Jobs to do in July
As the weather is so very hot watering is the priority this month….
It is a great idea to set up a number of watering systems in the garden which can keep your prized plants going in hot weather in a water – economic way.
Pots, both outside and in the greenhouse, can be sorted with a drip irrigation system set to a timer. I use this in my greenhouse all summer – firstly because tomatoes like plentiful but regular watering, and secondly because when time is at a premium it is one less job in the garden to carry out.
These systems can be bought relatively cheaply and are very easy to set up. Try Hozelock for a wide range. When I go on holiday I also use one for my hanging baskets and pots of annuals: I move them all to a shady spot near a tap, set up the system and timer and leave them. The pots do even better if cut back a bit before I go as this reduces the imminent flowering and setting to seed and on my return they look bountiful again.
I also use a ‘leaky hose’ system in my raised vegetable beds and cutting garden, buried 12cms or so below the surface of the soil. Again set to a timer this ensures that water is delivered straight to the roots of water dependent plants all summer.
Lawns, established trees, shrubs and perennials are left to fend for themselves – life’s too short and most will survive without cosseting.
Other jobs to do in the garden in July are:
- Along with attention to watering most plants will benefit from an occasional feed, annuals and vegetables at least once a fortnight. Use a multi purpose feed or tomato food on flowering plants once that show their first buds but be mindful of diluting to the correct strength. Too strong a feed can burn plants and kill them. Climbers such as honeysuckle and clematis can benefit too.
- Any perennials that have finished should be cut down, watered and if possible fed. very often plants that have been prevented from setting seed in this way will summon up their strength and re-flower later on in the season. At the very least most will produce a fresh hillock of foliage which fills an otherwise bare or dead looking gap.
- Plants that you want to self seed can be left and when the seed pods have darkened either cut off and collected or left to do it the natural way and disperse across the garden. Be careful though, weeds will also do this rather proficiently too so attention should be given to pulling up and destroying any seed heads that you don’t want.