Monty Don's 'Chelsea Chop' Technique Extends Flower Blooming Season

Monty Don shares the "Chelsea Chop" pruning technique to extend the blooming period of late-flowering perennials into autumn. The technique involves cutting back one-third to one-half of the plant's growth in May to stimulate side shoots and extra flowers.

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Monty Don's 'Chelsea Chop' Technique Extends Flower Blooming Season

Monty Don's 'Chelsea Chop' Technique Extends Flower Blooming Season

Renowned gardener Monty Don has shared a valuable gardening hack known as the "Chelsea Chop" to help extend the blooming period of flowers into autumn. This simple pruning technique involves cutting back late-flowering herbaceous perennials in May to ensure a vibrant and colorful display throughout the season.

The Chelsea Chop typically takes place in the third week of May, coinciding with the famous Chelsea Flower Show. It is used on plants such as heleniums, sedums, lysimachia, and golden rod that bloom later in the season. To apply the technique, gardeners should cut one-third to one-half of the plant's existing growth, depending on its size.

Monty Don explains, "If you have several clumps of these plants, then cut one of them about half way up the existing growth. If you have just one big clump then reduce just one third of the plant in this way." This pruning will stimulate the plant to produce side shoots from the cut section, which will bear extra flowers that bloom a few weeks later than they would have otherwise, extending the display into autumn.

In addition to the Chelsea Chop, Monty Don offers advice on lawn care for gardeners. He suggests waiting until after June 21, the longest day of the year, to begin mowing the lawn regularly. Cutting the grass too early can compromise its growth and health for the following spring. In his own garden at Longmeadow, Monty restricts mowing and trimming to paths alone, allowing the grass to grow as long as possible throughout the summer months.

By employing Monty Don's Chelsea Chop pruning technique on late-flowering perennials, gardeners can enjoy an extended blooming period with vibrant colors lasting well into the autumn season. This simple hack, along with allowing lawns to grow longer before mowing, can help create a beautiful and thriving garden throughout the year.

Key Takeaways

  • Use the "Chelsea Chop" to extend blooming period of late-flowering perennials.
  • Cut back 1/3 to 1/2 of plant growth in May to stimulate side shoots.
  • Apply technique to plants like heleniums, sedums, and golden rod.
  • Wait until after June 21 to begin regular lawn mowing.
  • Allowing lawns to grow longer promotes healthy growth and beauty.