July can be one of the hottest months of the year and the one where many of us want to sit outside and enjoy the fruits of our labour. However, there is still much that can be done in July to enhance your garden for the rest of the year.
July is the time when the flowers are at their peak. If you cut back any early flowering perennials, they should send out fresh leaves and hopefully you will benefit from some late summer flowers. Make sure you dead head flowers on a regular basis as this will ensure you have a longer display of flowers. Remember if you have plants in containers and pots, they do not benefit from any rain we may have so make sure you keep your plants well-watered, using stored rain water where possible. Plants in containers should be watered at least once a day during the hot warm weather.
With regard to vegetables, July is the time to reap what you have sown! Pick your veg regularly, especially courgettes, as this time of year they can need picking on a daily basis and you don’t want them to turn into marrows! Pinch out your tomato plants to limit the growth and the side shoots. Tie when the plant reaches the roof of your greenhouse.
Plants in the greenhouse will need regular watering, two or three times a day ideally in the hot weather and let the air circulate in the greenhouse as much as possible. If you have a glut of one particular veg that you can’t store or give away then make sure you recycle it by adding to the compost heap rather than throw it away.
If you have space to plant more veg, then carrots, lettuces, radishes and beetroot will all thrive by being planted out in July.
Other things to look after in the hotter months are your lawns and ponds. With regard to the lawn, raise your mower cutters a bit higher during dry weather, as by keeping the grass slightly longer, it will retain more moisture and therefore keep it greener.
Your pond will need to be topped up with water during July and August as the water evaporates with the heat and water levels may drop. Remember if you have a hose pipe ban in your area you can still use one in your pond if you have fish. Remove any algae or weed to keep the oxygen flowing and again dead head any pond plants that may be looking a bit yellow.