July 2010

July is often the warmest month of the year in the British Isles especially inland areas of East Anglia and the Southern England. It can also be the wettest summer month often with high humidity which can produce favourable conditions for the spread of plant diseases. It is a time when you can sit back for a moment and enjoy the fruits of your labours in the garden. While there are still other ongoing tasks to perform in the garden, your primary concern will be assuring an ample supply of water for your plants. If you’re looking for things to do, you can spend some time adding summer plants to the garden, lawn care and planting autumn and winter vegetables. This is the month that you begin enjoying the harvest of your homegrown fruits, vegetables and herbs and enjoy the colour in your garden from the annuals, biennials and perennials that you have planted.

Some jobs to keep you busy.

  • Be water-wise, especially after the very dry June. The primary rule of summer watering is to water thoroughly and deeply each time and to allow the soil to dry out between watering. The best way to tell if your plants are receiving enough water is to take a trowel or shovel and dig down a few inches. The soil should be moist at least 3 or 4 inches deep to ensure that the water is reaching the root zone of the plants.
  • Push your finger into the soil in your container plantings at least once a day (more often on hot, dry days) to feel for moisture and be certain that plants are getting enough water. Apply water until it runs out of the drainage holes
  • Dead head fed and water bedding plants to keep them flowering well and tidy spreading plants.
  • Pinch out sideshoots on tomatoes as they appear
  • Hoe borders regularly to keep down weeds
  • Make sure that shading is adequate in the greenhouses to keep them cool
  • If you plan to plant a new lawn this autumn start preparing the ground as soon as you are able to.
  • Remember especially in the hot weather to put fresh water out daily for the birds to drink or bathe in. Also it is very useful for insects…bees etc to have a shallow container of water but make sure there is a way for them to get out ie.a floating piece of wood or a stone in case they fall in.
  • Thin out over crowded apples and pears for better quality and sized fruit.
  • Deadhead roses regularly to keep them flowering.
  • Fish may be at risk of oxygen starvation if water levels drop and in hot humid weather.

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