The glorious month of July will enable you to savour your garden in style and hopefully you will be able to sit out and enjoy all the fruits of your labour. But of course no keen gardener will be able to resist a bit of ’tweaking’! So what should you be doing during this wonderful summer month?
- First and foremost, get out those secateurs and start dead heading! Dead head those roses; trim back the penstemon flowers as they fade; cut back growth in your hanging baskets and do the same with sweet peas, hardy geraniums, salvias, lupins and delphiniums after their first flush of flowers. Why? To encourage further flowers which will extend your season of beauty.
- Divide clumps of iris in order to increase your stock. If you do it in July it will allow the new clumps to root securely before colder weather arrives (don’t think about the last bit too much!)
- Prune wisteria – it requires trimming twice per year and this summer attention will keep it into an orderly shape. Take out the whippy side-shoots from the main branch framework from about 20cm from their base.
- Tie in and train new growth on all climbing plants to ensure your plants travel in the direction of your choosing!
- Keep mowing your lawn but raise the cutter height and mow less frequently if the weather is hot and dry.
In the vegetable and fruit garden:
- You can sow cabbages now, ready to pick as spring greens.
- Thin apples, pears and plums on fruit trees so the remaining fruit is larger.
- Plant potatoes to give you a second crop.
- Pinch out the tips of courgette and squash to encourage branching out and greater cropping.
- Pick courgettes when they measure around 10cm long.
- Feed your tomatoes and water regularly. Pinch out the side shoots of tomatoes unless they are the bush variety. Allow up to six trusses to form before pinching out the top shoot.
- Harvest garlic once the tops turn yellow and bend over.
Gardening tips supplied by the online plant shop: www.perfectplants.co.uk