The Gardener’s Calendar
July Jobs in the Garden (by Ian Clemens, Horticultural Society)
- Dead-head annuals and perennials to avoid self-seeding and to encourage prolonged flowering.
- Take cuttings from your favourite tender plants for over-wintering indoors. Cuttings can also still be taken from shrubs and herbaceous perennials.
- Keep an eye out for pests on plants, early treatment is best.
- Pinch out tomato side shoots each week. Cut off any leaves growing below the lowest ripening fruit trusses to improve air circulation and prevent diseases. Feed weekly with diluted tomato fertiliser.
- Start harvesting garlic and overwintered onions, freeing up ground for other crops. I’ll be planting my late flowering Dahlias in these beds.
- Harvest marrows and courgettes regularly to encourage a continued supply.
- Watch for blackfly on your broad beans, pinching out affected growing tips.
- Spray tomato plants and potato foliage with Bordeaux mixture to prevent blight. Take a look at www.blightwatch.co.uk where you can register for blight warnings in your area.
- Use untreated grass clippings as a mulch around most vegetables plants to suppress weed growth. They will eventually rot in and help feed your crops.
- Peg down runners on your strawberry plants to provide more plants for next year. If you don’t need extra plants simply remove the strawberry runners completely.
- Prune your plum, apricot, peach and cherry trees now. Pruning these species in the summer reduces the risk of these trees getting silver leaf disease.
- Check the leaves of gooseberry bushes for sawfly larvae, which can completely strip the foliage in a matter of days. Jet them off with water or pick them off by hand.