Gardening – July 23
The middle of metrological summertime is upon us, with its long and hot days turning our garden into a space for outdoor living. July is the time to fully embrace our green space and all it has to offer at this time of year. We can invite our friends and family over to enjoy the green and floral surroundings; by sharing our work in the garden with others we will feel a real sense of achievement. It’s time for us to delight in the floral majesty of rudbeckia, zinnia, verbena, delphinium, pansy, geranium, lobelia, dahlia, begonia, petunia, aster and salvia-to name but a few.
Many of our plants will be at their peak this month so we should be sure to keep them regularly watered, ideally at dusk and using mulch around the plants to retain moisture. The hanging baskets, pots, tubs, containers and planters will need extra care as they can dry out within a day. We should water at the base of plants to ensure water reaches the roots rather than onto foliage where it settle on leaves and encourage disease. A way to save tap water is to have a water butt, recycling rainfall into our gardens during dry spells.
We need to deadhead our spent flowers, the process of deadheading will encourage new flowers and lengthen the flowering season that little bit more. In particular, sweet peas and roses require constant deadheading to get the very best flowering results and lupins can be pruned of their spent spear-like flowers to encourage new blooms with a second flush. The more we deadhead the more flowers we will enjoy.
If you notice any tired and brown perennial plant leaves then cut them back as it will keep borders nice and tidy. If plants are being nibbled on by pests, like blackfly, greenfly and aphids, then early action and treatment is important to ensure the plant remains healthy and strong for the remainder of summertime. I use an old toothbrush to gently brush the pests off and the mist setting on my hose to spray the aphids off the plants.
We should continue train the new vines of our climbing plants such as clematis, jasmine and honeysuckle, intertwining the new growth into trellises, onto a frame of a wall or fence. We can snip off the spindly vines of the Wisteria to keep the rapid growth under control and prevent an unsightly tangle of new vines.
To keep our lawn grass healthy and strong during hot and dry spells we should be watering it once a week and cutting it on the highest setting to allow the grass to retain its green leaf for as long as possible whilst experiencing drought conditions. A new lawn turf and self-sown grass seed should be watered more regularly to ensure the roots establish a healthy footing in the ground. If we have ant mounds in our lawn, then we should sweep away the mounds of soil into the lawn before cutting.
The garden furniture is out and hopefully the warm weather allows us to dine amongst our favourite plants and flowers. The garden is the perfect space to change the pace of life and, with a little general maintenance, we can enjoy it late into summer evenings. The garden is at its best so let us sit back with a cool drink and take in the sights, sounds and smells.
Please do follow me on Instagram @garden_with_tom for more seasonal gardening advice and tips.
- If you go away this month remember to ask someone to water your plants
- Watch out for the little pests amongst your plants and flowers
- Weeds love warm weather, so carefully dig up the root base
- If slugs are an issue, try crushed eggshells and seashells around the base of plants
- Keep the bird bath topped up with water