I sing of brooks, of blossoms, birds and bowers: Of April, May, of June and July flowers.Robert Herrick 1591-1674
Admire, cut, propagate. If you were handy with the seed packets earlier in the year and you havegrown plenty of annuals you can relax and enjoy the July colours, cut flowers for indoor display and deadhead bedding plants to ensure continuous flowering.
Tall perennials such as delphiniums, gladioli and lupins may need staking if you haven’t already done so. Pinks and carnations start to go leggy so now’s the time to take stem cuttings, dip them in hormone rooting powder and pop them into pots of compost.
You can cover with clear plastic food bags and put them in a shaded place outdoors to grow new plants. You can take cuttings of lavender and other shrubs to propagate now and if you’re pruning clematis you can get several cuttings from one stem. Keep a watch for pests and disease: lilies for example are susceptible to scarlet lily beetle and the larvae rapidly strip the plant.
Spray roses every couple of weeks and look out for black spot. Late flowering perennials will benefit from a good feed and mulching borders – a bark mulch is good – will help retain moisture. Where you have cut back plants that have flowered, you can plant tender perennials and hardy annuals in any empty spaces.
- Keep an eye on clematis for signs of wilt and cut back to healthy wood
- Look out for vine weevils damaging container plants
- Cut back lupins, geraniums, delphiniums and violas once flowered
- Water containers and new plants
- Thin and disbud dahlias for better displays
- Harvest flowers for drying and indoor displays
- Shade the greenhouse if needed
- Keep trimming hedges and topiary
- Lift tulips and hyacinth bulbs to store
- Prick out perennials and biennials grown in June