Jobs for July
It’s not all yummy barbecues and romantic candle lit dinners round the patio table this month. There’s still a fair bit of work in the garden and if you are quick, you can get through the task list before the kids break up for the summer. Most of the jobs are housekeeping variety – and remember, you’ve spent a great deal of time and trouble, even dare I say it, money over choosing just the right metal garden furniture, and you want your friends and family to enjoy it. The setting in which you place your aluminium outdoor furniture is almost as important as the furniture itself. Nothing spoils the mood like looking out onto a sea of weeds.
Tidy Does It
Trim your hedges so they don’t get bare bottoms!
Cut out flowering stems of Philadelphus leaving new shoots to become next year’s.
Deadhead violas to encourage new flowers. Do the same with displays in pots on the patio and hanging baskets. You will encourage more flowers.
Now’s the time for the first of the two annual haircuts for your wisteria; shorten all unnecessary growth, and help the shoots you want to encourage to twine around supports.
Cut now to encourage a second later flowering – this works for delphiniums sometimes.
Cut out diseased growth and dead branches in your cherry and plum trees. Summer prune espalier apple and pears if required, but go easy and do it gradually so the plant doesn’t go into shock.
Reap What you Sew
Lift early potatoes as soon as the haulms begin to die down, and do the same for garlic when the leaves begin to wither. Allow garlic bulbs to ripen on netting outside, as you would onions.
Strawberries – leave the two strongest runners on each plant and tidy up the rest. Plant new plants at least 75 cm apart.
Pick berries such as redcurrants and white currants regularly. Cut out old raspberry canes as soon as fruiting has finished. Each plant should have 8-10 new canes which can be tied in.
Sew more lettuces and radishes and make sure they don’t dry out in hot spells.
Stake runner beans
Transplant broccoli and cabbages now into the final positions. In the case of purple sprouting broccoli, setting plants deeper in the soil than was the case in the seed bed.