Garden chores | July 23

  • Empty the mower of old fuel. Fit new blades and spark plug or have the machine serviced before the early spring rush.
  • Cut back wayward shoots on wisteria but save the main pruning until after the spring display. Crepe myrtles can be pruned quite severely if you wish to keep the summer's bloom at eye level. Oleanders that have become tall and leggy can also be cut to the same degree.
  • July is probably the best month in which to plant liliums but you will need to hurry as stocks are dwindling.
  • Clear clumps of peonies of dead stems and foliage.
  • If your compost heap is full of autumn leaves, start bagging green waste along with kitchen scraps or fresh mown grass and let them overwinter, preferably in the sun. Black trash bags are best.