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Last updated on October 24th, 2019
July is the middle of the summer and now you are in the heat of it all literally and figuratively. It is at this time that you can harvest the majority of your vegetables, cut back your perennials, and put the final touches on your lawn.
Jobs for July
- Feed your lawn with a feed to keep it in tip-top condition.
- Cut back any early flowering perennials that have finished flowering.
- Plant more runner beans outdoors.
- Pinch out tomato plants to remove side shoots.
- Clear ponds and water features from any fallen leaves algae and weeds.
- Check clematis for any signs of clematis wilt.
- Continue to monitor watering, especially containers and mulch around plants to help retain moisture.
- Deadhead bedding and repeat-flowering perennials to stop them from going to seed and keep flowering.
- If you grow courgettes, pick them now before they become marrows.
- Harvest plums, apricots, peaches and nectarines.
- Prune side shoots of wisteria to around 20cm of the main framework.
- Watch out for any pests or diseases especially slugs and aphids.
- Pot up peppers into larger pots and train cucumbers upwards.
- Harvest more veg including lettuce, beetroot, carrots, potatoes and chard.
- Continue to thin out fruit to improve fruit size.
- Continue to watch out for Lilly beetles.
Feeding Your Lawn
At this point in the year, you should help your lawn by giving it some food. Your lawn is probably the centrepiece of your garden front or back. This month brings with it significantly drier weather so you should raise the blades on the lawnmower so that your grass is able to grow slightly longer and therefore retain more moisture. If your grass starts to turn brown, rest assured that the next time it rains it will soon go back to its green colour which many of us have seen happen over the last few years.
Cut back early-flowering perennials
If you have early flowering perennials such as dicentra spectabilis which have finished flowering, you can cut them back to the ground and you might even be rewarded with a bonus of a secondary flush of flowers later in the summer. When cutting back your perennials give them a boost with some water and some tomato fertilizer.
Don’t forget to deadhead along the way to allocate more plant energy toward producing new blooms rather than focusing on producing seeds. This will encourage the plant to produce additional flowers to replace those you have removed. Always add a little bit extra water as well during these warmer months.
Water features and ponds
On that note, if you have water features in your garden or lawns, they’re going to need a little bit of extra help during July and August to stay healthy. Get rid of any yellowing leaves that have fallen into the water features or the pond. If you leave them there they will rot in the water which will significantly decrease the quality.
If you see any blanket weeds, get rid of them. Remove them with a net or a rake as they will add more oxygen to your pond. You might need to increase the water level as well as the height of Summer weather can rapidly evaporate the water you have. If you have a pond, try to use any rainwater as the chemicals in your tap water might impact any nutritional balance you have in your pond. But of course, if that’s not possible, it’s not the end of the world.
Now is the time to harvest the crops that are at their peak. You want to harvest your vegetables regularly so that you can enjoy the delicious taste and encourage late-harvest production before the plant turns woody and starts producing a bitter taste. This is particularly true of things like lettuce.
Pinch out tomato plants
If you have tomatoes, for example, you can limit the growth by pinching out the top of your plant as soon as it reaches a height you prefer or by pinching outside shoots. If you pinch off the top it will force the plant to produce more tomatoes lower down so that the plant doesn’t grow to be three or four meters tall, bent double because of the weight of too many tomatoes.
Plant radishes and runner beans outside
Of course, July also means preparing more vegetables. You can start planting radishes or runner beans outside. This is no time to slack off just because you have started harvesting some of your other producers. In fact, if you noticed that certain vegetables are fully harvested it will leave the perfect spot in which to plant something new.
Having put in this much effort so far, it is time to enjoy your bonus of extra flowers blooming late in the season alongside the crops you have taken so many months to carefully cultivate. Enjoy the rest while you have it, as the next few months bring about your Autumn crop rotation and the preparation of winter bulbs.