July Gardening: Tips for a Flourishing Garden This Summer - Gardenscapedirect

July Gardening: Tips for a Flourishing Garden This Summer

By Alicia Paaso - Gardenscape Sales Team/RHS Level 2 Horticulturalist

In July, gardens are filled with an abundance of both floral and edible harvest. Alicia Paaso holding a book on a deck in front of a riverTomatoes are starting to ripen, hydrangeas are flowering, and strawberries are ready to pick. Regardless of what the weather brings, July is certainly a lovely month for gardening with its long days and warm nights. There are plenty of jobs in the garden this month with crops ready to harvest, seeds to sow, and mulching to be done. We have put together a list below with some ideas of what to do in the garden this month, enjoying all the benefits that July has to offer.

Beat the summer heat!

When the temperatures rise evaporation increases, which puts the soil at risk of drying out. To protect your plants from drought damage, remember to regularly water, especially on hotter days. To ensure optimal water availability for the plant roots it is important to improve the soil structure by adding organic matter, such as compost or composted bark. Add a bark mulch to prevent excessive evaporation after watering. Not only does bark mulch improve and maintain soil health and supress weeds, but it is also decorative. Until the end of July, we have an offer where you get 10 % off all our bark mulches when ordering bulk bags. Simply use the code ‘SUMMERREADY24’ when placing an order online or over the phone. If you have any plants grown in pots which are suffering from leaf scorch it is usually a sign that they are struggling in their current environment, so they might benefit from being moved to a shadier area of the garden. Don’t forget to water your hanging baskets and containers as they need watering daily to stay healthy and to flower for longer.

Now is the perfect time to top up your children’s play area surfaces with the summer school holidays only a few weeks away. Gardenscape sells both Play Pit Sand and a selection of Play Area Barks which are included in the 10 % discount offer as well.

Wildlife

With the gardens overflowing with flowers this time of the year; many pollinators are attracted into the gardens. Sow wildlife-friendly biennials in July, such as foxgloves and honesty, that will flower next year. Foxgloves are a great pollen source for moths, bumblebees, and honeybees. Because of the foxglove’s large tube-like flowers, bumblebees and other flying pollinators sometimes seek shelter from the rain in their flowers. It is important in July to leave additional food and water out for birds as many are still nesting and feeding their young, and they will need to prepare for the colder months ahead. If you have hedgehogs visiting your garden, you can help them by leaving out a bowl of water, and chicken flavoured cat-or dog food.

July Gardening

Deadhead fading flowers in your garden to encourage more flowers and stop scattering petals. To do so (on most plants), simply cut back to the closest leaf or bud on the stem. In July you can still plant fast growing rocket, lettuce, and radishes for continuous fresh produce. Now is the last chance to sow Dwarf French beans and soybeans for the seed pods to have enough time to mature before the first frosts in autumn.

Take cuttings from fuchsias and hydrangeas in July to increase your plant stock, and to have extra in case of winter losses as not all fuchsias are hardy. To make fuchsia cuttings, cut just above the leaf joint of healthy stems. They don’t need to be much more than an inch long, so cut off the excess leaves only leaving the top ones and make the cut just below the node. For the hydrangeas, select healthy non-flowering shoots about 10-15cm long with two sets of leaves. Cut as close below the lowest node as possible. Cutting the bottom leaves in half with a knife reduces the stress of the plant endured by the rooting process and prevents water loss. The hydrangea and fuchsia cutting should be planted in pots filled with a mixture of a good quality compost, such as John Innes Multipurpose, with some horticultural grit. Cover the pots with plastic bags. After a few weeks when the cuttings have established and started to root, you can then repot them.

Happy gardening!

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