It’s the height of summer and the garden is bursting at the seams with beautiful blooms, wild flowers and wild creatures.
The Weather in July
In the UK July is usually one of the hottest months of the year with average temperatures around 19°C or 20 °C.
The south coast of England has the most sunshine with around 210 hours of sun and even the cloudier northern coast of Scotland can expect around 130 hours of sunshine this month.
July can be a dry month with little rain but the past few summers here in the UK have also shown us that July can also be a very wet month!
In July keeping your plants and garden wildlife supplied with water is important. Early flowering plants will need attention now, gaps in the borders can be filled and it’s time to plan ahead. Summer is the time to sow biennial seeds for early flowers next year. Keeping a garden journal can help you decide what would you like to see in your garden this autumn and in spring 2016.
Jobs for July
Here are my suggestions for the top ten tasks for your garden this month. Spending a little time on these activities will make a big difference by improving things for yourself and visiting wildlife. If it’s dry then watering will be the major task this month.
- Water all patio pots early every morning and feed once a week.
- Water young plants and vegetable beds. For borders a thorough soaking once a week is better than a light watering every day.
- Fill up your bird bath daily with fresh cold water.
Maintenance & New Plants
- Fill gaps in your borders with summer annuals that you’ve grown from seed.
- Pick flowers for the house and remove dead flower heads on roses, annuals and perennials as they fade to prolong flowering.
- Prune shrubs and climbers that have already flowered. Use these prunings to take cuttings of these early flowering shrubs and clematis.
- Cut back early flowering perennials such as geraniums and nepeta then feed and water well to encourage new growth and a second flush of flowers.
- Plant autumn flowering bulbs and order spring bulbs.
- Sow vegetables and salad leaves.
- Sow biennial flower seeds for early flowers next year.
In the summer warmth insects can multiply quickly so you may spot pests such as aphids on the soft tips of plants such as roses. There’s no need to reach for the chemicals! You can either squash them with your fingertips or do what I do and let Blue Tits and beneficial insects such as Hover flies and Ladybirds feast on them. In a wildlife friendly garden there will always need to be some pests to feed the wildlife you want to attract.
Keep a Garden Journal
Walk around your garden and take note of:
- Successful plant combinations and thriving happy plants that you would like to see more of next year.
- Unhappy plants, any gaps in the borders or plant combinations that haven’t worked.
- If planting scheme is lacking something… you’re not sure what but it just isn’t sparkling for you then take a picture to remind yourself that there’s an area needing attention. Very often what will bring a scheme together is a little structure of some kind. It could be a clipped evergreen shrub, a large pot or a tall decorative plant support
Looking Good In July