What's happening in the garden now...
The page below lists the various tasks that Ben and the team will be completing in the garden this month. Split into four main sections the lists will hopefully help you structure and plan your own gardening work schedule... so lets get busy
As the weeks of summer roll on, vegetables, fruit and flowers grow, mature and ripen. July is the month when the garden is full and making the most of the long days and warm nights.
Work in the garden continues as crops are thinned and fed to promote growth, whilst borders are weeded, watered and deadheaded to maintain a fresh look. Just as there is always something to do this month, there is also always something to enjoy!
Continue to hoe off annual weed seedlings to prevent them setting seed and creating more work later in the season and the following years.
Feed container and pot plantings schemes, being sure to check watering requirements even during periods of wet weather.
Deadhead Roses to keep plants looking tidy and encourage future flowering, unless you are growing specifically for ornamental rosehips.
Trim topiary and hedges to instantly smarten the appearance of the garden.
Clip box during periods of dry weather and sterilise tools regularly to reduce the risk of spreading Box Blight.
Watch out for excessive slug and snail damage on the fresh growth of many herbaceous perennials, treat accordingly if a problem.
Turn compost heaps, to incorporate oxygen for bacteria and fungi that will decompose the garden waste, during dry conditions water heaps to aid decomposition.
Mow and edge lawns regularly to encourage a thick sward and tidy appearance. However, if conditions are dry raise the height of cut or reduce mowing frequency.
Be sure to water Camellia and Rhododendron species during dry weather to ensure good flower bud formation for next year.
Trim and lift canopies of trees, which may have lowered and become an obstacle with the weight of this year’s growth.
Spray strong colonies of Aphids, Black Fly and Whitefly with a natural plant oil-based biocide, reducing infestations whilst not harming any beneficial predators.
Be sure to water new plant additions to the garden during periods of dry weather.
Keep paths and drives weed free and tidy to instantly smarten the appearance of the garden.
Visit garden shows and festivals, along with open gardens, to get ideas and inspiration for future development of your own patch.
During hot days be sure to ventilate and damp down to reduce internal temperatures and raise humidity for glass house crops.
Water any seedlings and young plants often, to avoid causing stress and checking growth.
Pot on and continue to grow Aubergines, Chillies, Peppers, Tomatoes and any other glass house crops, being sure to feed once a week, especially as they begin to flower and set fruit.
Sow Annual Herbs, Oriental Brassicas, Spring Cabbage and Salad crops for planting out and growing on later in the season.
Prick out seedlings into modules to encourage future growth, best completed first thing in the morning when plants are fully turgid.
Continue with biological control or cultural equipment for the reduction of glass house pests.
Begin taking semi-ripe cuttings of various shrubs as the current season’s growth becomes firm.
Many non-hardy plants can be placed outside for the summer months, taking advantage of the improved growing conditions. If very sunny, be careful of leaf scorch and so ‘harden off’ the plants gradually, getting them used to the different light conditions.
Take cuttings of Pelargonium and other tender species, to ensure that you have young and vigorous plants for next year.
Be sure to water Cucurbits regularly to avoid drying out and checking growth and the production of fruit.
Continue to plant out young vegetable plants and cut flowers, which have been grown from seed or cuttings under glass.
Complete the summer pruning of fruit that is being grown as a restricted form. This includes fruits like Apricots, Cherries, Gooseberries, Red and White Currants.
Stake cutting beds to provide support for late summer flowers such as Asters and Dahlias, which are prone to snapping and damage during inclement weather.
Summer prune trained forms of Apples and Pears, shortening all new laterals back to 3-5 leaves. If establishing new plants shorten the framework/leader stem by one third of new growth and tie into position.
Feed and mulch fruit trees and bushes to ensure good growing conditions and crops for future years, though do not mulch right up to the main stem of the plant as this can cause it to rot.
If not already done so, deadhead Anemone, Narcissus, Tulips and Ranunculus to promote larger bulbs and corms, which will improve growth and flower next year. Also remove any dead and untidy looking foliage.
Continue to direct sow Beetroot, Carrots, French Beans, Radish and Rocket, along with Lettuce and Spring onion if growing conditions are warm enough.
Lift old Tulips that will not be used for cutting next year and sow the empty space with quick growing annuals like Bupleurum rotundifolium, Calendula or Nigella, giving you a fresh crop for cutting late in the year.
Lift and dry Onions, Shallots and Garlic as they mature, pulling plants and then leaving in the sun for a few days before cleaning and tying up to then store in a cool dry place, out of direct sun.
Regularly dead head and cut sweet peas to ensure they continue flowering with long stems.
Sow Wall Flowers into modules or a seed bed and then grow on for plants that can used for
Net fruit trees and bushes to protect ripening fruit from birds and other pests.
If not already done so, thin some fruit crops like apples, grapes and peaches to improve quality.
Plant out and grow on biennials like Angelica and Dianthus barbatus.
List all the seed you wish to collect from the cut flowers that you have grown this year, ensuring you have a fresh and free supply for sowing next year. But remember that not all seed varieties will come true and you may get some variation.
Harvest, Harvest and Harvest…if there is too much of any crops look to freeze or dry, make Jam or Chutney. Failing that, swap or give to family members and friends.
Plant any new additions to the borders, filling in gaps whilst increasing variety and interest.
If accessible tie in new growth of rambling roses to prevent stems snapping, these can be trained and re-tied in winter when there will be better access.
Weed over and tidy the surface of any un-mulched borders to prevent establishment of weed seedlings, whilst creating a smart setting for floral displays.
List any additional spring flowering bulbs, such as Alliums, Narcissus or Tulips, which you may wish to order and add to the border this autumn.
Stake Dahlias and keep a watchful eye for slug and snail damage whilst they establish and begin to flower.
In warm weather be sure to water any new additions including summer annuals.
Complete pruning of spring flowering shrubs to promote a good shape and encourage flowering for next spring.
Deadhead Roses and herbaceous plants, to keep the border looking tidy and help promote continued flowering.
Check the staking of taller perennials and add any additional support where required.
Prune excessive summer growth of Wisteria to keep a tidy appearance and prevent it from shading out other plants.
Deadhead and/or cut back hard any perennials that have already flowered and will come back quickly with fresh foliage, this includes many Geraniums, Alchemilla and Nepeta.
Walk around the garden making notes of what is working well in the borders and where improvements need to be made. This could include the addition of spring flowering bulbs, which will need to be ordered in a month or so.