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Monthly gardening tips - July

Contributed by editor on Jul 01, 2006 - 12:12 AM


MONTHLY GARDENING TIPS - JULY

GENERAL

Watering continues to be a priority. Container plantings, hanging baskets and window boxes must be attended to regularly

Weeding of all areas continues to be important. Keep the hoe moving so that seedling weeds do not have an opportunity to become established

Pests and diseases continue to be a problem. Look carefully for possible organic solutions and where these are not available select multipurpose or combined pesticides to reduce the number of times it is necessary to spray

Slug control can continue with beer traps or biological control

Cut hedges regularly as required

LAWN

Mow the lawn regularly and during dry spells water to keep it fresh and green. Keep the edges well trimmed

POND

Dead head any of the marginal plants that have finished flowering to prevent them seeding into the margins and becoming a nuisance. Remove faded foliage at the same time

Remove any green filamentous algae such as blanket weed by twisting it around a stick with a nail protruding from the bottom. Blanket weed is common in otherwise perfectly clear water

FLOWERS

Dead head hardy herbaceous plants and shrubs as their blossoms fade. This tidies the plants up, prevents them from putting their resources into seed production and often results in a second flush of blossom


Plant autumn flowering crocus and colchicum. Madonna lilies are also available towards the end of the month and should be planted immediately

Sow seeds of winter pansies in a cold frame

Prick out polyanthus seedlings and those of cushion daisies. As soon as wallflower seedlings produce three or four rough leaves, transplant them into nursery rows

Trim up spring and early summer flowering rock garden plants and put a little slow release fertilizer in the centre of each clump to encourage it to remain tight growth

Regularly feed plants growing in containers, planters, window boxes and hanging baskets

VEGETABLES

Sow kohl rabi, Chinese cabbage, spring cabbage and perpetual spinach

Lift shallots and dry off before storage

Continue to earth up potatoes

Water regularly during dry spells, especially celery, celeriac and leeks. If these receive a check in growth they usually run to seed. Ensure that runner beans have copious amounts of water

FRUIT

The soft fruit harvest is in full swing. Protect vulnerable fruits such as red currants and raspberries from birds by providing a covering of fine netting

Thin crowded groups of culinary apples and pears so that individuals develop properly. This is especially important o­n trained trees like espaliers and cordons

Continue the summer pruning of cherries, plums, peaches and trained apples and pears

GREENHOUSE

Regularly remove the side shoots of tomatoes. When eight trusses of blossoms have formed, pinch out the tops

Mist the open blossoms of peppers and aubergines with clear water to help set the fruit. Feed regularly using a liquid tomato feed

Watering, ventilating, shading and "damping down" must be carefully and regularly undertaken

Sow seeds of autumn and winter flowering pot plants such as cineraria, primula and schizanthus.