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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Inspect ties on trees, shrubs, roses and other staked plants to ensure they are firmly secure but not too tight.
*Tip: Pruning is a hot topic this month.
Follow our pruning series in the Discover tab to brush up your pruning skills and gain confidence.
- In frost-free areas, hard prune summer- and autumn flowering shrubs like Ribbon bush (Hypoestes sp), 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.
- Wait until the end of the month to prune roses. Tap the article below to learn how.
- Snip off the long side branches of granadillas to encourage new side growth on which fruit will be borne.
- Feed spring-flowering bulbs and keep the soil moist.
- Feed Camellias, after they have flowered, with a high-nitrogen fertiliser to promote new growth.
- Water in the morning to allow plants time to dry off before the cooler night temperatures.
- Pick sweet peas regularly to encourage the production of more blooms.
- Take up the #PlasticFreeJuly challenge and post your innovative ideas and practices to reduce plastic waste in the garden.
- Pick peas while young and tender.
- Pinch off growing tips of broad beans to promote pod formation.
- 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.
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.
- Plant onion seedlings, peas and beans, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
- Herbs to grow in winter: origanum, thyme, chervil, sage, parsley.
- 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, turnips and lettuce.
*Tip: Plant green manure like oats, lucerne or clover, and dig into the soil when it goes to flower.
- Start planning and preparing beds for spring vegetables.
- Snails on clivia, daffodils and narcissus.
- Scale on citrus.
- White scale on aloes.
- Aphids on Brassicas.
- Borer beetles in deciduous fruit trees.