The Gardener’s Calendar in July
For every bee becomes a drunken lover,
Standing upon his head to sup the flowers,
– Vita Sackville West
July is often a dry month (though not always!). When watering plants water well and rarely rather than little and often. Too little water encourages surface roots which then suffer even more in dry spells. Plants at their best this month include Geranium, Hydrangea, Honeysuckle, Buddleia, Potentilla and many more. After the explosive spring the garden has now settled down into a gentle summer haze and in quiter places of the English countryside the only sound is of the bees going about their business. Bliss!
Where to focus in the garden in July:
- Grass will need mowing weekly if it’s damp or may need watering if it’s dry.
- Deadhead roses and other plants to encourage continual flowering
- Cut back by about 50% those perennials that have finished blooming.
- For large Chrysanthemum blooms reduce stems to 6 – 8 per plant and start disbudding to get leave fewer really spectacular blooms.
- Continually remove faded flower heads on annuals and they’ll continue to flower
- Plant autumn flowering bulbs such as Colchicum, Nerine and Amaryllis
- Water and feed house plants on a regular basis
- Prune plums trees and give trained apples and pears a summer prune
- Tie in Dahlia stems to supports. If you want really large blooms disbud and leave just the best to flower
- Trim hedges if they become too unruly. Tie in any straggly ends of rough hedging to fill in holes
- Trim pond weed if it becomes excessive, treat with Barley straw extract to remove blanket weed (algae)
- Continue sowing late summer salad and vegetable crops