July brings long, warm days that continue late into the evening — perfect for pottering in the garden after work, hosting barbecues, and enjoying your beds and borders as they reach their peak.
Here’s our list of jobs to keep on top of this July:
- Check plants daily. Water first thing in the morning or in the evening to reduce water loss through evaporation.
- Regularly deadhead bedding and perennial plants to encourage new blooms for as long as possible.
- Cut back faded perennial plants to keep borders tidy.
- Continue to tie in and train new growth on climbing plants.
- Prune wisteria now. Just remove the whippy side-shoots from the main branch framework to about 20cm from their base (about five leaves from the main stem).
- Pepper plants will benefit from being potted on into progressively larger pots.
- Train cucumber stems upwards instead of trailing over the ground, to make the most of the space available. Simply tie in their long stems to vertical wires or use cane supports to create a wigwam of poles.
- Pinch out tomato side shoots each week. Cut off any leaves growing below the lowest ripening fruit trusses to improve air circulation and prevent diseases.
- Boost your tomato crop by regularly feeding plants with dilute tomato fertiliser once a week. If leaves look pale and yellow feed more regularly.
- Harvest beetroot, peas, carrots, chard, potatoes, salad leaves, lettuce and tomatoes this month.
- Pick, wash, dry and freeze herbs for using later in the year.
- Pick runner beans regularly to prevent them becoming stringy and to make room for developing pods. Leaving mature pods on the plant can prevent further flowers forming and reduce your crop.
- Resist the temptation to harvest more rhubarb stems. Leave the stems in place; this will allow the plant to build up reserves for next year.
- Keep an eye on your onions and garlic. When the leaves start to yellow and die back, they’re ready to harvest.
- Keep bird baths topped up in hot weather.
- Clear weeds regularly, as they compete with your plants for nutrients and water.