What to Do in the Garden This July

Published on July 5th 2020
Herbaceous perennial flower border at Bristol Gardens
Your garden should be full of growth and blooms this month, and I have a few tips to keep the show going. Hopefully, in July you will find time to enjoy your garden and relax a little. Do watch out for my weekly gardening tips for other memory joggers in July!
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Pots and borders

  • Remove dead flowers from tall perennials such as delphiniums, lupins and foxgloves. This will encourage them to flower again this year.
  • Fill any gaps in your borders and pots with plants that provide instant colour. Pot grown lilies, dahlias, salvias and marguerite daisies are all suitable gap fillers and great late summer performers.
  • Brighten the garden up with a few extra planted pots! This is especially effective close to the patio or terrace but can be impressive if you only have a balcony!
  • Some perennials such as Lady’s Mantle Alchemilla mollis can be too successful and may seed themselves everywhere. To limit their spread, remove the flowers as soon as they fade so that seeds cannot form.
Alchemilla mollis in a flower garden
  • The sprawling Bellflower is an excellent plant for areas where other plants struggle. However, it too can be invasive – this time spreading by underground runners.
  • Stake sunflowers and other tall plants.
A close up of a sunflower

Trees, shrubs and other perennials

  • All lime-hating plants, either in pots or in the garden, will reward you next spring if you regularly feed them now. Use a specific plant food such as Miracle-Gro Azalea, Camellia & Rhododendron feed. This month is when next year’s flower buds form, so ensure they don’t go short of food and water.
  • Check susceptible varieties of plants for vine weevil damage. Half circle notches out of the edges of leaves are common at this time of year and are caused by the nocturnal adults. Likely plants to show symptoms are Viburnum, Heuchera, Euonymus, Bergenia, Camellia, Rhododendron, strawberry and Fuchsia. If any damage is present, treat with natural nematode predators - water them around the roots where the grubs cause the greatest damage.
A vine weevil adult on a leaf
  • Feed rose bushes. Spread a handful or two of Toprose fertiliser around the plants and lightly hoe it in. Remove dead flowers to encourage strong new shoots to grow. This will give you a good show later, but only if it is a repeat flowering variety.
  • Prune climbing and rambling roses by cutting out old shoots. Focus on those that flowered well. Also, remove weak shoots. Prune back hard to encourage new shoots from low down. These new shoots will carry next year's flowers.
Find more information here:
A red rose on a brick building
  • Remove Buddleja blooms as they fade. Most will grow new small flowers further down the stem. Leave a few to produce seeds for the birds in winter.
  • Trim catmint and hardy geraniums back hard when they get scruffy. Within a very short time, they will produce new fresh-looking leaves and perhaps some flowers too.
A close up of a hardy geranium flower on a plant

Lawns and flower meadows

  • Cut wildflower meadows. Leave for a few days to let the seeds fall out before removing the cut hay.
  • Order yellow rattle seed to sow into your wildflower meadow to check the growth of grasses. This hemiparasite is an annual, and the seeds need to be as fresh as possible. Sow into roughened up areas to give it a chance to establish.
A yellow rattle flower on a wildflower lawn
  • If you have the odd weed or two in the lawn - who hasn’t - spot weeding with Weedol selective Lawn Weed Killer now can be very effective. Alternatively apply Aftercut All in one Feed, Weed and Mosskiller.

Ponds and wildlife

  • Check the water level in ponds and water features regularly. A lot of water can be lost through evaporation. Top up if necessary.
  • Thin out oxygenating weeds so that they occupy around a third of the water volume.
  • Look out for dragonflies and damselflies this month. Your pond should be full of life at this time of the year.
A hand with a dragonfly
  • Provide water for birds to bathe and drink.
  • Keep pond and water feature pump filters clean.
a bird bath in a flower garden
  • Plant butterfly and bee-friendly plants in a warm sunny place. Try Buddleja, Hebe, wallflower, Sedum, marjoram, mints, Aster, Solidago, heathers, and thyme.
  • Put out a butterfly and moth feeder in your garden. The Tetbury based company Wildlife World produces some excellent ones.
A colorful butterfly on a flower
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