July Gardening Tips and Snips
Now’s the time to take semi-ripe cuttings from some of your favourite shrubs like Hebe’s, Rosemary, Weigela, Ceanothus and Hydrangeas. Take the cuttings from the current year’s growth just below a leaf, remove the leaves from the lower half of the cutting and dip the end in rooting hormone. Then insert the cuttings in pots of cuttings compost. Cover the pots with a polythene bag or put them in a propagator and place somewhere warm and sheltered but out of strong, direct sunlight. They should be ready to pot on in a few weeks. Don’t forget to pick up everything you need when shopping to ensure perfect cuttings including pots, cuttings compost, dibbers, rooting hormone, labels and propagators.
To get the most from wisteria it’s important to build up a good framework of permanent branches to cover the support, so make sure you tie in stems as they grow. And now’s the time to give your wisteria its summer prune. Cut back all this year’s leafy side shoots to five to seven leaflets. After pruning feed with a potash-rich granular feed such as a rose fertiliser. And if you were jealous of everyone else’s wisterias earlier this year then get buying and planting today, wisterias can take many years to flower so the longer you leave it the longer you are without beautiful wisteria blooms. Remember they need a spot in full sun and a sturdy trellis or similar for support.
Weeds can soon take over the garden and not only do they look unsightly, but they can smother your prized plants, steal valuable water and nutrients from the soil and become hosts to pests and diseases. Now’s the time for an all-out assault on them using a hoe for annuals and small weeds, mulches and planting membranes to keep beds and borders permanently weed free and weedkillers to stop even the most persistent weeds taking over. Use a weedkiller based on Glyphosate for persistent, deep-rooted perennials.
If your family is already getting bored of the summer holidays entertain them in the safety of your own garden. There are a large range of garden games available from Badminton to croquet.
Get the most from all your plants growing in beds and borders by giving them a little care and attention. Plants that have finished flowering should be dead-headed or cut back, and fed with a high potash fertiliser – many will reward you with further flushes of flowers.
Gardens are for enjoying – and the summer is the best time to do it. So make sure you sit back, relax and enjoy your garden this year from the comfort of your own garden furniture. Or entertain friends and family with a slap-up barbecue. And if you plan to stay out late add some easy to install garden lighting such as many of the solar lanterns available
During periods of hot dry weather the water in ponds can be very short of oxygen which will affect the fish and plants; if your fish are gulping at the surface it’s a sure sign they need more oxygen. Make sure your pond contains plenty of oxygenating plants and add a pump and waterfall or fountain as the constant movement of water is one of the best ways of aerating it. Fish will be very active now, so feed them little and often with a high protein fish food.
If you’re off on holiday soon or want to make the most of long days in the garden, use your time wisely and read a good gardening book or two. You can gen up on your favourite plants, plan next year’s garden, a new area in the garden or a new feature – or just brush up on your gardening techniques.
During the warm, dry days of summer pests like red spider mite, aphids and whitefly and diseases like
Mildew can really take hold and get out of control. Check plants regularly – daily if possible – for signs of trouble and deal with it quickly. One or two pests can soon become a major outbreak during warm weather. Ready-to-use sprayers are the quick and easy answer to your problems. Slugs and snails will also become busy after a cooling summer shower, so make sure you have controls ready to hand. If your plants have a problem ask one of our friendly staff to help you choose a suitable product to deal with it.
If you haven’t already done so, make sure you shade your greenhouse to prevent plants inside getting scorched. Use a shading wash or hang up fleece or shade netting. And keep vents open during warm weather; installing automatic vent openers will do the work for you. Water plants daily – or as and when they need it – and feed every seven to 10 days or so to ensure healthy growth and plenty of flowers and fruit. Damp down paths daily with a few gallons of water to help improve humidity.
Tomatoes are our favourite home-grown vegetable and a little care and attention now will ensure bumper crops throughout the summer. Make sure your plants are well supported – tying them in as they grow, remove sideshoots from upright cordon varieties, remove yellowing or dying leaves and watch out for pests and diseases, then treat accordingly. Feed weekly with a liquid tomato fertiliser and water regularly so that the compost or soil remains evenly moist.
If you love cooking indoors or are spending the long, sunny days and evenings barbecuing, then you’ll appreciate having plenty of herbs. If you don’t have room in the rest of the garden, then plant up a herb pot with all your culinary favourites so they’re easily to hand when you need them. From Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme to Basil and Mint your local garden centre have all the herbs you’ll need for a potpourri of scents and tastes.
If your lawn is looking tired and run down, give it a boost now with a liquid feed. And where weeds or moss are a problem use a liquid feed, weed and moss killer. Keep mowing regular when the grass is growing to ensure it looks its best. You can leave small clippings on the lawn as they will help conserve soil moisture. But when a good soak is needed – lawns use around 4 gallons of water per square yard per week – use a lawn sprinkler set on a timer to avoid wasting water and making your water bill shoot up.
Plant Buying Tips
If you have colour gaps in your beds, borders and containers now is a good time to plug them. Treat you and your garden to an eye-catching tree or specimen plant like a tree fern, Fatsia Japonica, Phormium or grasses. Or if your garden is looking a bit flat put up an arch, pergola or trellis and cover it with colourful climbers. Look out for our instant colour from our wide range of shrubs, herbaceous plants and seasonal bedding. And if your patio is looking tired or colourless pop in some large container plants for instant impact.
Plants of The Month
Make sure your garden is bursting with colour this summer with our plants of the month. There’s plenty to choose from for long-lasting interest including Fuchsias, Roses, Penstemons, Lavatera, Lavender and Spiraea. And don’t forget our huge range of summer-flowering herbaceous perennials. Bring your garden to life with our plants of the month.
Make sure your plants produce a display to be proud of by giving them just the right amount of water. Well-established plants may not need watering but newly planted ones, bedding plants and plants in containers will all need regular watering. Using a hosepipe with a watering gun is quicker and easier than using a watering can and helps prevent water wastage. If you have a lot of plants in containers, in the greenhouse or large areas of the garden that need watering, consider installing a micro drip watering system. If you use a watering computer too, they will even water your plants while you’re away.