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July gardening tips

A garden in autumn colours

July’s gardening essentials

  1. Tip 1 Plants and trees that provide colour in the month of July include Crape Myrtles, Spireas, Hydrangeas, Hypericum.
  2. Tip 2 Regularly check all plants, especially newly planted ones, water deeply and thoroughly as needed.
  3. Tip 3 Spruce up your summer landscape with beautiful colour in containers and hanging baskets. Do not prune Azaleas and Rhododendrons after the second week of July. They soon will begin setting their buds for next year's blooms.
  4. Tip 4 Control slugs and snails.
  5. Tip 5 Stake tomato plants.
  6. Tip 6 If necessary, spray tomato plants and other vegetables to control diseases.
  7. Tip 7 Start seeds for autumn vegetables this month. This includes broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and many others.
  8. Tip 8 Apply a fungicide to the lawn to control turf diseases such as brown patch, dollar spot and others.
  9. Tip 9 If needed, re-pot root bound houseplants to a larger pot.

Week-by-week gardening tips for July

Week 1

  • Check regularly to see if plants need watering. New plantings, seedlings and plants in containers are all particularly vulnerable and may need water every day.
  • Plant autumn-flowering bulbs such as amaryllis, nerines, colchicums and autumn crocuses.
  • Weed and deadhead plants regularly, checking for pests and diseases at the same time.
  • Feed long-flowering and late-flowering border perennials.
  • Collect and sow or store ripe seeds before they fall.

Week 2

  • Adjust supports as plants grow.
  • Reduce the length of wisteria tendrils by half.
  • Water dahlias, regularly and feed fortnightly, paying particular attention to young plants which are slow to grow.
  • Harvest fruit, vegetables and herbs while they are in prime condition. Freeze, store or give away produce if you cannot use it all immediately.
  • Peg down runners on strawberry plants that you want to propagate.

Week 3

  • Damp down the floors and staging in the greenhouse and check every day to see if plants need watering.
  • Lift garlic bulbs, bunch loosely and hang in an airy place to dry.
  • Gather aromatic leaves and flowers to dry for pot pourri.
  • Prune summer-flowering deciduous shrubs over three years old as they finish flowering.
  • Mow the lawn regularly, raising the height of the cutting blade in very dry weather.
  • Give roses a final feed for the year.

Week 4

  • Feed trees and shrubs that are performing badly with a high-nitrogen liquid fertiliser.
  • Cut culinary herbs and dry or freeze to use later in the year.
  • Feed tomato plants regularly.
  • Make sure leafy vegetables such as lettuces and spinach, fruiting crops such as tomatoes and marrows, and peas and beans as their pods begin to swell, get sufficient water.
  • Top up garden pools to replace water lost through evaporation .