Prune lilacs right after they bloom. Remove shoots coming from the ground that are thinner than a pencil. Selectively remove 20 percent of the oldest branches, cutting them off at the ground. This encourages air circulation and makes room for new growth.
Bearded Iris Care
Remove individual flowers as they fade and, after flowering, remove the entire bloom stalk to the base. Fertilize lightly with an all-purpose granular fertilizer such as 10-10-10 and compost. Keep the iris bed weeded throughout the summer so air and sunshine reach the rhizomes.
Plant Bush Beans
Plant a short row or small patch of fast-maturing bush beans every 2 weeks throughout the summer to provide an ongoing supply for fresh eating into fall. By planting short rows, you'll never be inundated with beans all at once.
Harvest lavender flower stalks just as the florets begin to open. Cut them in the morning after the dew has dried. Dry them flat in a single layer or tie them by the stem into small bundles and hang them upside down in an airy, dry, and dark location to retain color and fragrance.
Recycle Grass Clippings
If you collect your lawn clippings, use herbicide-free clippings as a 2- to 3-inch mulch layer in the shrub bed, flower border, or vegetable garden. If you have too many clippings, just add them to the compost pile to be mixed with high-carbon materials such as dried leaves.