Gardening in July
We’ve put together a detailed list of jobs that can be done whilst you’re gardening in July:
It’s time to get the following vegetable crops planted outside: lettuce and salad leaves, radishes, kohl rabi, spring cabbage and endive, plus dwarf French beans (for a late crop). Winter spinach can also be planted from now through to September.
Keep your bedding plants healthy by deadheading, watering, and feeding with a good quality fertiliser. Pick flowers regularly to encourage more blooms and prevent plants from putting energy into seed production.
With the number of flowers available for planting reduced as mid-summer approaches, your main jobs this month are weeding out the beds, watering and keeping your larger plants and bushes under control.
Now is the time to plant:
Perennial Alyssum, Anemone, Ornamental Cabbage, Cactus, Calceolaria, Camomile, Chinese Lantern, Clematis, Coleus, Daisy, Dracocephalum, Forget-me-not, Gaillardia, Perennial Linum, Michaelmas Daisy, Myosotis, Nemesia, Perennial Pansy, Perennial Penstemon, Polyanthus, Primrose, Primula Malacoides, Primula Pulverulenta, Prunella Freelander, Pyrethrum, Strelitzia, Thyme, Biennial Viola, and Wallflower.
If you’ve got a Clematis plant and it’s starting to wilt, it might be suffering from something called Clematis wilt. Remove any infected bits immediately and burn – this will help the plant regain its strength.
During hot weather water pots and hanging baskets at least once a day and remove any dead flower heads as they appear. Remember to use a feed too, this will help your pots bloom for longer.
If you’ve grown early varieties of peaches and nectarines they should be ready now. Pick fruits when they’re fully ripe and eat within a few days. Other jobs to do include, cutting back shoots growing from the horizontal branches, pegging down strawberry runners and treating apple scab.
It can become really humid in the greenhouse and the sun can scorch plants in July. So remember to check the temperature regularly and open vents, or put up shade nets.
Try growing basil, mint, parsley or thyme. After planting, place in a sunny spot near the kitchen so they’re handy when cooking.
Warmer weather can quickly dry outgrowing houseplants, so water them regularly and add a liquid feed.
Keep mowing the lawn regularly. Pull up any weeds by hand, or with the help of a daisy grubber tool. It’s also the perfect time to give the lawn a quick-acting summer feed (especially if a spring feed wasn’t done).
Perennials (winter surviving plants)
Check plants for a white powdery coating on the surface of their leaves as they might have mildew. If you spot any, cut out all infected parts of the plant and burn diseased material.
Think ahead to the winter garden and leave some roses to set seed (rose hips make great food for wildlife).
It’s time to take a look at the garden and plan for next year. Look at how larger bushes and trees have outgrown their surroundings. Where possible cut the unruly offenders back. Water and feed the shrubs regularly, and don’t forget to use rainwater and ericaceous feed for plants like Rhododendrons.
Water all newly planted trees well for the first year – it takes at least a year for new roots to develop deep into the soil for the tree to be fully settled in.
Encourage your strawberry plants to spread out by pegging down runners into the soil. They’ll form roots and be ready to separate from the parent plant by August.
This is the month to enjoy the veg of your labour. Pick early dwarf and runner beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, celery, coriander, cucumber, endive, kale, lettuce, spring onions, bulb onions, peppers, rhubarb, rocket, spinach, strawberries, Swiss chard, and tomatoes.
To stop your courgettes from becoming marrows, pick them this month too.
The amount of vegetables for growing is starting to go down. But there are some that you can start sowing: beetroot, spring cabbage; carrots*, radishes*, next year’s cauliflowers, coriander (Cilantro), endive, lettuce*, winter hardy spring onions, Pak Choi, radicchio, and turnips.