The longer day length and warmer temperatures ensure that July is a busy time in the garden and there are many jobs to be getting on with in the borders and the vegetable plot.
- During warm weather, weeds can seemingly appear overnight. Keep on top of them by regularly hoeing when the weather is dry.
- Keep your lawn looking its best by giving it a mow once a week during the summer months
- Be water-wise when watering plants: use a water butt whenever possible and try to water your pots and plants in the morning or the evening to reduce water loss through evaporation. Try to avoid watering the foliage; it is best to water the soil around the base of your plants.
- Stake tall or floppy plants and ensure that climbers are adequately supported.
- Cut back hardy geraniums and delphiniums after the first flowers to encourage new growth and more flowering.
- Prune many spring flowering shrubs to remove any frost damaged stems and maintain the desired shape and size.
- Remove soft new growth from apples, cherries, plums and pears. This will encourage the plant to direct its energy toward fruit formation rather than leafy growth.
- Regularly deadhead annual and perennial plants to ensure your display lasts throughout the season.
- Prune wisteria now by removing the whippy side shoots to about 20cm from their base (or 5 leaves from the main stem).
- Cut sweet peas regularly to keep them flowering.
- Keep an eye out for pests; spotting any problems early will ensure that treatment is most effective.
- Watch out for powdery mildew on your plants and remove any affected parts, then spray with a fungicide to prevent further spread.
- If plants are wilting for no obvious reason, check for vine weevils. Tip your plants out of their pots and look for creamy coloured, C-shaped maggots amongst the roots. If you spot them, treat with nematodes.
- Shade your greenhouse to prevent scorch by using blinds or shade paint.
- Select the bulbs you want for next spring in your garden and order now, ready for autumn planting.
(Blog post by Jo Chamberlain)