Garden Tips for July
ESSENTIAL JOBS CHECKLIST FOR JULY
- Prune shrubs that have flowered and feed them
- Take cuttings from many shrubs and alpines
- Water containers every day in hot weather
- Water borders if necessary, then mulch
- Clear excess pondweed
- Spray roses and feed
- Dead-head perennials and annuals unless you want to save seed
- Plant leeks and winter brassicas
- Prune trained fruit trees
TOPICAL TIPS FOR JULY
- Carry on pruning shrubs that flowered in spring and early summer, and then feed them with an all-purpose plant food. It’s worth watering well and mulching them even at this stage in the year.
- Cut down the stems of bearded iris now that the blooms have faded. If the clumps are very congested dig them up and divide, cutting the rhizomes at a joint. Trim back the leaves to 15 cm (6 inches). Replant in ordinary garden soil with a bit of horticultural grit added, and water in. Continue to water until established.
- Pinch out chrysanthemum shoot tips to encourage them to branch and produce more flowering stems.
- Remove seeds heads of annuals to encourage the plant to produce more flowers
- If your dahlias aren’t growing very strongly, give them a boost with Tomato Plant food every 10-14 days.
- Some early-flowering perennials, particularly lupins and delphiniums, can be encouraged to produce a second, smaller, flush of flowers if you cut the stems right down and apply a liquid feed.
- Take cuttings of non-flowering shoots from many shrubs, putting them round the edge of small pots of half and half peat and sharp sand or peat and perlite. Water them in and keep warm but out of direct sun. Cuttings can also be taken of pinks.
- This is the best month to trim hawthorn hedges. If you cut them earlier they need another trim, but if you leave it any later the growth will be very tough and hard to cut.
To give plants an extra feed in Summer add half a bag of Westland ’ s Organic Farmyard Manure to a deep bucket and fill with water allow to soak over night. The next day drain of the liquid, dilute this mixture as one part to ten parts water. This will give an excellent fully organic feed for any fruit, flowers or vegetables
- Continue to trim back and feed roses that have finished their first flush of blooms
- Spray as necessary against pests and diseases
- Hopefully, all that hard work you did in the spring will have paid off, and your lawn will be looking green and velvety. If not, there’s still time to use any of the wide range of Scotts weedkillers, mosskillers and feeds. You should continue to feeds your lawn, and try to mow it twice a week if you can, though once a week will be OK. Don’t add the clippings to the compost heap for the first few weeks after applying weedkillers.
In the Greenhouse
- Never let your grow-in bags go short of water as you may find it hard to re-wet them thoroughly
- Plants in pots may need watering every day, and should be fed once a fortnight with a liquid feed
- If whitefly and red spider mite are proving a problem, it is now possible to obtain biological controls, which can be used this month.
- Tomatoes should start fruiting this month. Keep the plants well supported and remove side shoots regularly. Use Liquid Tomato Feed every week to ensure a bumper crop.
- Water containers every day in hot weather. Hanging baskets can be watered twice a day if you’ve got them time and energy. Feed all containers once a week with either liquid tomato feed or all Scotts all-purpose plant feed.
- Carry on sowing salad crops outside. French beans can also be sown at the beginning of the month for a late crop.
- Onions will need a lot of water at this time of year or the yield will be greatly reduced. Weeds will compete for every drop of water, so keep on hoeing around your onions to keep weeds at bay
- Complete planting out young leeks
- Continue to harvest herbs for drying or freezing
- The first week of the month is usually the best time to cut lavender for drying. Cut the whole stalk as soon as the flowers show colour, but before they are fully open. Tie them in small bundles and hang in a greenhouse or warm shed or porch to dry. Alternatively you could lay them in trays in the airing cupboard. When the flower buds are completely dry, rub them gently off the stalks. Use in muslin bags or small bowls
- Trained fruit trees, such as cordons, fans, dwarf pyramids and espaliers should be trimmed of any unwanted shoots this month
- Pick blackcurrants as soon as they ripen. Growth being made now will produce next year’s crop so keep bushes watered in dry weather and give them a handful of all-purpose plant food