight twist. If it is ready it should come away easily from the spur.

Now is the time to cut back summer-fruiting raspberry canes such as ‘Glen Ample’ or ‘Malling Admiral’, as their harvest should be over. Cut them down flush with the soil to stop pests and diseases taking over and to promote new canes to grow.

At this time of year the garden can become a little boring. Sometimes a garden is really pretty in spring and early summer, but come August everything has flowered and finished and it looks tired.

Brighten up a tired border

If this describes your garden you can do something about it by popping in some Annuals from the garden centre. They are full of delicious looking pots of Cosmos, Zinnias and others which will brighten up a tired border.

Think about planting some of the later flowering perennials such as Echinacea purpurea (the mauve cone-flower), Rudbeckia (a lovely yellow daisy), and Asters (the good old Michaelmas daisies), which will flower well into autumn and come in colours that look stunning in the early evening light, and early mornings covered in dew.

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