July in the Garden

Author: JM   Date Posted:3 July 2018 

July in the Garden main image July in the Garden image

With only a few weeks  to go before the first signs of a new season begin to show  it won't be too long before the cmad scramble to remove the remnants of last season is upon us. Winters' cold days are condusive to little  procrastination particularly if it is also wet also but too much putting off of winters chores  and we find ourselves too busy in spring to enjoy all those special little  pleasures for which we have been longing.

 

 

Perennials

  • With winter work in the borders done or nearly so, it is mostly a matter of weed patrol until warmer temperatures  bring out the competition.
  • One last go over with vinegar to deal with germinating weed seeds before the spring bulbs come up will make for an easier spring
  • The grasses, which have contributed so much to the autumn scene, will be starting to look tired. The temptation is to leave them but with so much to do in spring getting the big and messy job of cutting them down done this month frees up time for fine tuning in August .
  • If not already done dosing the perennial border with blood and bone and lime this month gives plenty of time to take effect before spring growth

Bulbs and Tubers

  • Plump shoots will be emerging from below mulch and composting leaves all over the garden - not all will be in the right spot. Whilst it is not ideal, moving clumps of bulbs now ensures that at least the job is done - the soil is moist and it will be a great deal easier than in bone dry soil over summer.
  • If it hasn't been already done then it is last call for removal of top growth for ground cover perennials that are planted near or over flowering bulbs. Chopped off bulb foliage is not attractive and delay in this matter will only make things worse.
  • Check on stored Dahlias tubers  to make sure they are getting plenty of and not drying out too much.
  •  If clumps of Lilies are to be lifted and divided it should be done without delay , remove bulblets from the main clump and either pot them up or line them out in the vegetable garden where they will develop much more rapidly than near their parent. Replant parent bulbs with either a marker or its final stake in place to avoid cutting off emerging shoots with the hoe.

 

 

 

Perennials

  • With winter work in the borders done or nearly so, it is mostly a matter of weed patrol until warmer temperatures  bring out the competition.
  • One last go over with vinegar to deal with germinating weed seeds before the spring bulbs come up will make for an easier spring
  • The grasses, which have contributed so much to the autumn scene, will be starting to look tired. The temptation is to leave them but with so much to do in spring getting the big and messy job of cutting them down done this month frees up time for fine tuning in August .
  • If not already done dosing the perennial border with blood and bone and lime this month gives plenty of time to take effect before spring growth

Bulbs and Tubers

  • Plump shoots will be emerging from below mulch and composting leaves all over the garden - not all will be in the right spot. Whilst it is not ideal, moving clumps of bulbs now ensures that at least the job is done - the soil is moist and it will be a great deal easier than in bone dry soil over summer.
  • If it hasn't been already done then it is last call for removal of top growth for ground cover perennials that are planted near or over flowering bulbs. Chopped off bulb foliage is not attractive and delay in this matter will only make things worse.
  • Check on stored Dahlias tubers  to make sure they are getting plenty of and not drying out too much.
  •  If clumps of Lilies are to be lifted and divided it should be done without delay , remove bulblets from the main clump and either pot them up or line them out in the vegetable garden where they will develop much more rapidly than near their parent. Replant parent bulbs with either a marker or its final stake in place to avoid cutting off emerging shoots with the hoe.

 

 

 

Bedding

 

Miserable winter days are the perfect time to spread out the catalogues on the kitchen table and  conjure your summer planting schemes.

 

  • In mild areas biennials such as wallflowers and English daisies will be getting a  go on now so keep them fed  and pinch out the wallflowers to keep them stout as they come into flower.
  • July is the time for dreaming up fantastic Summer bedding schemes, if anything Summer Annuals are easier than their Spring counterparts.
  • There is still time to pop a few Pansies or Violas and of course nurseries are awash with the ubiquitous Primula acaulis if your garden is in need of a bit of colour.

 

Pots

 

A  succession of elegant flowering pots over the warmer months needs planning . Much can be done this month.

                                                                                                                     

 

  • Pots of Hydrangea  can be dead-headed and pruned this month . If they are tight in their pots remove them and root prune, replanting them in fresh soil with plenty of slow release fertilizer.
  • If it is blue Hydrangeas you are after a potting mix of copra-peat and sand is obligatory. Proprietary potting mix is laced with lime which makes Hydrangeas pink and this is compounded by the alkaline water supply in towns, this can be dealt with  Epsom Salts but the there is no getting around the potting mix.
  • Primula obconica are becoming available this month. For flower-power ,they take a lot of beating  and continue up until the weather hots up.  Pots of Stocks in the greenhouse will be starting to bulk up - keep them well fed.
  • Hyacinth and Jonquill  will be emerging  from their slumber , clean them up  in readiness for the house.
  • Leaving dried sphagnum moss out in the shade over winter will green it up ready for use in cache-pots inside- it's so much nicer than seeing ugly coloured plastic.
  • If not done last month re-pot  and fertilize  any evergreens used  in your displays. A dose of  Iron-chelates and a little slow release fertilizer watered in will keep any topiary in pots verdant over winter.

 

Cutting Garden

A bounty of flowers for the house needs planning  and not a small amount of effort.

 

  • Chrysanthemum will be showing signs of new basal growth it's time to cut the od flowering stems down -  it is time to encourage strong new shoots to be taken as cuttings in spring.
  • Plunge some small twigs in and around  Sweet Peas to get them climbing as quickly as possible. If severe frost threatens make shift cloches should be propped up against their trellis
  • Keep young weed seedlings at bay by spraying bulb rows with vinegar.
  • There is still time to get  peonies  in the ground before the end of the month. If buying divisions through the mail, prepare their planting position now. - dig in copious quantities of humus and dolomite lime.
  • Lilies can be lifted and divided this month if their stems have withered. Make sure they are replanted with a stake or marker already in place to avoid skewering them later on.
  • A few hardwood cuttings of Forsythia and Abeliophyllum thrust in the ground this month will provide shrubs from which to pick .The straight stems when coppiced  are a great deal easier to force for the house than branches from garden shrubs.
  • Whilst it is tempting to pick the odd Hellebore for the house they do not last as cut flowers until later in winter when the bees have had their way and seed is beginning to set. Even then they should have the ends of their stems scalded.
  • In frosty areas pruning of roses is probably best left until  August but if time is available there is  no harm in removing bulk old wood and leaving the detailed pruning until later
  • Planting new roses is in full swing though and should be completed by the end of this  month.
  • Bulbs are pushing through so it's last chance to weed with ease.
  • Joquills and Snowdrops in pots will be coming into bud. Bring them closer to the house so as to not miss the moment.

 

 

 

 Kit

 

Have the following at the ready for winter jobs

 

  • Potting mix
  • Lime, Iron-sulphate, Potassium-sulphate,
  • Blood and Bone
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Snail bait
  • Stakes for tree planting
  • Bamboo canes  in various sizes
  • Copper-sulphate  to deal with mossy lawns
  • Slow release fertilizer

Tools

 

The Mower man is getting ready for his busiest season make sure your first in the queue.

 

  • Send hedgers, chainsaws etc off for sharpening once the back of winter hedging has been broken. Sharp tolls make a finer job possible over the summer.
  • Send the mower off for it's yearly service if you haven't already done - you know  putting it off will only cause headaches in spring!

Compost

 

The emptying of the compost bins over winter is always gratifying, all that goodness for free.

  • When filling up the compost bins try and  keep the proportion of green and brown waste equable  and add lime ( to sweeten) and old compost ( to inoculate) as you go.
  • We use a few smaller logs to weight down the bulk of our new compost heaps to help the decomposition process get started.

 

 


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