July - July is a time to enjoy your garden after all your hard work over the previous months. Your main focus is on maintenance - weeding, feeding and watering.
Tip: Love your lupins
Many hardy perennials, such as lupins and delphiniums will produce a further flush of flowers as long as you deadhead them as soon as their blooms fade. Cut back the old flower heads, which will be starting to set seed, follow the stem down to a healthy lead or a low shoot and prune just above it. Give each plant a liquid feed, soaking the soil around it. New flower stems will soon start to develop, giving blooms in the autumn.
In the greenhouse
Tip: Go crazy for cress!
If you love watercress but don’t have a stream, don’t despair. Varieties such as ‘Aqua’ can be successfully be grown in pots in the greenhouse. Scatter seeds on to compost in pots, cover thinly and water well. They will germinate quickly. Put the pots on staging or outside in saucers of water to keep them moist. Enjoy!
Fruit and vegetables
Tip: Hoe, hoe, hoe
Weed control is really important this month as it is the height of the growing season. Hoe over bare soil as you walk around the garden to keep weeds in check. Don’t wait for the weeds to grow before you hoe. If you keep the soil surface moving it will prevent seedlings from taking root. If you hoe in the morning on hot days, any weed seedlings that you disturb will soon wither and die.
Around the garden
Tip: Weed the pond!
Don’t let pond weed take over. Many pond weeds are incredibly invasive, quickly covering the surface and blocking out the light that is necessary for the growth of the aquatic plants below. Keep a small net handy and scoop out weed such as Duckweed and blanket weed at least once a week.
Another word of warning, if you have watercress growing in the stream of your pond, regularly remove clumps of it. Watercress roots grow together forming a dam and therefore preventing water from circulating, eventually the water level in your pond will start to drop if you don’t keep an eye on this.