Mid summer in the garden is the time when you can take some time to relax and admire the fruits of the your labor. The flower borders are in full bloom and the garden is buzzing with life. However, even in the smallest garden there is still plenty to do, from making sure containers and borders are well watered to deadheading roses. So before you get too comfortable in your deckchair, read this short reminder of some of the vital jobs to be getting on with in the flower garden during July.
Keep your Herbaceous borders looking stunning by cutting back early flowering perennials when they have finished flowering. If you are lucky, many including delphiniums and lupins will flower again before the summer is out. It is also important the you regularly deadhead roses this month, particularly those that repeat flower and feed to keep them producing new buds. Spray those roses that are susceptible to diseases such as mildew and blackspot with a fungicide. Other shrubs to deadhead include peonies and pansies.
Many garden shrubs will put on a lot of growth at this time, so cut back shrubs such as kerria, ceanothus and weigela. Also cut back the many whippy growth shoots on wisteria to about 20cm. It is also a good idea to give shrubs a good feed at this time. July is a good time to propagate shrubs. Take semi-ripe cuttings of shrubs such as cistus, lavatera, honeysuckle, rosemary and viburnum.
Pinch out the growing shoots on summer bedding plants such as fushia to encourage bushier growth. If you have grown sweet peas make sure you pick the flowers regularly to encourage the plants to keep producing. Cut lavender in full flower for drying. Now is the time to start planting autumn flowering bulbs such as autumn crocuses, colchicums and nerines.
Spent flowers on annual bedding plants like geraniums should be regularly removed to stop the plants putting their energy into producing seed and encourage them to continue flowering. Also regularly feed and water hanging baskets as they can be difficult to rehydrate once they have completely dried out. Its not too late to plant up any spare garden planters with summer bedding displays. Group a number of pots together filled with a mixture of summer bedding and herbs to brighten up patios or fill in gaps in the flower border. It is however, very important to make sure these containers are watered regularly and not allowed to dry out.
Jo Poultney is a RHS qualified gardener who has recently set up a business selling garden planters and garden related gifts via a website.