Gardening – July 24

House & Home

Tom Strowlger


The middle of metrological summertime is with us, and so are the long and hot days turning our garden into a space for outdoor living. July is the month to fully embrace our green space and all it has to offer. We can invite our family and friends 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. We can delight in the floral majesty of so many flowers including 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 place mulch around the plants to help retain moisture in the ground. 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 settles on leaves and will encourage disease. A way to save tap water is to have a water butt, recycling rainfall into our gardens during hot and dry spells. 

We should regularly deadhead our spent flowers, the process of deadheading will encourage new flowers and lengthen the flowering season that little bit more. In particular, sweet pea and dahlia require constant deadheading to get the very best flowering results. Our lupins can be pruned of their spent spear like flowers to encourage new flowers with a second flush. The more we deadhead the more flowers we will enjoy over summertime and into early Autumn.

If you notice any tired and brown perennial plant leaves then cut them back as it will keep borders neat 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 insects 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 new vines of the Wisteria to keep the rapid growth under control and prevent an unsightly tangle of new vines.

To keep our lawn grass lush, 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 newly laid 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 table and chairs are out so hopefully the warm weather will allow 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 for a few more months to come. The garden is at its best so let’s sit back with a cold drink and enjoy our surroundings.

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