July means we're already past the winter solstice (and halfway through the year!). It sure is getting chilly out there; but there's still plenty winter veg & seasonal fruit to enjoy. Pruning season is also starting, and soon we can think about planting dahlias & other summer flowering blooms. Read on for your guide to July gardening.
WHAT TO PLANT THIS MONTH
Keep planting those winter greens: get your peas, broad beans, asparagus, garlic, onion and brassica (broccoli, cabbage, kale etc.) seedlings in now. Continue planting those strawberries, too. And hardy herbs like rosemary and thyme can be planted in winter.
In terms of seed sowing, you can direct sow rocket and mizuna, and tray sow onions, spring onions, brassicas, peas, broad beans, beetroot and bok choy this month.
Now is the time to plant any deciduous fruit trees while they’re still dormant - you can do this from July right through to September. Pick a sheltered spot with loads of sun. Read more about growing your own fruit here.
ON THE TO-DO LIST...
- Spray your roses with GroSafe Free Flo Copper to protect them from aphids, fungi, scale & thrips.
- Feed your spring bulbs with some Tui Bulb Food.
- Prune roses and deciduous fruit trees now. Make sure your cutting tools are sharp and clean, and protect cuts with a pruning paste.
- Add mulch to your garden beds. This helps to reduce weeds, and also adds nutrients back into your soil.
- Renew your soil with some greencrops! This is usually done from early autumn onwards, but any unused garden beds will still benefit from greencrops (also known as cover crops) if planted now. This is a great way to prevent soil from compacting over winter, and to replenish soil after heavy feeders. Barley, oats, mustard, broad beans, and peas are all popular choices. Sow now and dig them into the soil when they begin to flower - cut the foliage down to just above the ground and dig into the soil.
IN THE FLOWER GARDEN
Towards the end of the month you can start planting out your gladioli, tuberous begonias, dahlias, lilies and calla lilies for summer flowering. You can also sow poppies, sweet peas and lupins now. Exciting! Prepare the ground first by adding compost or other organic matter.
New season roses are usually in store - time to go check them out! Winter is the best time to plant roses, so prepare your garden bed by mixing in some organic matter and get planting. Most roses like sheltered, sunny spots.
You can start your annual rose pruning this month (best done in mid-late winter). Pruning your roses will improve flowering, and keeps the plant nice and healthy. Make sure your tools are sharp & clean, and ideally do your pruning on a clear, still day. Cut back main branches about halfway, pruning branches just above outward facing buds on a 45 degree angle.