Garden Care in July
What to Do:
Pruning to perfection! Pruning should not be a dreaded chore. With the right tools and correct information, pruning can be easy.
Keep off the grass! Frosted lawns get damaged easily if trodden on, so be sure to stick to the pathway or stepping stones as much as possible in these conditions.
Remove garden debris regularly to prevent pests from making the area their home. Plan for summer and autumn flowering bulbs that can be planted next month. Remove dead, diseased and damaged wood from deciduous trees and shrubs. Leave evergreens and tender plants until spring.
Protect any tender plants from frost with frost cover, bubble wrap, straw or hessian. Place tender plants in containers together in a sheltered spot to give them more protection.
Ensure that the ground is covered with a layer of mulch, old newspaper, or straw to protect it from frost in the very cold areas. When watering always do so later in the morning when the ground has warmed up and avoid watering in the afternoon.
Don’t overwater your plants in winter. Most pot plants go into a state of semi-dormancy in winter, so a good watering once every 10 days is sufficient.
Make sure your bird feeder is well-stocked – there’s not much food around in the garden for birds in the winter months.
What to Plant:
- No garden should be without calendulas at this time of year; it’s the only way to guarantee a little burst of sunshine when the weather fails you!
- Asiatic lilies are available for planting now. These tall, beauties add height to borders and, in pots, stylish elegance to the patio or balcony garden.
- Look out for early flowering perennials like Osteospermum daisies, Pelargoniums, Wallflowers and Diascias. Aloe Hedgehog, Aloe ferrox and Aloe speciosa, Sweet peas, Poinsettias and Calliandra are all flowering now. Plant Aquilegias now for a beautiful spring show.
Sow early crops of hardy vegetables and herbs such as radishes, beetroot, spinach, lettuce, parsley and garlic chives in seed trays in a greenhouse or tunnel in light and airy conditions. Check out the seed racks at your favourite garden centre – there’s often an exciting new variety of a favourite old vegetable to be found.
In warmer areas and frost free areas peas, cauliflower, cabbage and root vegetables can be planted.
During winter it is very important that you get on top of your garden weed situation. If you don’t get on top of weeds in winter, they will spread because the extra water available will allow them to thrive. This can cause them to move into new areas of your garden that may have previously been free from weeds. Fortunately there is a range of broadleaf weed killers available from your local Garden Centre Association outlet.
Watch for powdery mildew as damper conditions start.
What to Feed:
After harvesting your vegetables and herbs, freshen up veggie beds with fresh compost and organic fertilizer. Generally it is best to apply a liquid fertiliser to your winter vegetables every two weeks. This will help your veggies to grow faster and give you a solid yield.
- Feed all leafy vegetables with 2:3:2 or a liquid plant food like Multifeed Classic.
- Feed lemon trees with 2kg (for a mature tree) of 3:1:5 and mulch with compost around the tree.
- Feed winter and summer-flowering bedding plants with 3:1:5.
- Feed summer and spring flowering bulbs with bulb food.