July in the garden… it can feel like the long evenings will never end, and it’s possible to potter about dead-heading and weeding until twighlight.
Beds and borders…
Now is the time to also cut back perennials that have faded and look ‘tired’ – hardy geraniums and delphiniums really benefit from this. You can also cut back foliage in hanging baskets to re-fresh them.
Prune Wisteria and tie in growth on climbers. Look out for clematis wilt, which can often occur this month. Early signs include leaves that begin to blacken, which should be cut away and disposed of, taking care to clean your tools afterwards.
Divide beareded Iris now so they have time to form new rhizomes before the winter.
Keep the garden well watered in dry spells by using water from butts. It’s also better to water deeply once or twice a week than to lightly water every day, as a deep watering encourages plants to put down stronger roots to sustain them through drier periods. Camellias, hydrangeas, azaleas and rhododendrons will all drop their flower buds if they get too dry, so keep a particular eye on these plants.
Fruits and veggies…
Pinch out tomato side shoots and promote strong growth by feeding with tomato feed weekly. At this time of year you can also harvest garlic when the tops go yellow and start to wilt over. Pot on pepper plants and pick courgettes while they are small. Harvest beetroot, chard, carrots and salad crops.
Clear and hoe weeds regularly, before they get the chance to set seed.
Thin out fruits on your fruit trees and treat apple scab with fungicide. Check gooseberry bushes for sawfly and rinse off with water or remove by hand. Look out for strawberry runners, which you can peg down so that they root and create more plants. Prune plum, peach, cherry and apricot trees now to avoid silver leaf.