It's time to face the chop
Amateur Gardening|May 15, 2021
Ruth offers an easy way to keep plants neat and in bloom

THE RHS Chelsea Flower Show may have been moved to September thanks to the continuing effects of Covid, but there is one very important show-related task you should still be carrying out round about now.

The ‘Chelsea chop’, is a nifty and simple technique that helps keep sprawling plants in check and encourages a second flush of flowers later in the summer.

I use it on our large Nepeta (cat mint) bush, but it can also be used to give flowering a boost in later-flowering perennials such as echinacea, heleniums, Phlox paniculata and strongly upright-growing sedum.

Our Nepeta (catmint) grows beautifully until late spring when it starts to collapse outwards, leaving its shrubby centre on display. Matters aren’t helped by our two cats who favour it as their drug of choice and go quite dotty after chewing and rolling on it.

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