July is a month of glorious colour, perfumed blooms and the ripening fruits of summer ~ a time to enjoy the garden.
Jobs to be done:
To protect plants from the long dry spells we can experience in the summer months, mulch the soil between them using composted bark or other ornamental mulches like cocoa shells. This will reduce the growth of weeds and retain soil moisture, as well as providing an attractive canvas for the plants themselves.
A beautiful lawn can really set off a garden and will reflect the amount of work you're prepared to put into it. During the summer, mow at least once a week, taking care not to cut too short to prevent scorching in hot weather. Finishing the edges really does make all the difference and is definitely worth the effort. Feed the lawn if you haven't already done so and treat weeds and moss.
Continue to sow seeds for biennials which will flower next Spring, such as wallflowers, forget-me-nots, sweet williams and pansies.
Pruning perennials as the flowers fade will in some instances produce a second burst of blooms later in the season. Providing a generous liquid feed to the plants will encourage this.
In early July you can sow lettuce, radishes, spring cabbage, endive and dwarf french beans for a crop later in the year.
You can finish planting out summer bedding plants now. Use them to create a colourful display in borders, window boxes and containers.Large fuschias and perlargoniums will fill any gaps you have.
Caring for your garden can produce wonderful results and a great sense of achievement. These seasonal tips should help save time and prevent your hard work going to waste!
- Dead-head flowers as they die to encourage continual flowering.
- Tie in new shoots of climbers to keep them tidy.
- Cut unwanted shoots from the base of trees and shrubs to prevent them taking strength away from the plant.
- Potted plants and hanging baskets can dry out easily, so keep a close eye on them and water frequently.