July is the warmest months of the year and a time when we get to see our garden at its very best. The flower borders are overflowing and vegetables and fruit starting to ripen nicely. However, with the heat comes a lack of water putting plants under stress. It’s now extremely important to keep your plants well-watered to maintain their glorious summer displays.
Quick Gardening Checklist for July
- Keep an eye out for clematis wilt
- Organise care for your garden and houseplants whilst on holiday
- Water your tubs and new plants regularly
- Deadhead bedding plants and repeat-flowering perennials to ensure consistent flowering
- Pick courgettes to keep on top of a glut and before they grow into enormous marrows
- Treat any apple scab
- Keep your pond clear of algae, debris, and blanket weeds
- Top up the water level in your pond
- If you didn’t feed your lawn in Spring, now’s the time to give it a quick-acting summer feed
- Harvest cherries, plums, apricots, peaches, and nectarines
1) Treat your houseplants to some sun
Despite the fact that houseplants are better suited to staying indoors, they do benefit from spending some time outside on a patio during the summer months. This does not mean leaving your indoor plants outside for the whole of summer, just a small amount of time each day will help keep them healthy.
When back inside, you should make sure to ventilate and shade your sun-rooms or conservatories to prevent any scorch damage to your leaves. You should also check your plants for any bugs or parasites as they can appear in larger numbers during the warmer weather.
2) Keep it cool in the greenhouse
At the height of summer temperatures can sore. This can affect the temperature of your greenhouse making it too hot for plants to thrive and survive. Ventilate your greenhouse on sunny days, and, if necessary, pour water on the ground to help take the temperature down and increase humidity levels.
Water your greenhouse plants regularly, this can mean as often as once in the morning and again in the evening on particularly hot days. Check the roots of the plants to make sure water is reaching down into the soil adequately.
To add a further layer of protection and stop temperatures from soaring in your greenhouse, you can also apply shade paint.
3) Deadhead and feed flowers for prolonged displays
Prolong flowering and keep your pots and borders looking vibrant by being vigilant with your deadheading. Prune old flowers before they turn to seed heads to encourage plants to throw out fresh new flowers. Simply trim away the old flowers to just above the first set of full, healthy leaves.
Flowers in pots will have used up most of the nutrients in the soil. Now is the time to implement a weekly regime using a high potash feed. Try alternating a feed of liquid seaweed one week with a high potash feed the next for best results.
Cutting back plants that are looking past their best and following up with a feed can help encourage new growth and revive tired displays, in some cases you can even promote a second flush of flowering in late summer.
To ensure you get the best display of your blooms, keep checking the supports for taller plants such as dahlias, delphiniums, crocosmia, lilies and sunflowers. Support those that are starting to droop, or swap smaller supports for larger if your plants have outgrown them.
Keep borders looking pristine by starting to kill off perennial weeds like dandelions and dock leaves. Either dig them out or apply weed killer. Your choice of weed maintenance should depend on the size of your garden, as weed killer allows you to kill off weeds in a large area quickly.
Plant Autumn-flowering bulbs, such as autumn crocuses, colchicum, sternbergia, amaryllis and nerine.
July is also a good time to start thinking about picking seeds for plants that you wish to grow next year, good examples include love-in-the-mist and calendula.
4) Lawn care
Because of the increased sunlight during the month of July, it is important to continue cutting your lawn at least once a week and adding the clippings to a compost heap.
Now is the last real chance you will have of applying a summer feed to your lawn, especially if you did not apply a spring feed.
During dry periods, mow your lawn a little longer to retain moisture, you could also purchase a mulching mower which will be very helpful in keeping moisture.
5) Protect your pond
Ponds are a fantastic feature in the summer months, but they need to be well maintained to truly enjoy them.
Keep pond occupants and other garden users safe by installing a net or some safety grills to protect young children and pets from your pond. This will also help deal with the problem of dead leaves falling into your pond in Autumn.
It is important to aerate the water, so purchasing a spray or fountain will not only help the fish but also top up the pond when needed. Make sure that you clean out any debris that floats on the pond or sinks to the bottom. This will improve the water quality and will also make it more difficult for weeds to grow in the waters.
Should you need a hand with garden landscaping and general maintenance, Thames Valley Landscapes can help. Call us on 01628 629 720 for creative ways to make the most of your garden space all year round.