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Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Tuesday 4 July 2017

This Month in Your Garden - July

‘I am Summer, come to lure you away from your computer... come dance on my fresh grass…’ Oriana Green

First the heatwave and we’re out there feverishly watering and then all it takes is to set the sprinkler going on the parched lawn and behold, the rain comes. Well, we needed some moisture but the problem with a lot of rain in a short period is the lawn hardly benefits. It takes a really thorough soaking to keep it green during such hot spells and dry July. But be water-wise.

The border plants however will be grateful for the rain and to maintain the benefit you can mulch around them with a bark mulch. Not only is it a good weed deterrent, it will help keep the soil below moist for longer. Keep an eye on any clematis you have for signs of wilt, where the leaves appear diseased. Cutting the plant right back can revive it. Deadheading repeat flowering border plants and perennials is rewarded with more colourful flowering into the autumn.

The Lawn Care Guide - July

Feed me! Feed me!

If your lawn is looking thin, weak and generally as if it needs a good tonic you could apply a light dressing of fertiliser. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy or expensive. You could use tomato fertiliser or even rose fertiliser. You just need to ensure the nutrient ratios of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium are low. You don’t want more than 10% Nitrogen in the mix. Applied evenly the fertiliser will spruce up the grass nicely. Alternatively you can apply a turf conditioner but that might be a bit more expensive. 

Lawn Care: Questions and Answers

Q. How often should I water the lawn during the dry spells?

The Vegetable Plot - July

"An onion can make people cry but there's never been a vegetable that can make people laugh." - Will Rogers   

It’s more or less a time for pottering around the vegetable plot, sowing some quick maturing beetroot,
turnips, fennel and spinach beet will keep you occupied in the sunshine. Watering will be called for especially for tomatoes both in and out of the greenhouse.

You might like to sow some Chinese cabbage and certainly spring cabbage. Autumn onions can be lifted and stored. Mint, marjoram and tarragon will benefit from cutting back to encourage fresh growth, while parsley for autumn can be sown and then moved inside the greenhouse or placed in a cold frame. Finish planting your celery now and earth up any early celery you planted.

The Big Glut Recipe - July

Vegetable garden risotto

A lovely way to use the beans, peas and asparagus from the garden, in a light and tasty risotto. From The Hairy Bikers’ Best of British. Serves four.


  • 250g/10oz broad beans 
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 long strip lemon zest
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 150g/5oz Arborio risotto rice
  • 150ml/5oz dry white wine
  • 750ml/1 pint 7fl oz hot vegetable stock
  • 100g/3½oz peas
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into short lengths
  • 100g/3½oz fresh runner beans, de-stringed and cut into long thin strips
  • 100g/3½oz feta cheese, drained and crumbled into small pieces
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan shavings, to serve (optional)