Garden tasks for July
What to do this month:
This information is intended as a general guide only. Local conditions can vary and seasonal variations need to be taken into account. If in doubt, ask a horticulturist at your local nursery or garden centre. Go here for more information on climate zones.
- Treat peach trees for leaf curl while the buds are swelling, but before they burst open. Spray with a copper fungicide, avoiding windy weather to make sure the spray reaches its target. In cooler areas, leave this until a little later if the buds have not started to swell.
- Avoid congested perennial clumps and promote flourishing flowers, by lifting and dividing clumps if the ground isn’t too cold. Divide into several segments and mass plant in garden beds for a dramatic display.
- Mulch perennial beds with well-rotted animal manure; this will break down slowly, providing nutrients for the forthcoming spring growth.
- Visit your local nursery and select bare-rooted deciduous fruit trees, roses and some perennials to plant out. At this time of year, there should be a good selection to choose from and is usually a cost effective method of buying plants as you’re not paying for the plastic pot or potting mix, simply the packing material that retains moisture.
- Plant out newly purchased trees and shrubs so the roots don’t shrivel. Soak the bare roots for at least an hour and plant out on a day that isn’t too cold.
- Dig a good-sized hole then make a mount in the centre. Arrange the roots over this mound, then, add plenty of organic matter to the soil before backfilling.
- Stake standard roses to keep their stems straight; other plants should not need them.
- Tidy up roses, unless conditions are a little cool in which case, leave until later.
- Use clean, sharp secateurs to remove any dead, spindly or diseased wood before pruning any stems to reshape your rose bushes.
- Don’t leave diseased prunings lying around, as these will encourage infection to spread.
- Mulch roses with some well-rotted horse manure to promote growth as the weather starts to warm.
- Plant citrus into well-prepared soil. It’s important to water them deeply at least once a week until they become well established.
- Boost along winter vegetables like leafy green cabbages, cauliflowers and lettuce, using some organic fertiliser every three weeks or so. This will prevent them becoming tough and bitter if growth slows down because of the cooler conditions.
- Don’t forget to water especially around annuals, bulbs and vegetables, as winter can sometimes be dry.
- Prune roses as well as any summer-flowering shrubs that are looking leggy.