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Published on July 4th 2020
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Winter reveals a different kind of beauty in the garden. It exposes the beautiful character of bare branches of deciduous trees, it beckons magnolias into bloom, it invites snowdrops, narcissus and indigenous bulbs to show off their immaculate colours, and best of all, it inconspicuously prepares for a burst of new growth and flowers in spring. Winter also gives us gardeners and plant lovers an opportunity to prune, transplant, and plan for spring.
Here are a few important garden tasks to tackle in July:

MUST dos this month!

Pruning is a hot topic in the months of July and August and should definitely be on your task list toward the end of July/beginning of August.
Tip | Brush up on your pruning skills by digging into the articles below.
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Why you need to prune your plants


Pruning tips and techniques


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Common pruning mistakes


  • Only prune Hydrangeas in the last week of July.
  • In warm, frost-free areas, hard prune summer- and autumn flowering shrubs like Ribbon bush, Duranta, Tecoma and Plumbago. Also, give Lavender a trim to encourage flowering in spring.
  • Do not prune spring-flowering trees or shrubs as you will be cutting of wood on which the flowers are forming.
  • Prune granadillas toward the end of July and prune grapevines back to two nodes.
A piece of wood
Have a tree or shrub in a spot that is less than ideal? Many trees and shrubs are dormant during July and can be transplanted now without causing too much stress.
Tip | Tap the article below for more information on transplanting roses.
  • Now is also the time to plant bare rooted fruit, grape vines, berries and roses.

General Tasks

  • Now is the time to do some hardscaping and maintenance in the garden - fix or install fences, retaining walls, paths, pavements and water features.
Tip | Give your wheelbarrow a protective coat of paint to prevent rust and send your lawnmowers and weed-eater for a service.
  • If you haven't already, adjust your watering schedule. In regions with frost, water in the morning to allow plants to dry before the evening.
  • Inspect ties on trees, shrubs, roses and other staked plants to ensure they are firmly secure but not too tight.
  • Deadhead flowering annuals, feed twice a month with an organic fertilizer and keep well watered.
  • Feed irises and maintain a regular feeding plan for winter and spring flowering bulbs, and keep well watered.
Tip | Ensure your stored dahlia tubers do not dry out.
  • Feed Camellias, after they have flowered, with a high-nitrogen fertiliser to promote new growth.
A close up of a flower
  • Regularly tie your sweet peas to the trellis and pick blooms often to encourage flower production.
Find out more about caring for sweetpeas in the article below.
  • Plant the first batch of Gladioli.
  • Join in the #PlasticFreeJuly challenge and post your innovative ideas and practices to reduce plastic waste in the garden.
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Rose care

  • Roses can now be pruned in warm areas. In frost zones, wait until the last week in July or the beginning of August. In the Western Cape, prune roses towards the end of the month. Tap the article below to learn how.
  • For more information on rose care in this season tap the article below.
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Food garden

  • Feed all winter vegetables once a week.
  • Pick peas while young and tender.
  • Pinch off growing tips of broad beans to promote pod formation.
Tip | After harvesting cauliflower, broccoli or cabbage, pull up the stumps as these may attract pests and disease.
  • Snip off the long side branches of granadillas to encourage new side growth on which fruit will be borne.
  • Plant onion seedlings, peas and beans, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
  • Herbs to grow in winter: origanum, thyme, chervil, sage, parsley.
A close up of a plant
  • Now is the time to divide and transplant or plant new asparagus crowns and rhubarb.
  • Veggies to plant: cabbage, broccoli, Asian greens, mizuna, Swiss chard, carrots, radish, parnsip, beetroot, turnips and lettuce.
Tip | Plant green manure like oats, lucerne or clover, and dig into the soil when it goes to flower.
  • Feed (5:1:5) and mulch citrus trees after harvest, and give a good sprinkle of Epsom salts. Prune out any dead branches and spindly growth after flowering.
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Cut off water shoots at the base of citrus trees.
  • For peach trees that have shown signs of leaf curl the previous season, spray with a fungicide containing copper oxychloride.
  • Start planning and preparing beds for spring vegetables.

Indoor plant care

  • In heated rooms, be sure to maintain high humidity levels around your plants by either misting or placing a saucer with water nearby.
  • Feed winter-flowering indoor plants like Cyclamens, Pointsettias and Calceolarias.

Pest patrol

Look out for these pests in the garden this month:
  • Snails on clivia, daffodils and narcissus.
  • Fig tree borer beetle
  • Scale on rose stems.
  • Italian cypress aphids on conifers.
  • Scale on citrus.
  • White scale on aloes.
  • Aphids on Brassicas.
  • Borer beetles in deciduous fruit trees.

Flowering this month

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