Our tips will turn your summer garden into a blossoming paradise, and you can look forward to a rich harvest.
Summertime is gardening time. There’s a lot to do and many more opportunities to use your garden in summer. Our checklists for the summer months of June to August will tell you what needs to be done each month.
Summer is the season for garden lovers. The flowering of the summer lime tree in June is also the starting whistle for important summer gardening work. Here is the June checklist of work to be done.
Pinch out tomatoes: Side shoots, which form in the “armpit” between the main stem and petiole, should be removed. Then all the plant’s energy will go into the formation of juicy fruits.
Thin out fruit: Pome fruit trees, such as apple and pear trees, often produce more fruit than they can actually supply. At the beginning of June, the tree drops these fruits on its own during the June fruit drop. If there are still too many fruits hanging from an individual cluster, the smallest fruits should be cut off. This can be done using STIHL’s high-quality garden and pruning shears. After thinning out, the remaining fruits should lie far apart with a finger width between them.
Fertilise: Long-term grass fertiliser works for a good three months. If you have fertilised your lawn in spring, you should give it a second treatment now and fertilise it with the slow-release fertiliser.
Watering is a top priority for every gardener in July, especially when dealing with sandy soil. Look forward to warm evenings and an enchanting floral display. The July checklist shows you how to do just that.
Fight caterpillars: Offer codling moths an artificial hiding place to pupate – with 10cm wide strips of coarse corrugated board. Tie them around the apple stem and check them weekly for caterpillars. After eating apples for four weeks until they are full, the pests leave them at the beginning of July and look for a hiding place under the bark – and the corrugated board. By removing them, you counteract a new infestation.
Propagate strawberries: Strawberries form long tendrils with leafy offshoots well suited for propagation. Raise the offshoot that grows closest to the mother plant, bury a small clay pot underneath, and plant the offshoot in it. The connection to the mother plant is maintained for the time being, and only the tendril behind the pot is removed so that the strawberry doesn’t have to supply any more plants. Let the cuttings root until autumn, then you can cut off the tendril from the mother plant.
Thin out fruit trees: Vertical water sprouts formed in the trees only cost the tree energy. Now cut as close to the branch as possible – we recommend using STIHL pruning shears.
Water: Water less often but abundantly. This allows the water to seep deep into the soil and reach the plant roots. Clay soil should be watered once a week, but sandy soil every 2-3 days. Water in the morning.
Mow the lawn: When mowing, always make sure that the blades are sharp. The correct cutting height depends on the amount of sunlight: in sunny locations, the optimum height is 4 to 5cm, but for shady lawns, this is 5 to 7cm. To avoid unattractive flaws in the lawn, no more than a third of the length should be shortened during each mowing. When dry, the stalks should remain 1-2cm longer. If you use a mulch mower, you will have to work once or twice a week, otherwise the grass clippings will be too long to be easily absorbed so will just sit on the turf.
Hoe the soil: Regular hoeing saves water. The hoe creates hair-thin holes in the soil through which soil water evaporates. After hoeing, the upper centimetres of the soil dry out, but it remains moist underneath.
Watering and weeding are part of every summer garden programme. Many stone and pome fruits ripen and can be harvested in August. Welcome to the August checklist for your summer garden.
Cut off flowers: Even though it might be difficult, cut off all new tomato and pepper flowers from August with garden shears. The resulting fruit from the flowers would not ripen by autumn anyway, and the plant wastes energy which it could instead put into the existing fruit.
Harvest potatoes: The potato harvest starts in June with the first new potatoes and ends in October with the late varieties for storage.
Use a digging fork to harvest them. It may spear some tubers, but spades or shovels would cause greater damage under the tubers.
Take cuttings: Material for cuttings accumulates abundantly during pruning. The best time for cuttings is from spring to August. Cuttings are generally placed in nutrient-poor soil. This puts the rooted plants on a diet and forces them to develop more roots.
Collect seeds: Anyone who harvests seeds will recognise this problem: fine grains can hardly be separated from flower remains. A fan can help. Let the plant material fall into the wind created by the fan and the heavy seeds will drop in front of the fan while the rest will blow away.
