Not sure what to do in the garden this month? check out our July gardening reminders put together by Chairman and Horticulturist John Richardson.
1) Keep control of soft, fast-growing weeds such as thistles, they harbour aphids and other problems.
2) Now is the time to make yourself a good big compost bin, just before you really need it! Ideally, use 4 stakes as corners 1 metre apart in a square and staple wire netting (1 metre deep) around the square.
This affords easy entry when you wish to empty it, or it can be made bigger or smaller at will. If you would like a really permanent one, use pressure-treated plywood or boards instead of netting.
3) Treat shrubs that were cut back in the spring with a high Sulphate of Potash feed to encourage the production of flower buds for next year.
4)Prune shrubs grown on walls and pergolas to remove some of the top growth and further stimulate growth from the base of the plant.
5) Evergreen hedges can be clipped this month (and some deciduous ones), but ensure there are no nesting birds in the hedge or bush. Cut laurel and Eleagnus hedges with secateurs to prevent cut leaves.
In hot weather, spray newly planted container-grown hedge plant foliage with water as well as ensuring that the root zone continues to be kept moist.
6) Lift tulip bulbs after they have fully died down and store them in paper bags in a dry and airy place over the summer.
7) Keep hydrangeas well-watered, particularly those growing in containers, as they quickly show signs of drought, and it can be difficult to get them to fully recover.
8) 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 that are going over.
9) Divide established clumps of bearded iris immediately after blooming and plant in the ground or in containers and keep moist. Discard the older exhausted rhizomes, and cut back the foliage of the new plants to approximately 12-15cm.
10) Now is the time to sort out your autumn bulb order, to give you maximum choice for next year. Bulb catalogues are now really helpful and a pleasure to look at. Planting early has benefits for almost all bulbs, but leave tulips until late November in order to prevent disease infection.
11) Remove spent rose flower heads and maintain spraying as necessary to combat greenfly, rust, mildew and black spot, as appropriate. Apply a summer rose feed in the middle of the month.
12) Take softwood cuttings of a range of shrubs by selecting healthy young shoots, the cutting s to be 5-8cm long with 2 leaves retained at the top of the cutting. Cut the base cleanly with a knife, just below a node (leaf joint). Dip the base of the cutting in rooting hormone and insert around the edges of a plastic pot in a very gritty compost and cover with clear polythene supported above the foliage. Among many ideal subjects would be Asters, Ceanothus, Cistus, Escallonia, & Hydrangea.
13) Keep a pair of secateurs in your pocket as you wander around the garden, being able to dead-head those flowers which have gone over will ensure a second flush of flowers in many cases.
14) Be sure to keep the bird baths topped up in the hottest of weather!
15) After the natural ‘June drop’ of many fruit trees, thin the remaining fruits to ensure the full development of the best trusses. Where branches are carrying heavy loads of fruit it is well worth considering support for the heaviest, particularly in the case of plums.
16) When Strawberries have finished fruiting trim back the foliage with shears and remove with any straw mulch which had been applied to protect and support the fruit. This waste can be composted.
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Posted 6th Jul 9:30am