July 22 Garden
The middle month of meteorological summer is with us. July, with its long heady days and hot sun turning our garden into a space for outdoor living. We can fully embrace our green space and all it has to offer at this time of year. We can invite our friends and family over for a BBQ 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 is the time for us to delight in the magic of dahlia, begonia, petunia, aster, salvia, rudbeckia, zinnia, verbena, delphinium, pansy, geranium and lobelia, to name but a few.
Many of our plants will be peaking 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 pots, tubs and planters will need extra care as they can dry out within one day of hot weather. We should water at the base of plants to ensure water reaches the roots rather than onto foliage. An excellent way to save water is to have a water butt; recycling rainfall into our gardens during dry spells.
We should walk around our garden most days to deadhead plants of spent flowers. The process of dead-heading will encourage new flowers and lengthen the flowering season that little bit more. In particular, sweet peas and roses require constant dead-heading to get the very best flowering results. Also lupins can be pruned of their spent flowers to encourage new flowers with a second flush. The more we deadhead the more fresh flowers we will enjoy.
If you notice any tired perennial plant leaves then cut them back as it will keep borders nice and tidy. If plants are being hindered by pests, like greenfly and aphids, then early treatment is important to ensure the plant remains healthy and strong for the remainder of summertime. We should be training the new growth of our climbing plants such as clematis, jasmine and honeysuckle, intertwining the new growth into trellis, onto a frame of a wall or fence. We can snip off the stringy shoots of the Wisteria to keep the rapid growth under control and prevent a tangled display.
To keep our lawn grass healthy and strong during hot 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 whilst experiencing drought conditions. A new lawn and grass seed should be watered more regularly to ensure the roots establish a healthy footing in the ground. If we have ants nesting in our lawn, then we should sweep away the mounds of soil into the lawn before cutting.
July is a holidaying month, the garden furniture is out and we can hopefully dine amongst our favourite plants and flowers. Our garden is the perfect space to relax and re-energise and with a little general maintenance we can enjoy it late into the warm evenings. The garden is at its most spectacular so let us sit back with a cool drink and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of our green space.
Please do follow me on Instagram @garden_with_tom for more seasonal gardening advice and tips.
This month’s top tips:
If you holiday this month remember to ask someone to water your plants.
Turn the contents of your compost once per month to keep it aerated.
Weeds love warm weather, so carefully dig up the root base.
If slugs are an issue, try crushed eggshells around the base of plants.
Keep the bird bath filled with water.