Already we are in to mid summer and we’re thinking and planning what jobs to do in the garden in July.
Hopefully all your gardens are looking and performing exactly how you wish them to.
Your beds and borders are a riot of colour, oranges and golds are aflame, multi-hued lilies and dahlias are on their way.
Roses are clambering and rambling everywhere.
Clematis scramble over arches, trellis and walls.
Wisteria blooms are done but their lush green still adds height and a certain elegance.
Summer perennials are showing off in all their glory.
Fragrance fills the air. Lawns are lush and healthy. Wild flower gardens are abuzz with pollinators. Feathery grasses and other soft foliage plants are wafting in a gentle breeze adding movement.
I hope too that you are finding ample time to put your feet up and enjoy the fruits and flowers of your labour.
We can’t rest on our laurels for too long mind you, there are still plenty of jobs to do in the garden in July.
Let’s look at what we need to do to maintain all this loveliness and keep it all looking ship-shape.
Beds and Borders
Make sure that tall plants are well-supported. If we get any bad weather, without sufficient support plants are easily damaged and broken.
Deadhead perennials to have them looking tidy and to produce more flowers.
Cut back hardy geraniums, delphiniums and lupine after the first flowering to encourage a second flush of blooms.
Divide clumps of bearded Iris to fill empty spaces in the border.
Continue sowing seeds for autumn and winter bedding displays.
Take cuttings from favourite tender herbaceous perennials and shrubs.
Prune spring and early summer flowering shrubs such as:
Leave newly planted shrubs a few a few years before pruning in order for them to establish themselves.
Maintain pots, containers and hanging basket plants, deadhead, prune back, clip tired looking foliage to boost new healthy growth and flowers. Best Plants for Hanging Baskets
Keep well-watered and feed once a week.
Keep terracotta pots damp as this helps roots stay cool and damp.
Feed fruiting plants in containers with a high potash feed to keep them productive.
Feed citrus plants throughout the summer with citrus plant fertiliser.
Regularly water pot grown trees and shrubs in hot weather, make sure they don’t dry out.
Continue to tie in new growth of sweet peas, deadhead and pick fresh flowers daily, this will encourage new flowers.
Tie in new growth on Clematis and other climbers.
Deadhead climbing and all roses, except those grown for autumn hips and keep them well watered. Give them a feed.
Summer prune Wisteria now. Remove the long side shoots to about 20cm. This keeps it tidy.
Vegetables and Fruit
Thin out fruit on fruit trees, this allows the remaining fruit to grow larger and healthier.
Prune stone fruit trees such as plums, peach and cherry.
If you have fans and espalier trees, prune them now to maintain their shape.
Fasten down strawberry runners so that they can develop roots and become new healthy plants.
Harvest blackcurrants and prune the fruited branches.
Keep raspberries and other shallow rooted crops daily watered during hot, dry weather. Harvest summer-fruiting raspberries and other soft summer fruits. Prune raspberry canes as they finish fruiting. Tie in new ones to sturdy supports.
Harvest salad crops and lettuce, radish, beans, courgettes, peas, chard, beetroot, tomatoes and potatoes.
Seeds to sow in July
- Spring cabbage
- French beans
- Spring onions
Lawns and General Maintenance
Mow the lawn regularly if you want to keep it looking neat.
Water the lawn regularly during dry spells, particularly newly turfed or seeded areas.
Alternatively allow all or part of the lawn to grow longer to benefit bees and other pollinators and insects. Lawn flowers such as daisies and clover are a good source of nectar. Bees and Butterfly Plants
Keep on top of weeds on pathways and patios
Keep borders and beds clear of weeds too so that your plants aren’t competing for water and nutrients.
Collect seeds from weeds that have flowered in order to prevent them spreading.
Look out for fungal diseases, powdery mildew and rust on plants. Treat accordingly.
Also, keep a weather eye out for pests and unfriendly insects, plant damaging insects like aphids and lily beetles to name a few.
Treat with environmentally friendly methods.
Use organic pest controls to prevent slug and snail damage.
Copper tape on pots and containers usually works well. Nematodes are available to buy too for use in beds and borders.
Damp down greenhouses in hot weather to help keep them cool.
Open windows and doors to let air through in order to prevent diseases on greenhouse plants.
Clean and repair if necessary your bird feeding tables.
Make sure there is a regular supply of clean, fresh water in bird baths, but clean them also, to prevent disease from spreading.
Thin out over vigorous growth of oxygenating plants from ponds and water features. Running water such as a small fountain or waterfall helps to oxygenate ponds in hot weather.
I hope that I have given you plenty to do to keep you busy in your garden this July. When you have time to sit down and relax don’t forget to plan ahead for next year’s spring planting. Now is the time to think about ordering spring flowering bulbs.
BBQ’s and picnics and alfresco dining is a wonderful way to enjoy a few hours with friends and family so do make the most of your gardens or take time out to visit some in your local area. Other gardens are a huge inspiration for planting ideas, styles and design. Join the RHS here for stunning gardens to visit this summer.
Spread the word, grow the love of gardening with your friends and family by sharing this article with them. For more tips and advice direct to your inbox, subscribe today for the PlantsBulbsSeeds newsletter.
Please do add your thoughts and views, gardening joys and successes in the comments box below.