After a June with wonderful weather, July has big soil filled boots to fill!
Over this next month we look forward to reaping the rewards of our labours – with lots of crops ready to harvest we pull on our gloves, possibly our mask and get trowels at the ready…
Here are some tips to keep you busy this July:
- Cut lavender for drying: Choose newly opened flowers for the best fragrance, then hang up in a cool, dark place.
- Give dahlias a liquid feed: Keep them well watered and tie the shoots of tall varieties to sturdy stakes as they grow.
- Hoe and hand-weed borders often: This means that weeds don’t have time to set seed.
- Water and feed sweet peas regularly: Pick the flowers every few days, and remove seed pods to prolong flowering.
- Cut back early summer perennials: Such as hardy geraniums and delphiniums, after flowering for a second flush.
- Feed and deadhead roses: To keep them flowering strongly.
- Keep watch for pests: Many pests love to come about during this time of the year, such as lily beetles, snails, aphids and vine weevils. Be sure to remove before they do too much harm.
2. Fruit and veg
- Check crops: Keep an eye out for things such as runner beans and aphids and rub or wash them off straight away, before they begin to multiply.
- Water thirsty plants regularly: Especially plants such as celery, beans, peas, courgettes, pumpkins and tomatoes.
- Make the last pickings of rhubarb: Make sure to remove any flower spikes that start to form, cutting right down at the base.
- Thin out heavy crops: Such as apples, pears and plums. Also, remove any malformed, damaged or undersized fruits.
- Prune plum trees: Especially due to the dry weather, when silver leaf fungal disease is less prevalent.
- Open greenhouse vents and doors: On warm days it improves the air circulation and limits sudden increases in temperature.
- Start to take cuttings: From fuchsias, coleus, pelargoniums, marguerites and other tender perennials.
- Water tomatoes daily: This will help to prevent drying out, which can lead to split fruits and blossom end rot.
- Order cold-stored potato tubers: For planting in a greenhouse or cool porch next month, to harvest at Christmas.
- Damp down the greenhouse floor each morning: With all these hot days it’s important to damp down the surface of your greenhouse to increase humidity.
- Be vigilant of pests: Such as aphids, vine weevils and other pests. Treat immediately so infestations don’t get out of hand.
4. Garden maintenance
- Compost your kitchen and garden waste: Chop up and mix the contents to speed up decomposition
- Top up: Bird baths, ponds and water features during hot weather
- Water new trees & shrubs: Planted in spring, to help them through dry spells.
- Start trimming: Conifers and other garden hedges.
- Clean up: Scoop out any floating pondweed and algae from pools and water features.
- Keep mowing lawns: Raise the cutting height to leave the grass longer during dry weather. Use our PlantGrow lawn food for a boost!
- Deadhead bedding plants: Every few days to encourage more flowers.
- Invest in new equipment: Set up an automatic watering system to look after greenhouse crops, pots and baskets if you’re going away.