The sun is shining at last, and hopefully it is here to stay! As well as making the most of each sunny moment, you need to keep on top of your garden, too. Here are our top gardening tips for the month.
Water, water, everywhere
Even with the delightful rain that we have come to accept during the Great British Summer, your garden will dry out quickly. July sees the most daylight and tends to be one of the warmest months, so make sure that you water your plants and lawn regularly. To conserve water, use grey water (washing up, shower or bath water), or collect rainwater in a water butt. Avoid watering in the morning or while the plant is in full sun; the water will warm up and evaporate quickly and could even scorch the leaves.
July is the time when you should really start to see the fruits of your labours; flowers in full bloom and veggies growing away nicely. Make sure that you deadhead regularly to ensure a continuing stream of flowers throughout the summer.
It is tedious, but don’t be tempted to relax and take your eye off the ball when it comes to weeding. Just as your plants grow at an amazing rate during the summer, so do weeds! Hoe regularly to keep the worst at bay and to prevent the weeds from taking over.
Your vegetables may come through a little slowly to begin with, but as a general rule, the more you pick them, the more vegetables the plants will produce. Leaving an over-ripe vegetable on the plant might seem like a good idea, but in reality you will be diverting the plant’s precious energy away from produce that you DO want to eat! Pick overgrown, over ripe or tough vegetables and compost them if they are not edible. Make sure you get to your courgettes before they become marrows!
By now, birds will have stopped using hedges for nesting, which means it is safe to trim them back. Trimming can instantly make your garden look tidier, and it can limit overgrowth, too. Use secateurs or hedge trimmers to cut back as much as you need in order to tidy up the area and prevent a hedge takeover!
Producing colourful blooms that look and smell exquisite is hard work! Now is a good time to feed your roses to help encourage a second bloom later in the year. By pruning roses, you stimulate them to produce growth hormones, which encourages additional growth and new shoot. If the first bloom is already finished, deadhead and cut the roses back before you feed them.
There’s no point having a garden if you don’t enjoy it! Try to make the most of your outdoor space and enjoy it when you can. If the idea of tending your garden is daunting, treat yourself with a local gardener to do the hard work for you, leaving you to enjoy your precious leisure time in peace.