Make sure you enjoy a dose of green therapy this month! July can be just wonderful in the garden, everything should be blooming and looking gorgeous. You can now sit and admire your handy work, with a few week jobs to keep things looking tickety boo!
- Make sure that you ‘deadhead’ faded flowers regularly. This means taking off the flowers that have bloomed already which encourages your plants to produce more flowers. Roses, Hemerocallis and Dahlias will all carry on flowering longer if deadheaded. If you have sweet peas, keep cutting for the house – not only will they look and smell amazing, the more you cut, the more flowers they will produce!
- Cut back early-flowering perennials like Geraniums and Delphiniums once they 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, feed such as Tomorite is good for this.
- Harvest garlic and onions when the leaves turn yellow and start to flop over. Veggies such as courgettes and beans benefit by regularly picking, this encourages the plants to produce more fruit. It’s now time to stop harvesting rhubarb, so that the plant can build up its reserves for next year’s crop.
- Make sure you check brassica leaves for signs of Cabbage white butterflies which lay their eggs on the undersides of 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.
- The combination of rain and warmer weather means weeds can quickly get out of control if not tackled early, so keep an eye on them
- 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, 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.
Enjoy summertime in the garden
The HTA’s ‘Gardening is good for you’ campaign is all about enjoying time in the garden this July – whether it’s to enjoy alfresco dining on the patio or a corner of the garden or just enjoy a dose of green therapy, to boost our mood and recharging the batteries.
Looking out onto a garden provides a dose of ‘green therapy’, taking away aches and pains, speeding-up rehabilitation after illness, and improving mental health. That feeling of well-being you get from just being outside comes from a boost of what have colloquially been called ‘outdoorphins’, similar to the endorphins your body produces during exercise – sounds good to us!
To find out more, visit the HTA’s July, ‘Enjoy summertime in the garden’ page HERE.