Gardening Tips For July
July is one of the most exciting months in the garden – harvests can be a real feast, with early tomatoes, courgettes, runner beans and French beans ready to pick. It’s also the month of beetroot, carrots and potatoes.
It’s a good time to start sowing seeds for autumn and winter crops too. Try foxgloves, dianthus and wallflowers in July to sow over the winter for next year’s flowers and foliage. Sow perennial spinach and chard too if you want a late crop that will keep on coming until frost sets in, says horticulturalist James Mitford (opens in new tab).
Turnips are another great vegetable to sow in July for autumn and winter production. They can take up to six months to grow and can be sown in rows 18in apart for a long-term crop, he advises. Alternatively, sow cut-and-come-again salad leaves, such as mustard greens, coriander and chicory, in July for fresh flavour and colour for salads or to make up a large crop of vegetables for canning in the winter.
In beds and borders, prune summer-flowering shrubs such as philadelphus and weigela to encourage fresh new growth that will produce flowering again next year. It’s a quick and easy job but it’s worth taking care to remove old branches with secateurs or loppers for a neater look.
Water all container plants and baskets more often in July to avoid wilting and dryness. Smaller hanging baskets may need to be watered twice a day, especially in windy weather.
Maintain a mulch around flower and fruit gardens to conserve moisture, prevent weeds and keep soil healthy. It also adds organic matter to the soil and improves drainage.
A good way to get into the habit of weeding is to make a list of what needs weeding on a weekly basis. This will help you to spot any weeds as soon as they appear and you can then weed them out when necessary.
Keeping on top of your weeding in July will mean you have fewer weeds to reseed next year and will also help to avoid pest problems such as Japanese beetles. A weeding routine also helps to stop your garden from becoming overgrown, which can affect bees and birds.
July gardening jobs are all about getting the most out of your garden, while maintaining its look and feeling of well-being. It’s a busy and productive time of year but it is also one of the best times of the year to relax in your garden with a glass of something refreshing and enjoy its abundance.
Things to do in the garden in July
It’s also a great time to make notes in your garden journal to help you remember what went well and what did not. These will help you to plan what you’ll do better in the future and will also give you a wealth of inspiration when it comes to planning your garden next year.
It’s also a good time to prepare ponds for the summer by giving them a good watering and making sure that they are properly maintained to ensure that they remain healthy and attractive. You can also check your automatic irrigation system to make sure that it is working correctly and that it is not overloaded by the hot summer sun.