Summer prune apples and pears
If you have apples (or pears) trained as restricted forms, such as cordons or espaliers, now is the time to think about pruning them to maintain their intended form and to let more light reach the ripening fruit.
Cordons should be pruned every year around mid August. Your cordon is ready for pruning when the new side shoots from the main stem(s) become woody at their base. Shorten all of this new growth from the main stem to 3 or 4 leaves above the basal cluster of leaves at the base of the shoot.
Where a shoot from the main stem has a side shoot coming off it, prune this also – to one leaf above the cluster of leaves at its base.
Cut back perennials
Many early-flowering perennials and are looking rather tatty – especially in this hot, dry weather. If they are cut back to the ground now and given a good water they will soon put on some nice fresh growth. Some may even flower for a second time later. Plants such as campanulas, hardy geraniums and delphiniums are some of the plants which are suitable for this treatment.
Cut evergreen hedges
Evergreen hedges such as holly, yew and box can be pruned/trimmed now. We should have reached the end of the nesting season now, but of course always double-check before starting work on the hedge.
That concludes our roundup of news for this month. I don’t know about ‘drier than Jerusalem’, in the course of writing this blog it has become wetter than Manchester!