When the days are long, and the sun is shining, July is the month for really enjoying your garden. To help you keep it looking tip-top, we’ve put together our top 15 garden tips for July.
Top 15 July gardening tips
Deadhead faded flowers regularly. Deadheading encourages the plants to produce more flowers for you to enjoy. Roses, daylilies and dahlias will all carry on flowering longer if deadheaded. Deadhead penstemons by cutting just above a bud to encourage them to flower again, and keep cutting sweet peas for the house – the more you cut, the more flowers they will produce.
Once early-flowering perennials like geraniums and delphiniums have finished flowering, cut them back near to ground level to promote a second flush of foliage and flowers in late summer.
Give wisteria its summer pruning, cutting back all the long whippy side-shoots to about 20cm (8in) from the main branches.
Lift and divide overgrown clumps of bearded irises, planting them shallowly so that the rhizomes can be baked by the sun over summer.
Pinch out side shoots on cordon tomato plants, and feed tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and beans fortnightly with a high potash feed to promote fruit development.
Harvest garlic and onions when the leaves turn yellow and start to flop over. Pick courgettes and beans regularly to encourage the plants to produce more fruit. Stop harvesting rhubarb now, so that the plant can build up its reserves for next year’s crop.
Pinch out the growing tips of broad bean plants to produce bushy plants. This also reduces the risk of blackfly infestation.
Cabbage white butterflies lay their eggs on the undersides of brassica leaves (e.g. broccoli, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts). Check your plants and squash any egg clusters you see.
Be water-wise - water in the evenings or early mornings to reduce water loss through evaporation. And don’t forget to keep bird baths topped up in warm weather.
Take softwood cuttings from lavender, rosemary, fuchsias, buddlejas and hydrangeas.
Keep on top of the weeding. The combination of rain and warm summer sun means weeds can quickly get out of control if not tackled early.
Strawberry plants start sending out runners now – these are long shoots with a cluster of leaves at the end. Peg down the leaf clusters in soil or pots filled with compost and they will root and grow into new strawberry plants.
Prune plum, apricot, cherry and peach trees now. Pruning them while they are in leaf reduces the risk of diseases like a silver leaf.
Water containers regularly, especially in hot weather, and feed flowering plants fortnightly with a liquid high-potash fertiliser like tomato feed.
Plant autumn flowering bulbs like nerines and colchicums now for gorgeous colour in a few months.
Whatever you’re up to this month in your garden, you’ll find everything you need in our centre, so come and visit us!