I am back from my Summer holidays and feeling quite exhausted! Doesn’t it always happen that way? I will be posting photos from Spain and Germany next week once i have been through my thousands of photos.
For now, here are some tips on what to do in the garden this month.
1. As bulb shoots develop, feed with one of the new Thrive Liquids such as Thrive Roses & Flowers. It’s high in potassium so will strengthen the stems of floppy bulbs, as well as enhancing their flowering. Do the same for spring flowering annuals to help them develop a strong framework before they start to bloom.
2. July is rose pruning month, except in cold climates where it’s better to wait until just before the last frost is expected.
3. Check camellias for signs of leaf-spoiling sap suckers such as thrips and tea mite. Prune camellias (if required) after flowering, feed with Dynamic Lifter Plus Flower Food.
4. Dianthus is a carnation relative that develops a succession of cheery, fragrant blooms.
1. Prune back the tangled new growth of wisteria, by shortening the current season’s stems to five or six leaves from their base. This allows light and air into the climber and enhances flowering.
2. Clip box hedging and topiary at the end of this month, which should keep them neat and tidy over the winter.
3. Birds love ripened soft fruit as much as we do and are up earlier to enjoy the crop first. To ensure fruit is reserved for you, cover the plants with netting before ripening is complete.
4. Give container plants a liquid feed throughout July to keep them looking good.
5. In what is known as the “June drop”, fruit trees undergo a natural thinning process when fruit they are unable to support falls from the tree. Additional thinning is often required for the remaining fruit to attain optimum size and quality. This should be carried out by mid-July. Thinning has other benefits:
Sunlight and air can circulate more easily, which helps fruit to ripen evenly and reduces the risk of fungal diseases.
6. Camellias set their buds around this time of year, and one reason for plants not flowering is dryness at the roots when the buds are being set. This is a particular problem for container plants, so ensure that potted camellias are watered regularly, especially during hot dry spells
Newly planted trees also benefit from regular watering during dry spells.
Branches can break if trees over-crop – a particular hazard for plums. An overly large crop can exhaust the tree’s resources, so thinning helps it to develop a manageable quantity of fruit.
When young trees crop too heavily, energy is diverted from developing a strong framework of branches and roots. This makes them less able to produce large crops in subsequent years.
Apples: To ensure the largest fruit, thin cooking apples hard; dessert apples more lightly. For both types leave just one fruit per cluster; choosing the strongest and best-shaped.
Apricots: Thin only if the crop is excessively heavy.
Plums are particularly prone to over-cropping, so thinning is vital.