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.
June 21st is the longest day of the year and the extra light and warmth encourages the garden to put on an extra spurt of growth. However this extra light and warmth also means weeds will sprout up from seemingly nowhere so keep on top of them!
- Hoe borders regularly to keep down weeds.
2. Keep your plants healthy by watering regularly, pots will need watering every day,(early morning or evening is the best time).
3. Pinch out side shoots on tomatoes.
4. It is now safe to plant out your summer bedding and nursery or home grown seedlings once they are robust enough.
5.Mow lawns little and often, at least once a week and apply a high nitrogen lawn fertilizer if you did not have time to do it last month.
6. Stake tall plants such as Delphiniums and those with large flower heads such as Dahlias and Peonies.
7. Prune deciduous spring flowering shrubs ( those that lose their leaves in winter) after they have flowered.
8. Harvest lettuce,radish and other salads and sow more in between slower growing crops such as corn and kale.
9. Shade greenhouses to keep them cool and to prevent scorch.
10. Dead head repeat flowering roses and spray if disease is apparent.