Gardening Tips

Wisteria can produce a second light flowering in July which is nice but even so Wisteria needs to be pruned in July as well as February to keep it flowering year after year. Problems with getting Wisteria to flower are common and one cause is failure to prune twice a year. The summer prune is quite harsh, taking back a lot of the growth to constrain this vigorous plant and to stop the leafy growth to encourage flower spurs later in the year. Wisteria is a hardy vigorous plant and as long as you don’t cut into the established woody growth you wont kill it by pruning; for advice on how to prune wisteria and video showing how to make wisteria flower and the summer prune of Wisteria.

July is also a good time for pruning spring flowering shrubs after they have flowered if in need of a tidy up or reshape. Pruning at the bottom of the shrub to lift the canopy allows more light around the base of the shrub for planting.

Sweet peas look at their best in vases when they have lovely straight stems and in the garden when the plant grows upright.

If left to their own devices the tendrils will take over and spoil the appearance of the plant and the flowers. The images left show the tendrils. They look as if they are there to help support the plant as it climbs, which they are and they aren’t really. Some tendrils about 10/15% are Ok but the full 100% as you can see starts to choke the plant, distorts the natural growth and wraps itself around any thing it can grab on to, which is usually other parts of the sweet pea plant. This makes the plant bunch up, and causes the stems to curve as in the middle left image. It also means if you are growing sweet peas alongside other plants, say Clematis, there is a risk it will grip that plant as well.

Take off the tendrils, snipping them off across the plant. It maybe necessary to tie in the sweet peas a little once the tendrils are removed but removal does make sure that grows upright and doesn’t become a tangled mess at the middle and top.

You can pick as many sweet peas as you want, the more you pick the more sweet peas grow and bloom. Last year my sweet peas flowered right into October. Sweet peas are a plant which really benefit from picking.

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