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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

This Month in your Garden – July

Water, water, everywhere


By now you will have been doing a fair bit of watering, whether it’s thirsty plants in borders or keeping hanging baskets and container plants happy. Which is why it’s good to collect rainwater from downpipes, shed and greenhouse gutters in case of drought. Usually, grey leaved plants need less water. Pop conservatory plants outside on hot days where you can give them a good spraying, but not in direct sunlight.

Carry on the good work of deadheading flowers you don’t need for seed production, ensuring bedding plants and repeat-flowering perennials continue to flower. Achilleas, scabious, gaillardias and geraniums will put on a display as can delphiniums and lupins if you remove the flower spikes.

Ponds need attention to clear algae, blanket weed and other debris, and top them up as required. You can plant autumn-flowering bulbs now such as Amaryllis, crocuses (Colchicum) and Nerines and it’s time to cut back to the base Kniphofia (red hot pokers) and Agapanthus (African lilies). You may find alpine plants with carpet-like growth get a little patchy so fill dying areas with gritty compost to help them come back.

If you haven’t dug up tulips, hyacinths and other spring flowering bulbs you can do so now to store them until re-planting in the autumn. Take cuttings of patio and container plants and propagate pinks and carnations by layering or taking cuttings. Pot on greenhouse plants such as zonal perlargoniums, primulas, calceolaris and cinerarias. Watch out for pests: vine weevils, lily beetle, capsid bug, greenfly and blackfly are around at this time of the year. Lots to do, lots to enjoy.

  • Mulch borders to retain moisture and keep down weeds
  • Liquid feed container plants and hanging baskets
  • Collect seeds from poppies and Calendula to grow next year
  • Check Michaelmas daisies for mildew and fungal rust
  • Watch out for caterpillars
  • Divide flag irises
  • Check clematis for any signs of clematis wilt
  • Sow herbaceous plant seed for flowering next year
  • Thin out perennials, biennials and winter flowering seedlings
  • Propagate hydrangeas from cuttings

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