July

Gardening Tips for July

Mid summer and the garden is at its most colourful. The frantic rush of exuberant growth has passed and our garden plants show off their glorious foliage textures and flowers displays, filling our borders and patio containers with colour and fragrance.

Terrace Garden

  • Warm summer evenings are the perfect opportunity for entertaining in the garden. Fill patio containers with a selection of vibrant bedding or perennial cottage garden plants for an instant display of foliage and flower colour. Our stores are fully stocked with an extensive range of quality British grown plants, selected for their excellent garden performance and floriferous display guaranteed to fill your garden with high summer colour. Our in-house planting service means we will be only too happy to plant your container for you, with your chosen selection, ready to go straight onto the terrace if you so wish.
  • Maintain a good display of summer colour by regularly watering container plants, daily in warm weather, adding a balanced liquid fertiliser every other week to encourage strong healthy growth and continual flowering. Remove spent flowers to encourage more to follow.

Beds and Borders

  • Prune spring and early summer flowering shrubs, such as Deutzia, Weigela and Philadelphus soon after flowering to prevent them becoming overgrown. Remove spent branches with secateurs or loppers to allow new growth to mature that will carry next year’s display. Extend the season of colour in borders with high summer flowering shrubs such as lavenders, hardy fuchsias and hydrangeas.
  • Lightly trim spring flowering heathers to maintain tidy, bushy growth.
  • Weeds grow quickly in the warm temperatures. To keep them in check hoe them off before they get chance to establish, digging out any perennial weeds as you go. If you have large areas of persistent weeds, such as ground elder, now is a good time to apply a chemical weed-killer, fast acting in the hot temperatures.
  • Consider ground cover planting to help keep weeds at bay. Hardy perennial plants such as Stachys, Euonymus and Alchemilla are all attractive and effective choices. Visit your local Dobbies store for an extensive range of easy maintenance planting ideas.
  • Water newly planted shrubs and perennials in dry conditions until well established. Apply a thick layer of mulch over the soil surface to help retain moisture.
  • Dead-head flower borders on a regular basis to help prolong the season of flowering.

Cottage Garden

  • Cut back herbaceous plants, such as Delphinium, Lupin and hardy Geranium after their first flush of flower. This will encourage fresh new growth and further blooms, Feed and mulch for an added boost. In store we have an extensive range of quality British grown cottage garden plants perfect for extended the season of colour to existing or newly created borders.
  • Dead-head roses to encourage repeat flowering. Feed with rose fertiliser and add a layer of mulch for an extra boost to support strong growth and a second display. Leave shrub rose varieties renowned for their attractive hips adding interest to the winter garden. See in store and online at Dobbies.com for a wide range of quality British grown plants, including highly recommended David Austin Roses for exuberant flowering, fragrance and excellent garden performance or charming patio roses perfect for patio pots on the terrace.
  • Tie in new growth on climbing roses and ramblers, positioning each stem as near to horizontal as possible. Training new growth in this way helps to encourage a prolific flower display along their length.
  • When absolutely necessary, spray roses with fungicide to control black spot and mildew.
  • Put supports in place around tall herbaceous perennials such as Delphiniums and Gladioli to prevent damage from wind and rain.
  • Keep cutting fragrant Sweet Peas for the home to encourage more blooms to follow, Snip off any flowers that run to seed to ensure a long season of beautiful flowers.
  • Prune Wisteria this month, cutting whippy side shoots back to around five leaves or 20cm in length. These will require a second pruning in early spring.
  • Clumps of bearded Iris that have become congested with reduced flowering can be split, divided and re-planted in their new positions. This will reinvigorate them for improved growth and flowering the following year.

Lawns

  • Regular mowing is best for a healthy lawn, reducing the cutting height in hot weather to help prevent drying out. Keeping the blades slightly higher helps the grass resist the extra summer wear.
  • To maintain a healthy green lawn, apply a high nitrogen summer feed. Use a combined feed and weed treatment if weeds are present.
  • Keep an eye on new lawn areas to ensure they do not dry out, particularly those newly seeded or turfed.

Kitchen Garden

  • Boost tomato, pepper and cucumber crops with regular feeding with a high potash tomato fertiliser. Pinch out side shoots of tomatoes to concentrate growing energy into trusses of fruit. Water regularly and consistently.
  • Plant out leeks and brassicas for a winter supply
  • Late sowings of beetroot, radishes, lettuce and salad crops grow quickly in the warm soils for an extended season of fresh vegetables. Alternatively, visit your local Dobbies Garden Centre for a wide choice of young vegetable plants ready for planting out.
  • Continue to earth up main-crop potatoes, to avoid tubers being exposed to the light and turning green. Early potatoes will be ready for harvesting, maturing around 10 weeks from planting.
  • Prune stone fruit trees such as cherry and plum this month, removing any crossing branches to maintain an open framework. These fruit types are susceptible to certain fungal diseases through open wounds if pruned in the winter, whilst pruning at this time helps to avoid risk of infection.

Greenhouse

  • Harden off and plant out any bedding plants you have been growing from young plug plants. Acclimatise over a period of a few days before planting out in their final positions.
  • Top canes with cane caps to protect eyes
  • Clean paving or slabs with an algicide
  • Put pots of plants into gaps in the borders
  • Use a Residual Current Device (RCD) when using any electrical equipment in the garden
  • Feed the garden using granular fertilisers like Growmore or Rose Plus

Plants at their best

Yarrow
English Roses
Clematis
Heron's Bill
Hair Grass
Foxglove
Day Lily
Flame Creeper
Penstemons