RHS set to unearth the nations gardening knowledge with its first ever Dig Together Day (1,5 & 6 September)
July in the garden is a time to sit back and take a look at what you have achieved over the last year. Fruit and vegetables are ripening fast, and the plants are flowering like mad. Summer is now in full swing and we are heading rapidly for the harvest of our labours. Most of your time will either be taken up by watering in dry weather or tying up plants in wet weather.
We are in mid-summer and the time to take a look at the garden and plan for next year. Look at how some of the larger bushes and trees have outgrown their surroundings. If possible you can cut back some of the more unruly offenders, like branches over hanging boundary fences. Remember though, only cut them back as far as the boundary, and it is always a good idea to consult the owner before you start.
The Vegetable Garden in July
Keep all salad crops well watered in hot weather.
The amount of plants for sowing this month is starting to drop off, here are some of the more popular vegetables. Broad Beans, Dwarf Beans, Mung Beans, Beetroot, Spring Cabbage, Carrots (for continuation), Next years Cauliflowers, Chicory, Coriander (Cilantro), Endive, Kohl Rabi, Lettuce for continuation and winter lettuce, Pak Choi, Peas, Radicchio, Radish, Turnips.
Early Dwarf and Runner Beans, Beetroot, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Celeriac, Celery, Coriander, Cucumber, Endive, Kale, Lettuce, Spring Onions, Bulb Onions, Peppers, Rhubarb, Rocket, Spinach, Strawberry, Swiss Chard, Tomato.
The Fruit garden in July
Thin fruit trees is the best way to obtain larger, and better quality fruit. When thinning remove any damaged or poor quality fruit and then remove the remaining fruit so there is at least 5 cm between each fruit. Remove any excessive growth on trees. . Espalier and dwarf trees will need training and protection from predators. In dry weather water fruit trees and apply mulch around the roots.
The Flower garden in July
With the number of flowers available for sowing reducing as mid-summer approaches, your main tasks will be tying up the larger plants, weeding out the beds, and watering. This is the time to sow, Perennial Alyssum, Anemone, Orminamental Cabbage, Cactus, Calceolaria, Camomile, Chinese Lantern, Clematis, Coleus, Daisy, Dracocephalum, Forget-me-not, Gaillardia, Perennial Linum, Michaelmas Daisy, Myosotis, Nemesia, Perennial Pansy, Perennial Penstemon, Polyanthus, Primrose, Primula Malacoides, Primula Pulverulenta, Prunella Freelander, Pyrethrum, Strelitzia, Thyme, Biennial Viola, Wallflower.
The Greenhouse in July
First thing to do in the green house this month, if you have not already done it, is to do a bit of cleaning. Try to clean as many surfaces as you can, as pests and diseases can grow at alarming rates.
To help reduce the direct sunlight overheating your greenhouse paint the roof with greenhouse paint or put up some blinds or horticultural fleece to provide some shade. On hot days water the path or ground in the greenhouse to reduce the hot dry atmosphere.
Also examine any potted plants to make sure they don't become pot bound, and repot if necessary.
Keep a particular lookout for Greenhouse White Fly. See below. It is about now the onslaught from the pests and diseases really starts. It is important you catch any infestations as soon as you can so keep an eye open for any possible signs. With most 'fly' infestations simply squish them between finger and thumb, or in more advanced infestations treat with an Organic pesticide. I have been using a solution obtained from boiling down Rhubarb leaves, but I must stress this should not be used on anything edible.
Small white insects about 2mm long. They deposit a sticky dew on the underside of leaves which in turn encourages sooty mould. Most chemical treatments are now not as effective as they used to be as the whitefly's have developed immunities to them. However they can still be stopped by introducing the Encarsia Formosa Parasitic Wasp. First detect the Whitefly using sticky papers, then get the wasps to work as soon as you can.