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Monday 3 July 2023

This Month in Your Garden – July

“Live in each season as it passes: breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit.”
Henry David Thoreau

We rarely major on one particular weed in the garden, but this year conditions seemed to especially favour bindweed. Typically, it is perennial hedge bindweed, Calystegia sepium, that spreads fast with its twining stems and white, trumpet flowers.

It’s a killer. While it climbs to the top of tall plants it often chokes smaller plants to death. 

Digging out the weed’s roots is one way to deal with it but that needs doing in winter or early spring. If you can, cover the ground with weed control fabric to exclude light before planting. 

If you have it in profusion, you can pull it off other plants but that can also damage the host plant. Pulling it off roses for example can take the bud or flower head with it. One tip is to hoe or cut stems close to the ground and let it die back. Then it more easily comes away from the plant it’s strangling. The only chemical weedkiller that kills it down to the roots is glyphosate but that can also kill the host plant.

Other jobs in the garden this July if you are in an area which is very dry may be watering the lawn, assuming there is no hosepipe ban. Short sessions with the sprinkler do little good. They only promote shallow rooting. A thorough soaking every few days is what is needed. Borders suffering the dry spells will benefit from a good, thick layer of bark mulch to keep the moisture in once you have watered. It’s also a good weed deterrent.

  • Deadhead repeat flowering border plants for more flowering
  • Grow herbs such as parsley, sage, rosemary, oregano and thyme
  • Dry flowers to indoor arrangements     
  • Take cuttings of patio and container plants to increase stock
  • Attract bees and butterflies with Buddleia, achillea and campanula
  • Collect seeds from plants and flowers for sowing now or later.
  • Summer prune bush and standard roses for an autumn flush
  • Plant autumn-flowering bulbs such as autumn crocuses, Colchicum, Nerine and Amaryllis

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