Summer of Love – July in the Garden
It’s the height of summer and your garden is at its peak; it is time to enjoy the results of all the hard work that you put in throughout the spring months. July can be just wonderful in the garden, everything should be blooming and looking gorgeous, whilst the wildlife will be in its element making your plot a hive of activity.
By doing a few July gardening jobs now, you will be able to keep your outdoor oasis at its best and can fully relax, enjoy balmy summer evenings, fire up the BBQ and enjoy some outdoor fun!
Preventing your plants from drying out in the hot weather with regular water should be at the top of your agenda. To check if plants need watering, put your finger into the top of the soil in your border or container to check the moisture levels.
Pay particular attention to newly planted trees, bedding plants, shrubs and perennials that will also be in particular need of your help through dry spells. Container displays also dry out quickly so be sure to give them regular water. We recommend you water in the morning or evening to avoid too much evaporation, this is a good time to ensure the plants get the soaking they need.
Many plants and flowers will benefit from a summer liquid feed to encourage a second flush of flowering in the autumn.
July and August are the cut flower season so keep cutting sweet peas, cornflowers, dahlias, rudbeckia, echinacea, hydrangea, gladioli and cosmos to fill your vases. Also, deadheading after the flowering period has finished is the best way to get the ultimate display from your garden throughout the summer.
If you have tall plants such as hollyhocks, climbing roses and sunflowers make sure you tie them to canes or trellises to give them plenty of support.
July is prime for garden pests that can cause havoc if not monitored. Keep an eye on your plants for aphids, caterpillars and lily beetles to make sure they aren’t being eaten. We have a great journal guide on the common garden pests and natural controls below which provides information and advice.
Give your lawn a summer feed if you didn’t do so in spring, to encourage healthy green growth.
Let grass grow a little bit longer to reduce stress and cut the lawn weekly to prevent it from becoming too long. In the heat of the summer, especially if there is limited rain, raise the height of your mower so you don’t scalp the grass.
Keep an eye on obvious weeds growing on your lawn and remove them as these too will compete for water in the warmer weather. A good soak every so often is better than a bit of water every day for your lawn, as the former method encourages deeper growing root systems.
If you have a newly laid lawn, keep it watered regularly to prevent it from drying out in the evenings.
Grow your own
July is the time that you reap your rewards in your vegetable garden. Many of your favourites such as strawberries, climbing beans, runner beans, cucumber, spinach, courgettes, peppers and potatoes should by now be ready to harvest. Continue to harvest herbs to dry or to freeze for future use.
Other activities in the vegetable garden for July include continuing to sow salad crops outside. If you have planted onions, they will need a lot of water this month and remember to weed around them. Plant second cropping potatoes in containers or sacks which can be brought under cover when the first frosts hit later in the year.
Tomato plants grown in the greenhouse may start fruiting. Keep the plants supported, regularly remove side shoots and feed with high potash or tomato fertiliser. July is also a great time to trim any trained fruit trees in your garden, especially cordons, espaliers and fans of unwanted shoots so you can pick fruits in a few weeks.
Look out for cabbage white butterflies who will love to feast on the Brassica family like broccoli, kale and sprouts. We recommend you cover vulnerable plants with netting to prevent butterflies from laying eggs or nibbling on your plants.
While it's important to keep your bushes and hedges tidy this time of year, July is prime nesting season for our garden birds so always check before pruning.
The warmer temperatures can lead to food shortages amongst garden birds, so we recommend a high protein seed mix in our range of bird feeders to supplement their diets. Ensure you provide a bird bath or water dish for birds; they need to bathe in and drink, as well as maintain the health of their skin and feathers.
Keep an eye out for hedgehogs that will be visiting your garden throughout the summer. Many will be having their babies at this time
Make the most of your garden this summer