July Gardening

The garden by this time should be completely planted up and a little time can now be spent catching up on jobs which have been neglected during the busy planting season.

Garden tools can be examined for wear. If hoes are sharpened now this will make the summer work far easier. The lawn mower should always be thoroughly cleaned of grass cuttings when mowing has been finished and from time to time apply some grease to all the working parts. Other tools such as secateurs, garden scissors and shears will also benefit from a good cleaning and oiling which will make them more efficient when next needed. Garden sprays which have been used for insecticides must be well cleaned through several times in clean water and some grease applied to the washers.

If weedkillers are watered on with the aid of a can it is a good plan to keep one specifically for this purpose and never let it be used for general watering.

Flower Garden

Annuals that have been planted directly into the border should be thinned out before any overcrowding takes place and the thinnings used to fill up spaces which have appeared. Check over all staking along the herbaceous border and add any extra supports that were not thought of earlier.

Tie all other plants to their stakes securely and take off all dead flower heads.

After a shower of rain has fallen apply a dose of diluted fertilizer to the flower border which will help to nourish the plants during their flowering period.

Take cuttings of border geraniums and keep them in the greenhouse for decoration when the less colourful winter season arrives.

Pinks may also be increased now by pulling off side shoots and planting them in rows in the seed bed. Sweet peas whose blooms have faded should not be allowed to grow on into seed pods. These should be cut off at once and give the plants a feed of liquid manure.

Irises can be planted this month and a wonderful range of colours are now available to gardeners. These flowers are very easy to grow and will stand up to most types of soil provided that they are able to get their share of sunshine. When planting they should be set in shallow holes so that the “swollen” portion of the root or “rhizome” as it is correctly called can be seen above the surface of the soil. After planting they can be left undisturbed for several years until they are overcrowded and require lifting and dividing up.

Lawn Care

Regular mowing should be continued during this month and it is better for the lawn if the mowing direction is changed from time to time. This will help the grass to be evenly cut and there is less chance of the surface becoming ridged.

An application of diluted sulphate of ammonia may be given to encourage lush growth but never apply this at a time when the soil is dry and in need of water.

Trees and Shrubs

Generally speaking, dead flowers must be removed from all flowering shrubs with the exception of those which are later to bear ornamental fruits.

Regular soakings of water during dry spells will help the growth of both trees and shrubs.

Roses

Dead flower heads should be removed and as this is done take each stem down to a strong outward pointing bud.

This will encourage the roses to supply good second blooms.

If a feeding with fertilizer was not given last month this must be applied now.

Keep a watch on suckers which have appeared during the flowering season and remove them instantly. Hoe round all the roses yet again to loosen the soil and destroy any weeds that may be present.

Any pests which are apparent can be sprayed before they have time to damage flower buds and leaves.

Greenhouse

Sow seeds of calceolaria in pots of seed compost now and cover each pot with a sheet of glass. When the seeds have germinated prick them out into separate small pots where they can grow on until the autumn when they must be repotted to a larger sized pot and kept in the coolest part of the greenhouse and where there is sufficient light. Water the young plants carefully, keeping the leaves as dry as possible.

If these instructions are followed they should produce a mass of colour in the greenhouse during the following spring and make ideal decorative plants for the house. Tomato plants in the greenhouse border should by this time be nearing the roof and have six or so trusses of already set fruit. This is the moment when the top growing shoot must be pinched out to avoid unnecessary growth and to help the food taken in to be diverted to the fruit. Any heavy fruit trusses should be supported. Side shoots must still be regularly removed from tomatoes and water copiously each day, feeding with a liquid manure weekly.

Fruit Growing

Thinning of excess fruit should continue where needed and suckers cut away which have grown up around the fruit trees.

All soft fruits will benefit now from a feeding of liquid manure which will help to swell the fruit.

Towards the end of the month some of the black currants may be ready for picking and these should of course be harvested immediately they are ripe. Never attempt to pick soft fruits during wet weather as if they are wet the fruits will not keep.

Vegetables

Broccoli and Brussels sprouts may now be planted out for a winter supply and if some cabbage plants are available these can also be transplanted to the vegetable plot. All these plants should be well watered in.

Celery plants can now be placed in position along the prepared trench.

Early varieties of potatoes can be lifted and later potato crops earthed up into ridges.

Shallots which are now ready, when the leaves have turned yellow and are dying back, can be lifted and spread out to dry off. The greenhouse shelves would be ideal for this drying which must be done before the shallots can be stored.

A further sowing of lettuce seed this month will keep the supply continuous.

French beans now becoming ready for picking must be used as soon as possible. The sooner they are picked, the sooner the plants will provide some more. This also applies to runner beans which will also soon be ready for their first picking.

While runner beans are growing, plenty of water must be given to them and a feeding or two of liquid manure will pay dividends. At the same time check for and destroy any blackfly on these and broad beans.

27. August 2013 by admin
Categories: Tips and Advice | Tags: , , | Comments Off on July Gardening

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