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July

July can be the hottest month of the year (if we’re lucky) and tie this in with low rainfall means that we need to vigilant with watering. Keep your garden well-watered, fertilised and weed free, but most importantly enjoy the time you spend in your living space.

This months general advice

  • Keep on top of watering. Try to water at dusk when the evaporation will be lower but if it’s not possible then water when possible but avoid wetting foliage as it may cause scorching.
  • Stake out large perennials and train climbers. Some perennials will be getting pretty big and may become a bit top heavy. Create supports using bamboo canes and frames or tie plants back (Don’t tie too tightly or you may cause damage.)
  • Give wildlife a helping hand by keeping water out in your garden on hotter days. Hotter weather will mean that water will be less present for wildlife. Wildlife ponds are ideal for this but in a pinch, saucers or pots will suffice.
  • Although we recommend deadheading flowering plants to encourage more flowers to follow, it’s always worth considering whether you may want to allow some plants to set fruit and seed for wildlife to consume.

Pruning

  • Deadhead bedding to encourage more flowers. Remove faded flowers on plants such as violas & pansies to encourage the plants to produce more buds for a prolonged period. Sweat peas will also benefit from deadheading.
  • Deadhead perennials and some shrubs. Osteospermums, geraniums, delphiniums, lupins, penstemons (and many more) will also produce more flowers if older faded flowers are removed before allowed to fruit. Roses can also be treated like this, although consider if you would like to stop the rose hips from being produced.
  • Wisteria & Pyracantha can be lightly pruned this month or next month.

Planting

  • Fill spaces in your borders with perennials and bedding. To get all year-round interest you can opt for a mixture of annuals, perennials and some shrubs or trees.
  • Mulch around plants to suppress weeds and help retain moisture. Bark is one the best choices for this but manure can also be used to help add to the nutrients of the soil.

 

Lawn Care

  • Don’t allow lawns to dry, especially if they are newly established. Sprinklers are a good way to give frequent watering, but collected rainwater can also be used.
  • Keep on top of weeds and feeds. Lawns will be hungry as well as thirsty and so a high nitrogen feed will allow the grass to keep lush and healthy.
  • Cut grass edges and tidy up borders. This will stop unwanted blurring of lawns and make weeding easier.

Greenhouse Care

    • Check if plants need watering daily and damp off surfaces to raise humidity. This needs to be high priority if we have very hot weather. shading can be used too.
    • Remove dead foliage and plant matter to avoid fungal and pest problems. Fungus will thrive on dead damp plant matter and decaying plant matter may attract pests.
    • Clean surfaces and tools to avoid cross contamination. Cleaning tools after using them is a good habit to get into and can help limit spreading diseases and pests.
    • Sticky tape can be used to help trap unwanted flying guests. It’s not possible to stop all pests from making a home in your greenhouse but we can use some non-chemical ways to remove them.

Or why not use some carnivorous plants to keep pests under control? Pitcher plants (Sarracenia), Venus fly traps (Dionaea) and hanging pitcher plants (Nepenthes) make great interesting pest control. Most species prefer warm damp environments so research before you buy.

Pond Care

Keep on top of blanketweed.

One of the biggest nuisances to pond keepers…the dreaded blanketweed. It’ll grow on your plants, it’ll grow on your pump, in fact, it’ll grow on anything! The best way to treat blanketweed if you have a pump and filter is to use treatment. Blanketweed treatment vary and may work via different mechanisms so it is important to check which will work best for your pond

Maintain equipment

Pond pumps and filters need to be maintained to be kept working efficiently. With blanketweed and other waste sources in your water being at a high this time of year, it is imperative they are taken out and cleaned. Cleaning the outside of a pump will help but a thorough clean of the pump, impeller and connections is an absolute must (your guarantee may even be void if your pump isn’t kept clean!)

 

Which pond food for when?

Most pond fish (with the exception of sturgeons and a few others) depend on water temperature to determine their metabolism. In simple terms this mean that the ability to digest certain foods in fish such as goldfish and koi will be down to the water temperature of their environment. In hotter temperatures, growth will be a higher priority and a higher protein based diet will be needed to facilitate their higher metabolism. Growth foods and foods with higher protein content & colour enhancing ingredients should ideally be fed once water temperatures have risen above 18 degrees Celsius. 

Fruit & Veg Care

Feed your fruit and veg.

Tomatoes can be feed a high potassium feed to encourage flower production (and therefore fruit). tomorite is always a popular choice for this as it is easy to use. Any fruiting crops you may be growing will also benefit from this feed, whether it be beans, peas, peppers, courgettes…etc.

Tidy and harvest your herbs.

Some of the quicker growing herbs may need to be kept in check this time of year. Mint is a particular culprit! Harvest your quick growing herbs by cutting odd stems out and pruning down existing stems by a third. Some of the more ornamental herbs like chives may be in flower. These flowers are quite unique and make great decorative pieces and are edible! (always research if your plants are edible!)

Tender herbs

Basil and coriander can be moved outside now that the weather has become more favourable. Cuttings can be easily taken from both of these herbs, or you can carry on setting seeds to have a continual crop for use.

Houseplant Care

Give your plants some air!

During warmer days you can move some houseplants outside such as citrus, olives and ficus. Ensure to bring them back in at night to prevent damage by cooler weather. No matter the time of year, its always a good idea to keep glossy leaves clean and free of dust, which could stop the plant from getting adequate light. A damp cloth will work, but restrain from using cleaning chemicals unless specialised for plants such as baby bio leaf wipes.

To repot or not to pot?

Some houseplants that have gone dormant over winter will now be in full growth and as such we can inspect to see if they need replanting. When replanting houseplants, avoid potting out into pots too big, as they can be detrimental to plants that like tight roots, and cause others to push into root growth which in turn neglects leaf and flower production. Research your houseplants to determine which compost/soil mix is best and take your time to remove any decaying matter, knock old soil loose and replant in fresh soil.

 

Thank you for reading.
Why not check out some of our other posts.

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