July in the garden should be a month of barbecues, sunloungers and relaxation. If the rain of the past weeks has interrupted your regular maintenance task, you might find that your outdoor space is far from the relaxing haven it was at the end of June.
Lawns, beds and unfortunately weeds go rogue once given a good drink by Mother Nature, so now you’ll have to get back on track and do some tidying before you can put up your feet and relax again.
Here are some essential maintenance jobs that will make July in the garden more palatable.
Deadheading is crucial for a thriving garden. By removing spent flowers, the plant redirects energy to produce more blooms, ensuring continuous flowering. This practice enhances the garden’s appearance, preventing unsightly wilted flowers and controlling self-seeding. It extends the flowering season, encouraging new growth and fuller, healthier plants.
If you have shrubs and bushes such as Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) – remove the old flowers if you have not done so already. Now is the time to prune, but hurry. They are ready to start setting their buds for next year’s flowers.
As long as it is hot and dry, raise the wheel setting on your mower to a 4 or 5 to avoid damage to your turf. Make sure your mower blades are sharp and try to mow just before a rain. If you’ve had plenty of rain, you can always lower your wheel setting to 3.
For more on lawn care during summer.
Keep roses sprayed for both insects and diseases. Orthenex is good to use as a preventative spray since it controls both. If a specific problem arises, spray for that problem. Good disease controls are Funginex and Daconil. For insects, use Isotox, Orthene, Malathion or Cygon.
Spraying roses in summer is important to help protect them from common pests and diseases while maintaining their health and beauty. Here are some key points to consider:
Pest control: Insects like aphids, mites and whiteflies are more active during summer. Regularly spraying your roses with insecticidal soap or neem oil helps control these pests and prevents infestations.
Fungal diseases: Humidity can lead to fungal diseases like black spot and powdery mildew. Applying fungicides labelled for roses can help prevent and manage these issues.
Preventive spraying: Even if you don’t see any pests or diseases, preventive spraying can be beneficial.
Weather considerations: Avoid spraying roses during hot, sunny periods, as this can cause foliage burn. Choose cooler, cloudy days or spray in the early morning or evening.
Follow instructions: Always read and follow the instructions on the pesticide products and consider their impac on your pets. Use the recommended dilution rates and safety precautions.
Spraying technique: Apply the spray thoroughly, covering both sides of the leaves and stems. Ensure good coverage to maximize effectiveness.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Adopt an IPM approach, combining different pest control methods, including cultural practices and natural predators, to minimize the need for chemical spraying.
Organic alternatives: Consider using organic or natural sprays as a more environmentally friendly option.
Systemic insecticides: For long-lasting protection, systemic insecticides can be applied to the soil or absorbed by the plant and provide control from within.
Late summer colour
Consider planting late-flowering perennials such as Aster, biennials and summer bedding plants to extend the vibrancy of your garden into the end of the season.
Late-flowering perennials: Rudbeckia, Helenium, and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ are well-suited to the UK climate. They are hardy perennials that thrive in a variety of soil conditions and can tolerate the occasional heat during summer. They bring lovely colour to the garden and provide a beautiful late-season display.
Biennials: Foxgloves (Digitalis) and Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) are also suitable for UK gardens. Biennials grow well in the UK’s temperate climate and can withstand the winter. Although they won’t bloom until the following year, their striking flowers and biennial lifecycle make them fascinating additions to the garden.
Summer bedding plants: Marigolds, Petunias, and Zinnias are popular choices. These annuals enjoy the warmth of summer and offer a medley of colourful blooms.
It’s always a good idea to consider the specific microclimate of your garden, such as sun exposure and soil conditions – as well as your location. Ask the staff at your nearest garden centre about suitability for your garden when choosing plants to increase their chances of success.
Mulch sparingly around the trunk of trees and shrubs. Too much mulch smothers the plant and keeps the tree trunk too moist, causing problems like root rot, burrowing pests and diseases such as canker.
Feeding and watering
Tempting as it might be to allow nature to govern the health of your garden, feeding and watering your plants during summer is of utmost importance to ensure their health and vitality in the heat.
Hydration: summer’s scorching temperatures can quickly deplete soil moisture, leaving plants vulnerable to stress and wilting. Regular watering helps maintain hydration, enabling plants to perform essential functions like photosynthesis and nutrient uptake.
Optimal growth: Well-watered and nourished plants grow significantly through the summer months. Consistent watering supports cell expansion and helps transport nutrients throughout the plant, promoting healthy development.
Prevents flower and fruit drop: Insufficient water during summer can lead to premature flower and fruit drop, resulting in reduced yields and disappointing blooms.
Temperature regulation: Watering the soil helps to regulate temperature fluctuations around plant roots, preventing heat stress and root damage.
Nutrient uptake: Fertilising plants in summer provides essential nutrients they need for robust growth and flowering. Nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are crucial for healthy foliage, strong root systems, and vibrant blooms.
Improve resilience: Well-fed and hydrated plants are more resilient to pests, diseases, and environmental stresses. They can better withstand heatwaves and recover quickly from adverse conditions.
Extended blooming: Proper care with feeding and watering prolongs the blooming period of flowering plants, adding color and beauty to your garden for a more extended period.
Overall plant health: A well-maintained watering and feeding schedule contributes to the overall health and longevity of garden plants, resulting in a more robust and attractive garden.
If you found July in the garden: Essential jobs for super summer colour helpful, you’ll find more easy way to manage your garden on our Gardening channel.Tags: Gardening, july Last modified: July 21, 2023