The July Garden

Summer is here!...

Savour all your hard work. Take it all in, enjoy the colours, scents and charisma of your garden in July. The trick is to keep the garden looking good. For example gardens should be aglow with colour, but yours may have spaces to fill. Find gap filling perennials to keep the vibrancy going accross the month and many will spread rapidly, once they are established. 

Also make sure to mulch using bark or good alternative - this retains water and negates the need to water as much - conserving moisture for your plants, and it keeps the weeds at bay. If you don't already have one, get yourself a water butt to catch rainwater - this is very worthwhile. 

Look for gap filling perennials

Enjoy fragrant scents from roses

Maintain annuals and perennials to keep the displays going well into the autumn. Deadhead old flowers regularly, and of course you may want to collect seed from some plants. Finish planting out summer bedding plants in baskets, containers and borders. The sooner this is done the better, as the plants will have more time to settle in, flowering for the rest of the summer. And keep those bird baths topped up! - they'll love knowing they have a regular source of water, especially when its very hot. 

Keep bird baths topped up

Plant out summer bedding

When it comes to your potted plants, remember to water these regularly perhaps even twice a day during very hot spells. The mass of roots inside the pot, and the foliage on top can make rain penetration sometimes impossible, so use a watering can or hose wherever possible. Plants crammed together in containers can sometimes begin to look a bit straggly towards late summer, so its a good idea to maintain your potted plants, pruning off any old shoots so they don't crowd out the other plants. And remember you can always make cuttings from the ones you cut off. 

Water potted plants regularly
Prune old shoots

Other things to do: 

  • Damp and ventilate greenhouses 
  • Sow the last vegetables for harvesting in autumn and plant out all winter brassicas
  • Be on the alert to get rid of any pests and diseases 
  • Prune shrubs that flowered in early summer and take semi-ripe cuttings from them
  • Plant autumn-flowering bulbs
  • Sow the last vegetables for an autumn harvest

And remember one evening to grab a notebook (and/or a glass of wine!), and have a ramble round the garden. Scribble down what planting combinations have worked well, or even any you were a bit dissapointed with, and plan any changes for next year.