Strawberries in a garden

By @joefoodie

It’s the Rio Olympics, the kids are off school and strawberries are glistening on supermarket shelves: summer is officially here. With it come fabulous blooms, scents and insect activity in the garden. Whether you have a lawn or a window box, enjoy these top summer gardening tips from our Open Gardens ambassador Tamsin Westhorpe.

Sweet peas will be ready for picking in late June and July. Pick them to your heart’s content. If they are left to go over on the plant you will miss your chance of a second flush of flowers.

Keep picked blooms in a cool room to ensure they last. And the best vase? Well, in my opinion, it’s got to be a milk bottle!

Sweetpeas growing in a garden

By Ian Lee

Nothing much beats home-grown tomatoes. Water regularly to prevent fruits from splitting. Place a pot of French marigolds close by your tomatoes as their scent is said to ward off blackfly.

Deadhead your annual plants. Summer bedding plants will flower again if the faded blooms are pinched off regularly.

In June and July strawberries and raspberries are ripe for the picking. Get to them before the birds. Eat strawberries fresh but raspberries freeze well.

Strawberries growing in a window box

By Andrea Anastasakis

Keep your bird bath clean and topped up with fresh water over the summer.

Remove excess pond weed and dying leaves from your pond. If you leave them you’ll end up with murky water and unhappy fish.

Continue to train climbers into supports.

When mowing, choose a dry day. Move your garden furniture to a different spot occasionally to give your lawn a rest.

Dog drinks out of a watering can

By Rachel_J74

Watering plants well and less often is far more beneficial than little and often. The perfect time to water is early morning or evening.