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Tuesday 4 July 2023

July Gardener's Calendar

 Take steps to prevent your pots and garden getting tired and loosing vigour whilst working hard to delight. A little chopping, snipping and feeding should encourage your annuals and herbaceous to carry on flowering late into the year.

  • Don’t water shrubs and Herbaceous unless it is very dry and they are obviously struggling or are newly planted and not yet established. Encourage them to develop deep roots and find their own water. Continual watering encourages shallow roots vulnerable to the first drought. When watering soak to the roots don't just sprinkle the top soil..
  • It is imperative to feed all bedding weekly and water containers daily. There are many general feeds available but tomato feed is perfectly adequate. It also contains potassium and trace elements that encourages flowering and fruiting. Lots of tonics have appeared on the market and these a great.
  • Dead head your bedding plants to lengthen the flowering period and encourage repeat flowering.You don't want them to go to seed and finish.
  • Add some perennial colour to the gaps in your borders while you can see what you need and take photos of the borders in season to remember any summer colour gaps you have left.
  • Cut back the fading flower heads of  herbaceous spiky plants plants such as Lupins and Delphiniums, campanula, veronicastrum and salvia nemorosa to developing new buds lower down the stem to allow a second flush of flowers.
  • If you have leggy nepeta plants over hanging the border give them a clip they will come back stronger and continue to flower.
  • Remove the whole flower stem of euphorbias and geums and similar to encourage them to grow new flowering shoots.
  • Trim and feed spring flowering Alpines as they finish some may flush again..
  • Remove the dead heads, feed and spray your roses to prevent aphids, black spot and encourage continued or repeat flowering.
  • Harvest all vegetables and fruits when ripe to encourage continued cropping.
  • Keep feeding your tomatoes, do not let them dry out and make sure they have enough root room. Mine are in huge bucket sized containers. Keep them in your warmest sunniest spot so the tomatoes can ripen.Small tomatoes are often recommended in the UK as them have more chance of getting enough sun to ripen than large. We have large potted up tomato plants incase you didn't get round to planting one earlier. Home grow tomatoes are the best.
  • Removed any veg that has bolted and seed extra spinach as it is such an easy crop. I am seeding carrots under my onions like a catch crop.
  • Include a few flowers in your veg garden to detract pests, encourage pollination and to look pretty and perhaps cut for the house. Cosmos, marigold, calendula or a few dahlias are all easy to include.
  • An easy money saver is to grow on our potted hot chilli plants as they are so easy and perfect to dry and store in jars in the larder.
  • Make sure you have plenty of culinary herbs establishing. Most are Mediterranean plants and establish better in warmer late spring , summer soil. Dry any ready for cutting such as bay and thyme to use in cooking through the winter. I have established coriander, basil, thyme, parsley, caraway, sage, lemon verbena, rosemary and they are all on hand in my beds. Bay is a evergreen bush, so it can go in a border. A standard bay lollypop is great in a pot under planted with herbs.
  • Fill the gaps in your garden with container grown herbaceous plants or try some annual summer shiners like dahlias, gauras, salvias and large potted geraniums, fuchsias and other bedding plants.
  • If you going on holiday, probably not this year but if you did have plants that the neighbours have to water. Consider standing them over a bowl of water in the shade.
  • You can remove any more than 2 apples from each spur on your apple trees allowing good strong apples to form. Sometimes quality it better than quantity.
  • Feed your raspberries regularly. High potash encourages fruiting and you will find this in a bone meal feed.
  • Remember to prune your spring flowering shrubs now they have finished flowering. That includes philadelphus. 
  • Mow regularly and not too short in hot weather but to make your lawn look professional use an edging tool and cut crisp sharp edges, it makes all the difference.