Separate perennials: Apart from taking cuttings, separation is the fastest propagation method. Dig out the plant, shake off the soil and use a spade to divide it into several pieces, which must have at least one shoot bud and enough roots. Then replant for twice the number of plants!
If you want to make the best use of your garden in summer, do your research beforehand. There are lots of summer gardening activities that can help your garden flourish. We present the most important tips here.
Your garden has plenty to offer in summer but eating your own home-grown, sun-ripened summer fruit is a real treat. We have summarised the harvest times for selected fruit varieties for you in the following table:
If you have potatoes in your garden, you can harvest them in summer. The perfect harvest time for potatoes depends entirely on the variety. The following table gives you a good overview.
|Christa / Atica
|June / July as new potatoes
Thin skin, short shelf life
|Cilena / Sieglinde
|July / August
|Stronger skin, limited shelf life
|Nicola / Linda
|End of August
Very good shelf life
Brassicas, such as kale and broccoli, are ideal to plant in summer for winter harvesting. The following table will give you an insight into different brassica varieties, their planting time and harvesting time.
|March to July
|Depends on planting time, 6-8 weeks
End of May to mid-June
|Late summer to October
|June to August
|October and November
|May of the following year
May to July
|October to February
Unfortunately, pests can also attack your plants in summer. The following table gives you an insight into effective, immediate pest control measures.
When the caterpillars appear in spring, spray infested plants with gentle Bacillus thuringiensis preparations.
|Cicadas and lice on roses
|For a light infestation, spray the pests off the plants with water. Otherwise, garlic brew can help fight against aphids. For this, boil down 10 cloves in 5 litres of water for 20 minutes.
Cut off affected leaves immediately, disinfect tools, collect leaves from the ground. Use fungicides in the event of heavy infestation.
|Mix buttermilk with water in a ratio of 1:9 and spray several times a week onto the affected plants. Cut off shoots in the event of extreme infestation.
Propagation is a great way to get more plants without spending lots of money. And if a plant has already grown well in your garden, then you know it will be more likely to grow well again after propagation. Anyone can propagate their favourite plants in summer but there are different ways of doing it depending on the plant. The following table gives you an overview of the advantages of four plant propagation methods.
Cuttings are parts – usually 5-10cm long shoot tips – of a mother plant rooted in moist sowing soil. Cuttings generally root within a few weeks and can then be planted out as young plants. Flowering plants such as roses or hydrangeas and useful plants such as raspberries and herbs such as lavender can be propagated using the cuttings method.
|When propagating with offshoots, the part of the plant to be propagated remains connected to the mother plant. This is done by pressing the shoots of the plant into the soil. Once it has developed roots, the connection to the mother plant can be severed. Propagation with offshoots is labour-intensive and suitable for plants with long tendrils.
|Whether vegetables or flowering plants, growing from seed takes longer than growing young plants, but gives more variety than specialist shops. A bag of seeds is also cheaper than a young plant – not forgetting the fun factor and the anticipation of growing. Harvesting seeds yourself and multiplying plants in this way is a sustainable method of constantly filling the garden with exactly the plants you like.
|By dividing the rootstock, several root balls are made from an ever larger root ball. Separation rejuvenates overaged, overgrown and rotten perennials, and also saves money. Perennials that are divided in late summer or autumn grow quickly and soon become established.
Herbs are a really useful addition to every garden in summer. Take a look at our guide to herb care and harvesting below.
|Caring for Herbs
Herbs such as thyme, rosemary or lavender can become very woody at their base over the years. Regular pruning in early spring helps to avoid them going bare.
Thyme, lavender, rosemary and sage can be planted together since they are well-suited to similar conditions.
Parsley and basil can be planted together, but we recommend planting them away from chervil, dill or celery.
Coriander, dill and sweet fennel thrive well between savory, nasturtium and chamomile.
All herbs should be harvested regularly as this will mean they grow better and bushier.
The right harvest time makes the herbs taste good: they contain the most essential oils shortly before flowering.
When harvesting, you should wait until the night dew has disappeared.
If you have an abundant harvest, there are various ways of preserving herbs. Robust herbs can be bundled and hung upside down to dry. Finer herbs can be preserved in oil or turned into pesto.