What to do in the garden in July

VEGETABLE GARDEN

  • Plant pepper plants into larger pots.
  • Harvest garlic when the tops start to bend over and yellow.
  • Pick runner beans regularly in order to prevent them becoming stringy and make room for developing pods. Leaving mature pods on the plant can prevent further flowers from forming and reduce crop.
  • Feed crops with Ecoworm Soil Extract.
  • Pinch out tomato side shoots each week. Remove leaves growing below the lowest ripening fruit to improve air circulation and prevent diseases.
  • Boost your pepper, tomato, and cucumber crops by regularly feeding plants with potassium rich Ecoworm Soil Extract. Start feeding when the first fruit appears.
  • Train cucumber stems upwards to use the space wisely. Tie in their long stems to vertical wires.
  • Pinch out growing tips of aubergines, once they got 5 or 6 fruits. Pick fruits while they are young. Regular picking encourages more fruit.
  • Nip off the growing tips of squash and courgette plants to encourage branching.
  • Dry and freeze herbs, so you can use later in the year.
  • Harvest peas, carrots, beetroot, potatoes, salad leaves, lettuce and tomatoes this month.
  • Save seeds for future sowing.
  • Water your fruits and vegetables daily in warm weather.
  • Keep on top of pests and disease in the garden so they can be treated at the earliest stage possible. Mildew is problematic in hot, dry weather, and red spider mite can become a nightmare.
  • Control slugs to prevent them from damaging your crops.
  • Tackle blackfly on broad beans by pinching off any affected growing tips.
  • Remove weeds regularly, as they compete with your crops for nutrients and water.

FRUIT GARDEN

  • Harvest strawberries, currants, raspberries and gooseberries.
  • Feed your fruiting container plants with potassium rich Ecoworm Soil Extract, which will keep them healthy and productive.
  • Begin tidying up the beds of main crop strawberries. Runners will be growing thick and fast now, unless you need them for propagating, remove them. Rake up the straw or remove protective sheeting and cut off the old foliage with shears. If your plants are past their prime, dig them out and replace them with rooted runners from earlier in summer. Leave perpetual-fruiting strawberries to flower, to produce fruit for late summer and autumn.
  • After raspberries have finished fruiting, cut out all the old growth to the ground level and begin tying in the new shoots that will produce fruit next year.
  • Raspberries are shallow rooted, therefore water them generously in hot, dry weather.
  • In the end of the month, start layering blackberries, loganberries and blackberry hybrids. Simply bury the tip of a young shoot about 5cm into the soil, do not bury any leaves.
  • Check the leaves of gooseberry bushes for sawfly larvae, which can completely strip the foliage in a matter of days. Jet them off with water or pick them off by hand.
  • Keep on thinning fruits on the fruit trees. This also helps to prevent brown rot.
  • Protect any developing fruits from birds and squirrels by placing netting around your plants.
  • Increase your fig crop by pinching out the tips of side shoots after they’ve developed five leaves.
  • Thin grapes to get nicer, fuller bunches with fewer, but larger berries. Once the berries have started swelling, remove any diseased or small ones first. Take from the centre of the bunch outwards, using special vine scissors. Leave a slightly denser concentration of berries at the top of the bunch. With heavy cropping vines, one third or even more of the berries should be removed.
  • Prune fruit trees. This should be done from July to autumn. Pruning plum, apricot, peach and cherry trees in the summer reduces the risk of silver leaf disease.
  • Keep an eye on pests and disease in July. Look for persistent ones like woolly aphid, tortrix caterpillars, red spider mite, and mildew.
  • Check plum, apple and pear trees for silver leaf – a nasty fungal infection, which shows up as a silvery sheen on the infected leaves. Cut out and burn any infected branches immediately, and paid the wound with a fungicidal paint.
  • Support heavy fruit tree branches.
  • Continue pollinating and training melons.

LAWN

  • Mow regularly. Make sure the mower is not set to cut too low when the lawn is very dry.
  • If the lawn is compact, spike the lawn first to allow water to penetrate the surface.
  • Water your lawn during hot weather, particularly newly seeded or turfed lawns. Don’t allow new lawns to dry out.
  • If the weather is dry, leave the grass-box off the mower once or twice. This will help to keep the grass in good condition by providing a very shallow mulch.
  • Weed as necessarily. Warm weather encourages rapid weed growth – apply specific lawn weed killer to tackle this problem.
  • Apply Ecoworm Soil Extract to established lawns to get them lush and keep them going for the rest of the growing season.

TREES & SHRUBS

  • Continue deadheading roses to keep them neat and flowering. Cut back any stems without buds about half their length. Feed them with Ecoworm Soil Extract to encourage a continuation of flower buds.
  • Spray roses with suitable fungicide as soon as blackspot and mildew problem arises.
  • Prune shrubs that have finished flowering. Philadelphus and Weigela can be pruned now, together with Kolkwitzia and any deutzias that have finished flowering. Cut out old flowered shoots back to a strong new shoot, and take the opportunity to cut out any crowded, old wood. 
  • Keep an eye on wisterias, so that they do not take over your garden. Cut back the long, thin side growth to leaves from the main stems.
  • Hedges, especially quick growing ones, such as privet will need clipping back this month. The slower growing hedges, such as Taxus can have a once over.
  • Check for weeds growing along the bottom of hedges and remove any growth on variegated hedges that has reverted back to the original colours. Cut the reverted branches right back to the base, or they will unavoidably take over from their weaker, variegated neighbours.

FLOWER GARDEN

  • Continue watering plants. Keep an eye on wilting leaves, which are a sign of a plant being thirsty. However, wilting can also be caused by pests feeding off the plants’ roots or by certain diseases. If watering does not help, then check out the plant properly.
  • If your plants grow in hanging baskets, window boxes etc., give them extra care and feed them with Ecoworm Soil Extract. Don’t forget to water more frequently.
  • Continue deadheading flowers, that are not needed for seed production. Deadheading flowers that have a long period of display, such as scabious, gaillardias and achilleas, will produce more flowers.
  • Continue to tie in and train new growth on climbing plants.
  • Continue feeding blooming sweet peas, chrysanthemums and dahlias with Ecoworm Soil Extract.
  • Dig up and store tulips, hyacinths and other spring flowering bulbs. Place the bulbs in a single layer in a cool, airy place to dry, and store them in these conditions until planting time in the autumn. You may find that small bulbs have been produced at the base of the larger bulbs. Simply detach these and plant in a nursery bed to grow-on to flowering size.
  • Start collecting seeds this month if you want to dry and store your own seeds.
  • Tender cyclamen house plants that have been resting after their winter display may start to send out tiny leaves meaning that they will need potting up in fresh compost. Water well and make sure they get light and warmth.
  • Plant autumn flowering bulbs at the end of July for a late seasonal garden display.
  • Continue sowing any herbaceous plant seeds that you got left. There is still time to build good plants by the winter, but they are very unlikely to flower until next year.
  • Plan for autumn colour. There are many bulbs that can be planted in July. Autumn crocus (Colchicum) is a great choice.
  • Continue thinning out perennials and winter flowering seedlings. Biennial seeds sown last month will also need thinning, and you can keep sowing pansies now, ready for winter and next spring.
  • Any herbaceous and biennial seedlings that are still in their original seed rows, or pots, should be planted out in wider nursery rows soon after they are large enough to handle.
  • Propagate hydrangeas from cuttings before the end of July.
  • Keep an eye out for pests on plants, early treatment is best.

Read more:
What to do in the Garden in April
What to do in the Garden in May
What to do in the Garden in June
What to do in the Garden in August