Seasonal gardening advice for July
By Paul Hervey-Brookes
Often one of the warmest months in the garden and a sign that summer is progressing, July is a great time to sit out and enjoy your garden in between caring for it.
During the dry weather painting and preserving jobs can be carried out on garden furniture, fences and sheds.
Autumn flowering bulbs can be planted now. These include Nerine, Amaryllis and autumn crocuses. Seeds collected from plants that have finished flowering can also be sown now. They can also be sown in winter and the following spring.
Herbaceous seeds can still be planted now and although they will not flower this year they will grow into a good plant by winter. Spring flowering bulbs can be dug up, cleaned and stored. Place them in a cool, airy space in a single layer until autumn.
Watering takes up considerable time in the garden and the best time to do this is late afternoon or early evening.
Watering in the late afternoon or early evening cuts down on evaporation and also allows the plants several hours without sun to take up water. Try not to water in direct sunlight as this can cause leaves to suffer from "leaf burn". Heat sensitive plants will benefit from shade netting as it provides protection from both heat and sun but also keeps the soil and air temperatures cooler.
Hanging baskets can be cut back and given a feed to encourage new growth. Delphiniums and geraniums will benefit from a cut back to encourage a second flowering and will also benefit from a feed. Deadheading is an on-going job and done regularly will encourage prolonged flowering. Now is the time to take cuttings from container and patio plants ready for next year.
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