Garden expert Paraic Horkan has shared his expert advice for gardening in July. This is a great time of year to enjoy your garden and also to prepare for the next year.
Paraic’s Top Tips for Success:
- You can plant roses now for some instant colour in the garden
- Sow your winter and spring flowering plants now
- This is also the time for sowing perennial flowering plants for next summer
- In July you can give your lawn a new lease of life
- Protect your vegetable plants from insect damage & your potatoes from blight disease
Looking for some instant summer colour for your patio pots and flower beds? You can plant flowering hydrangeas, scented lavenders, summer patio roses, trumpet shaped arum lilies and gorgeous double flowering dahlias. Paraic also recommends planting a selection of late summer flowering perennials, including calla lilies (in different colours), red flowering penstomens, cape mallow and chrysanthemums. These will bloom to give some great late summer colour in the garden.
For instant and long-lasting colour, you can also plant summer flowering roses. Paraic explains that roses will be in flower until early autumn so they will give your plenty of colour and scent for the rest of the summer. Many rose varieties are suitable for planting both into flower borders and in patio planters.
This is a great time to sow a selection of winter and spring flowering plants from seed. Wallflowers, sweet williams, double daises, forget-me-nots and winter flowering pansies can all be sown outdoors. This will give great colour in the winter and spring.
Paraic also recommends that you can to sow perennial flowering plants for next summer. Delphiniums,lupins, foxgloves and Californian poppies can be planted from seed now for a great summer colour next year. This month you should cut back your flowering plants which are starting to fade, such as lupins and delphiniums blooms. You should cut back the stems to the new growth at the base.
Now is also the time to thin apple and pear clusters on your fruit trees. Paraic recommends that you should select the smallest fruits and remove them, leaving only 3 strong fruit to develop. This helps to ensure the remaining fruits grow to full size.
For excellent fruit this summer, you should feed all your fruiting plants now with Liquid Vitax Q4. July is a great time to brighten any dull lawns. A dressing of Osmo Park & Fairway encourages a rich green colour without forcing the growth.
You may also need to kill off any unwanted lawns weeds, such as clover, dandelions, daises and plantain. Paraic recommends Dicophar a selective weedkiller for lawns which gives great control of all broadleaved lawn weeds.
Don’t forget to protect your vegetable plants from insect damage this July. Carrots, cabbage, onions, cauliflowers, green broccoli, radish and turnips can be susceptible to insect damage this time of year. Paraic recommends applying a dressing of Garlic Wonder to the foliage and roots of all vegetables. This helps to prevent the damage before it starts.For best results, you should apply now and repeat the application again in 2 weeks.
Potato Blight is still an issue in July and it is important to keep your existing potato crop protected. You can spray your plants with a blight treatment. Proxanil is a systemic blight treatment suitable for both potatoes and tomatoes. It protects against blight by working from within the plant. You should re-apply Proxanil every 2 to 3 weeks to prevent blight from occurring.
July is also a great time of year for planting New Potatoes for Christmas into raised beds or potato pots. Christmas seed potatoes will be available in mid-July. Simply put five or six of these special potato tubers in a potato bag and add Super grow compost.
You can layer the potatoes by placing 3 tubers at the bottom of the potato bag then half fill the bag with compost, repeat the process by placing the remaining tuber on top and then top up with more compost.
Once you potatoes are planted place in a greenhouse or tunnel and grow on. Water during the growing season in autumn/winter as required. Protect foliage from frost by covering with fleece when frost is due. Harvest Dec/January. Follow these simple steps for great tasting early potatoes this December. The new Christmas potato tubers will be available in store in the coming weeks.