– Take photos and notes of your borders for future planning.
– Continue deadheading plants such as roses, annuals and dahlias
– Summer prune Wisteria by cutting back the whippy green shoots to 5 or 6 leaves which will encourage flower buds to form.
– Keep Camellias and Rhododendrons well watered, particularly those in pots, as they need moisture now to produce flower buds for next year.
– Keep up your watering regime, especially for pots and hanging baskets.
– Check sweetcorn for ripeness. When the tassels have turned brown peel back an area of the leaves and pierce a corn kernel, if a watery liquid squirts out it is unripe, if it is creamy it is ready for picking.
– Remove the tips of runner bean shoots once the plants reach the top of their support. Pick regularly should allow the plant to crop for 8 weeks or more.
-Check fruit, particularly apples, pears and plums, for signs of brown rot. Remove and dispose of any damaged fruit.
-Summer fruiting raspberries can now be cut back right down to ground level. Select six to eight strong young canes and tie them in 8 – 10 cm apart along the wire supports for fruiting next summer.
– Now is the time to prune apple trees trained as espaliers or cordons.
-It is a good time to buy yellow rattle seed to establish a wildflower meadow. This suppresses the growth of grass and should be sown in late summer or autumn.
-Turn compost heaps to add air. The contents should be slightly moist. If it is not covered by a lid, place a layer of cardboard on top to retain heat and moisture.
-Sow green manure to cover the soil that may otherwise remain bare. This month is a good time to sow clover, trefoil, buckwheat, Phacelia, grazing rye and winter tares.
It’s the height of Summer, the bees are busy and so are the gardeners! See below for your essential July checklist.
– Cut flowers are plentiful now. If you love the fabulous scent of sweet peas filling your home the more you cut the more you will stimulate them to produce new flowers rather than seed pods.
– Dahlias need plenty of feeding and they will really start to shoot up now.
– Tie up taller flowers and plants such as hollyhocks and sunflowers to give them plenty of support.
– Sow biennials such as foxgloves, wallflowers and dianthus for next year.
– Keep an eye out for aphids on crops like runner beans.
– Net fruit crops to prevent bird damage.
– Water every day.
– Cut the lawn regularly but raise the cutting height during very dry weather to avoid stressing the grass.
– Keep greenhouses and poly tunnels well ventilated as temperatures can soar within an hour of the sun coming up.
– Deadhead flowers regularly to keep them blooming.
– Water hanging baskets and pots daily.
This is the main growing season for both flowers and weeds, so use your daily deadheading rounds to check for weeds and either hoe them off or pull them out straight away.
The bees will be busy on the lavender, but if you want flower heads to dry then now is the best time to pick them as the essential oil in the flower heads is at its most concentrated now, but remember to leave some for the bees and butterflies!
Roses will need continuous deadheading to encourage more blooms and everything will benefit from a regular weekly feed.
THE VEG PLOT
Look on the underside of your brassicas for the small clutches of white eggs belonging to the cabbage white butterfly, which you can either rub off or if the leaf is covered remove it and throw it on the bonfire.
Keep picking runner beans and dwarf beans to encourage continuous cropping and pick courgettes when they are small to prevent them from turning into marrows!
If fruit trees are starting to get too crowded with fruit you can thin the smaller fruit or any that are damaged.
Solitary bees are busy nesting now, so if you haven’t put one up already, why not give them somewhere to stay in a bee hotel?
Ponds may need regular topping up due to evaporation and keep clearing out the pond weed to prevent it from covering the surface and stopping the birds and other wildlife using it to drink from.