July is a season of abundance so make sure your flowers, plants and vegetables are getting the attention they deserve. This guide offers a few tips and some suggestions of tools you may need. For a quick view, tips are highlighted in bold black and tools in blue.
By now you should be really enjoying your garden either in terms of the luxuriant growth and colour of your flowers and plants or the delicious and thriving fruit and vegetables you are producing.
There is, as ever, a lot to be done, keeping the garden watered if it is dry and water rationing allows, more pruning, weeding and keeping the grass tidy; but let’s not forget summer barbecues, lounging around in the sunshine on your lawn and generally enjoying the fruits of your labour.
Deadheading your bedding plants to keep them flowering is important right now, if you want the wash of colour to continue. Use a good simple pair of secateurs.
This is a good period in which to carry out some careful pruning of apple and pear trees. Cordons, espaliers, fans and pyramids will benefit from this, as pruning allows sunlight in and encourages more fruiting. Cut back the current growth only before it gets woody and halve the length of branches, helping to create side shoots, leading to more apples. Prunus trees (plums, cherries, peaches, almonds) benefit from pruning to help avoid disease. Use a pair of good all round bypass secateurs and for anything heavier and higher, like taking off dead or woody branches which are out of reach, try something more heavy duty like a long reach powered pole pruner (See image below for example)
Ryobi RPP-720 Electric Pole-Pruner
N.B. Do not prune trees like plums if it is damp… it can lead to diseases like silverleaf.
If you need to take off larger, higher branches, perhaps on a magnolia or walnut that needs seriously cutting back, then a pole pruner like the one shown above is ideal.
Oh, and I hope by the way you have already realised that a good pair of pruning gloves is essential if you want to have any of your skin left by the end of the season.
Don’t forget your lawn. This is a time to really enjoy it so make sure your mower is set at a good height, around 2.5- 4cm for the summer. If your lawn mower gives up the ghost or you just feel it’s time to go for a new one, make sure you go for one that suits your size and style of garden. for more information see the articles in our Buying Guide to Lawn Mowers
You’ll be harvesting lots of vegetables at the moment, but don’t get so carried away with your sack loads of fabulous produce that you forget to plan for the winter. Getting your winter vegetables in now means you will have something to eat in the cold months and if there is no room in the beds, try putting them in pots until such as time as there is space. There should still be enough time to get some last French beans in for the autumn months and keep sowing those lettuces and radishes.
If you are going away on holiday don’t forget to have someone check your garden or plot for you and in return? Well, fresh vegetables on tap are always a good incentive!