This Months Garden Diary - July
Gardens should be looking in peak condition now, after all the hard work of spring. So now’s the time to make the most of them with family weekends, barbecues and al fresco dining.
However, you can’t rest on your laurels! There are still jobs that need doing to keep it looking great all through summer.
Watering will be the main job of the month and can be quite time consuming – but not necessarily expensive even if you have a water meter, however, do whatever you can to reduce your garden’s reliance on water.
FLOWER BEDS & BORDERS
Having spent a lot of time, effort and probably money on your bedding plants, it pays to ensure they flower their heads off for as long as possible – even well into the autumn, depending on the weather.
Regular feeding with a liquid plant food, will give them the energy to flower on and on. Stop your plants wasting that energy by regular deadheading. This involves removing the faded flower along with the seed head or seedpod developing behind the flower. They will then continue to flower profusely.
Many herbaceous and perennial plants will have produced their first flush of summer flowers and will also need deadheading to encourage more flowers. Cut back the flower stem right to its base with secateurs or, for plants like hardy geraniums, cut them back with shears. Feed well afterwards to ensure a further flush of flowers.
Frequent watering is essential for plants growing in tubs, containers and especially hanging baskets, which are very prone to drying out. This could mean every day during warm, sunny and windy weather. Try and keep the compost evenly moist; you can always test the compost by pushing your finger into it and feeling if it’s damp.
In order to get your lawn into shape, so it looks beautiful all summer, its time to give it some summer TLC. Correct mowing and good feeding are essential, as will controlling any weeds and repairing bare areas.
During an average summer, regular rain showers should keep the lawn well watered. This year, our lawns have endured a watering feast to famine with winter rains followed by spring shortages and drought stress. If we are not under restrictions it is definitely worth getting out the sprinkler to give the grass a thorough soaking. To ensure the water soaks in instead of running off, spike the surface with a garden fork first. To measure how much water is being delivered, place jam jars over the lawn. When there is 3cm (1in) of water in the jam jar, the lawn has received enough water. Our web site contains a watering tool so you can calculate the cost for your lawn. It’s not that expensive.
If you decide that you don’t want to water you can reduce stress on the grass plant by raising the cut height and adjusting your cutting frequency. Greener Gardens also have 100% natural soil nutrition products available that will help developing root structure and plant health reducing plant drought stress and improving recovery from disease attack.
If you would like some independent advice on your lawn, don’t hesitate to call Greener Gardens, our team would be delighted to share our knowledge and recommendations for getting the best from your lawn.
GROW YOUR OWN
To ensure bumper crops, make sure the soil is kept evenly moist and doesn’t dry out. This can also lead to cracking in root crops, poor yields and bitter flavours. Pay particular attention to peas, runner beans, french beans and all fruiting crops.
To ensure large crops and great flavour from all your tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and other fruiting vegetables, start feeding as per instructions once the first fruit has set with Tomorite.
Keep earthing up potatoes to improve the yield and prevent the ones developing near the surface turning green. They will need watering if the weather is dry, as this will help to swell the developing tubers and so improve the yield. Feeding over the leaves weekly with a soluble Plant Food will ensure the stems are strong and healthy, providing nourishment right down to the roots and developing potatoes.
TREES, SHRUBS, ROSES & CLIMBERS
Roses are very hungry plants and will need a second feeding now to ensure they continue flowering all summer – and beyond. A dressing around the roots with a Rose & Shrub Plant Food will keep them flowering. If your roses seem shy to produce flowers at all, dress the soil around the roots with Sulphate of Potash for improved flowering.
Roses also need deadheading. It was always recommended to cut back the flowering stems by around 10-15cm (4-6in). This is no longer recommended, and it is far better to simply and carefully snap off the fading flower and seedpod with thumb and forefinger.
Greener Gardens are taking a pro active part in dealing with the COVID-19 / Corona Virus. Given we work in the outdoors, we feel fortunate that we can mitigate risks with a few small changes and have amended our working practices to ensure that along with our staff both new and current customers remain safe, especially those who are most vulnerable.
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