Summer is now upon us, and so calls for a new set of jobs for your garden. Here are your top gardening jobs to complete this July.
As the temperature and humidity increases, it’s important to check your flowerpots and hanging baskets every day to check their moisture level. This will help you determine if they need to be watered every day or not. If you have any bedding plants, feed them weekly with a liquid fertiliser like Tomorite.
It’s not uncommon for some flowers to wilt during the summer months. Deadhead your flowers frequently to encourage the reformation of buds and pick off any dead leaves to keep your plants looking tidy. If you’re growing roses, check them for aphids, also known as greenflies, and blackspot while you’re deadheading so they can be treated promptly before they become a problem. Pick off any leaves that are displaying signs of blackspot, including any that have dropped on the ground – this will help stop the spread of blackspot. A good preventative is a spray using Rose Clear, with a recommended feed of Growmore or Toprose.
If you’re growing any Wisteria, prune these up to 20cm from the stem to encourage flower bud formation for next year and keep tying in climbers as they become top-heavy. If you have hardy geraniums, hyssop, nepeta or salvias, cut these back to stimulate fresh growth and flowers. Pick sweet peas regularly to keep them flowering and remove any that are setting seed.
Continue to pinch any outdoor shoots and tie up your tomatoes. Ensure to feed these plants once a week and water carefully to prevent any splitting and blossom-end rot occurring. Train your cucumber plants upwards and pick these regularly.
Pick peas, mangetout and broad beans. Harvest garlic and Japanese onions when the stems begin to bend over and allow them to dry before storing. Pick any salad crops regularly and resow these every couple of weeks. If you’re growing potatoes, dig these only when needed to preserve the best flavour possible and enjoy them while they’re still small in size. As the weather turns warm and humid, check for any potato blight – if this spreads, cut the tops off completely and wait 3 weeks before digging potatoes to store.
Courgettes are best picked when they’re small – if you allow them to grow too big, they’ll stop cropping. Courgettes and squash are hungry plants, feed them once a week with tomato fertiliser and water frequently. Plant brassica plants like sprouts, kale and purple sprouting broccoli now so they’re ready for winter. When planting, check for cabbage white butterfly eggs on the underside of brassica leaves and squash before they hatch!
Continue to hoe any weeds. The drier surface that’s left after hoeing acts like a mulch, helping to reduce water loss in your garden. If you’re growing rhubarb, cease picking it early in July so it can build up energy for next year. Water it well and mulch with manure or compost. Sow spinach, Swiss chard, parsley, kohl rabi, coriander, dill and perpetual spinach.
Finish pruning plum and cherry trees, thin out fruit on apple and pear trees, ensuring you remove distorted fruit first. If growing cherry trees, net them before any blackbirds get to your fruit! Sudden rainstorms, which are common in July, can cause cherries to split – this can be avoided by keeping your soil moist. Feed fruit in pots with a high potash tomato liquid feed.
If you’re growing strawberries this year, pick them as they ripen and peg down runners to support the growth of extra plants. Frequently water all fruit plants – this will help the fruit to swell. Raspberries in particular are thirsty fruits but if you’re growing blueberries, these should only be watered with rainwater as they dislike the limescale found in tap water. Prune our mildew on fruit trees and soft fruit. Woolly aphids found on apple trees can be blasted off with the hose to keep them at bay. Pick any currants, raspberries, gooseberries and cherries as they become ripe and ready to eat or store.
Check all plants daily and water if you find the soil is dry – this is particularly important for any newly planted trees or shrubs. Water plants regularly, especially if they’re in containers and to reduce water loss, we recommend doing this early in the morning or evening when the weather is cooler. Drought can encourage some diseases to present, such as powdery mildew, so keep an eye on this as summer progresses.
In dry weather, your lawn will cope better with the drought if it’s allowed to grow for longer. Water newly sown lawns but if you have established grass, this can be left as it will recover once the rain resumes. Protect plants from insects like slugs and snails which can easily wipe out a row of seedlings during the course of just one night, causing serious damage to young growth.
If you have a greenhouse, don’t forget to open it up, along with polytunnel vents and doors every day – this will help to remove some of the heat that will build up. Dampen down paths regularly on hot days – this will help to deter red spider mite from taking hold.
Trim hedges as needed, being mindful of any birds or wildlife that may be nestling in them. Spray perennial weeds like ground elder with a glyphosate-based weedkiller like Round Up. If you find any blanket weed in ponds, this can be treated effectively with Blanket Answer.
Many of the products mentioned above can be bought from us here at LovePlants, one of the leading garden centres in Shropshire. If you need any support or guidance on how to best care for your garden, visit our team of experts in-store today, or view more of our Guides.
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