Check out our latest gardening reminders for July 2020 put together by chairman and horticulturist John Richardson.
1) Water recently sowed or turfed new lawns in dry weather to ensure establishment. Don’t forget to sweep up fallen apples and heavy fallen leaf concentrations before mowing.
2) Plant bulbs in the grass to flower next autumn as soon as bulbs are on sale.
3) If the garden is to be left for some time in mid-summer, consider cutting back the tops of all flowering plants to stop seed being set and germinating without control. This should also lead to a good display of flowers later in the season.
4) lower the cutting height on the lawnmower (but not too short!) and cut lawn edges with a half-moon cutter, long-handled shears or an electric nylon line trimmer. Remove perennial lawn weeds.
5) Hoeing lightly is an effective way of reducing water loss, not only does it eliminate weed competition for water, but a fine tilth on the soil surface helps prevent transpiration, but don’t hoe too deeply. A mulch of garden compost is another very good method of helping reduce water loss, and also helps increase soil organic matter.
6) Check the moisture level of hanging baskets every morning and water thoroughly if dry. Feed plants with a soluble or liquid feed once per week and remove flower heads which are going over.
7) Prune pyracanthas by cutting back side-shoots to 2-3 leaves from their base for a good show next year. Wear gloves!!
8) When the first flush of hardy geranium and Alchemilla is over, cut them back hard for a spectacular second flush of flowers.
9) Lift tulip bulbs after they have fully died down and store them in a dry, airy place over summer (Better stored in paper bags, definitely not polythene).
10) Feed roses with a specialist rose fertilizer if not already done. On light soils, a mulch of rotted compost will provide long term slow feed but will also help preserve moisture.
11) Trim quickthorn and privet hedges and continue to keep hedge bottoms clean by hoeing or the use of Gramoxone. Always check for nesting birds before cutting hedges in summer. When trimming Laurels and Elaeagnus, cut back straggly shoots with secateurs.
12) Check all plant ties, and that all herbaceous forms of support are strong enough for the new growth.
13) Be sure to keep hydrangeas well-watered, they are very quick to show the shortage of water by drooping heavily.
14) Keep an eye open for pests and diseases such as greenfly, lily beetle, mildew and blackspot.
15) Root heather cuttings in boxes or small pots using a mixture of 50% peat and 50% acid sand. Take cuttings of young half-ripe shoots from the middle of July to mid-August, dipping the ends of the cuttings in rooting hormone. Don’t allow cutting to dry out, but don’t over-water. Provide shade for the cuttings.
16) In the north, July is probably as late as possible to achieve good results from sowing beetroot, lettuce, spinach and carrot seed. Harvest beans and peas as they are ready, as this will encourage the production of a further crop.
Posted 2nd Jul 1:59pm