July Garden Tips
Garden work for July.
Now is the time to take semi-ripe cuttings of lavender, thyme, rosemary and sage. All these herbs sell well at our plant sale next May so if you can keep a few spare it will help.
Deciduous magnolias may need pruning but curb your enthusiasm and do not take more than 25% of the canopy.
Look out for the dreaded scarlet lily beetle. If you can, pick and squash them and their larvae.
Water clematis (they love water) In dry weather roses, laurel and honeysuckle will reward you if you give them a drink. This will help discourage powdery mildew that comes with dry weather.
After hardy geraniums have flowered, cut them back which will encourage them to re-flower.
Early flowering shrubs such as Weigela should be pruned back to well-placed side shoots.
If you see neat circular areas cut from the edges of leaves of plants like roses and Robinia, they are the result of work being done by leafcutter bees. They are good pollinators, damage is cosmetic so live with it.
Tuberous rooted begonias should be disbudded if you want to have those big flower heads. It is the small side buds that need to be removed, leaving the large central flower to develop.
Make sure that all your fruit and vegetables are watered regularly. Try to use rainwater or recycled ‘grey’ water wherever possible.
Take out the growing tip of cordon tomatoes when you have 5 or 6 trusses.
If you see orange spots on the top of pear leaves, it is probably pear rust. Pick off the affected leaves, and burn them.
Keep an eye out for any sign of mildew/blight on potatoes. If there is a bad attack towards the end of the month and it is too early to harvest it is better to remove the haulm and burn it safely, or take it to be re-cycled.
Plant specially prepared potato tubers for a Christmas crop. Best to keep them in a sheltered spot, or a moveable tub, might be an alternative if only growing a small amount. Then they can be brought in when the weather gets cold.