July in the Garden

What to do in the garden during July

Winter is steadily moving along. With spring just around the corner July brings longer days and warmer temperatures. Countrywide the month of July is the gardener’s time to prune, plant and prepare for spring.

Follow these tips and pointers on what to plant, prune and maintain this month to make the best of your garden this July.

Prune, Propagate and Pamper

pruning rosesPrune

  • Hydrangeas should be pruned now to promote a show in the season to come. Remove dead and diseased materials, remove the flowering stems to about 30cm above the soil, but make sure to keep 2 healthy buds beneath each cut. In areas with severe leave this chore for next month.
  • Lagerstroemias or pride of India can be cut back by a third, one again remove old tacky growth and excessively woody stems.
  • The first buds on poppies, pansies, and antirrhinums should be pinched off to promote a bushier and stronger plant and encourage more aggressive flowering.
  • Cut back, neaten and clean out hedges. Remember to add offcuts to the compost heap.
  • Prune roses and fruit trees, spray twice with winter-strength lime sulphur.
  • Prune shrubs like box honeysuckle, butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii), Cape fuchsia, Chinese lanterns, cigarette bush (Cuphea ignea), deutzia, elderberries, firedart bush, hibiscus, hypericum, lavender, lemon-scented verbena, may bush, Mexican orange (Choisya ternata), myrtle, pentas, plectranthus, privet (Ligiustrum), river bells (Mackaya bella), tibouchina and viburnum. Prune and shape vines.
  • Prune roses and fruit trees, spray twice with winter-strength lime sulphur.
  • Thin out growth and remove dead wood of most ornamental shrubs. When pruning Hydrangeas only cut back those shoots which have flowered.

Pests and disease 

  • Generally there are less pests in the garden this time of year, Aphids however tend not to be put off by the cold, spray them with a strong jet of water or treat severe infestations with a suitable pesticide.
  • Powdery mildew may become a problem as damper conditions creep in.
  • Only spray where necessary to keep the garden free of pests. – There are a number of organic products and remedies available.
  • Treat fruit trees for pests with a spray. Remember to spray your roses and affected ornamentals as well as many of them harbour pests which attack fruit trees. Particularly spray Pyracantha and quince.dandelion weed

Weeds

  • It is essential to combat weeds during winter, before they multiply in the favourable conditions soon to come.
  • Remove weeds from the lawn by applying a broad-leaf weed-killer, weeds in the garden bed are best removed by hand before they flower and set seed.
  • Minimise weeds by applying mulch and weed guard or landscape fabric and refrain from turning or “cultivating” the soil.

Feed and fertilize 

  • Feed winter flowering annuals every 14 days with a water soluble fertilizer like Nitrosol or Multifeed.
  • Freshen up vegetable beds with fresh compost and organic fertilizer, after harvesting your vegetables and herbs.
  • Liquid fertiliser can be applied every 14 days or so to encourage a heavy yield.
  • Leafy vegetables like spinach and lettuce can be fed with 2:3:2 or a liquid plant food like Multifeed Classic.
  • Lemon trees can be fed 2 kg (for a mature tree) of 3:1:5 and mulch with compost around the tree.
  • Summer and Spring flowering bulbs can be fed with bulb food and should be kept moist, but not overwatered.
  • A dose of 3:1:5 would do your summer-flowering bedding plants well.

Lifting and dividing 

  • Overgrown Zantedeschias or arum lilies can be lifted and divided now.
  • Daylilies or Hemerocallis can be lifted, divided and transplanted now. Prepare the planting holes well with organic matter or compost and some bone meal.
  • Some advice when dividing perennials:
    -Water clumps well before lifting.
    -Some perennials prefer not to be divided into too small sections as this often leads to a longer recovery period.
    -Don’t lift all the plants to be divided at once, lift them as you divide them to minimise exposure of the roots.
    -Remove and replant the young growth and plant-lets from the outer edges and discard older growth in the centre of clumps.

indoor plantIndoor plants

  • Indoor plat require very little water this time of year as many of them are dormant. When you do water make sure the water is room temperature.
  • With a wet cloth or sponge, gently wipe and dust the leaves every two weeks or so.
  • Its best to keep your indoor plants away from draughts moving trough the room.
  • Primulas, cyclamen and cinerarias make great indoor plants, these can be fed once a week and require slightly more water than other now dormant indoor plants.
  • Single and double flowered begonias as well as flowering Kalanchoes should also be available now.
  • Avoid getting water on the foliage of African Violets.

 

Mulching

  • If you didn’t make use of mulch during the hotter months, you have no excuse now as mulching will prevent the soil from losing moisture on hot days in the warmer regions.
  • Much will also help with protection on cold frosty nights in the colder regions and serve a dual purpose for our more temperate regions!
  • In case you needed yet another reason to get stuck in, mulch is also great for suppressing weed growth.

General Garden Maintenance

    • Now is a good time to spend some attention on the maintenance of the hard landscaping in your garden. Benches, walkways edging, paving etc. must be repaired, sanded and varnished, cleaned, adjusted, relocated where necessary and so forth.
    • There might be time now to put up a pergola, lay down paving or make a new water feature.
    • Readily remove faded flowers from your winter flowering seedlings.walkway
    • Iceland poppies, violas and pansies perform particularly well when deadheaded regularly.
    • Water and deadhead sweat peas regularly and tie the plants to a trellis or support where necessary.
    • In drier areas of the country, water the lawn once a month.
    • Continue to remove weeds from lawns and paving’s.
    • Protect tender plants from frost where necessary and move containerised plants to a sheltered location.
    • If your plants are damaged by frost resist the temptation of cutting them back, this will simply encourage new growth which is even more vulnerable to frost. Rather wait until the frost has passed and then neaten them up.
    • Be careful not to overwater your plants during winter. Colder temperatures mean your plants need less water, many of them go dormant during this time of year and lower temperatures also result in lower evaporation rates. A moderate watering every 7-10 days should be sufficient.
    • Water the garden during the late morning when the ground has warmed up.This will make sure the leaves of your plants are dry by nightfall and will minimise cold damage.
    • You can also mulch your plants to protect the roots from frost damage en encourage more beneficial soil temperatures.
    • Water irises and remember to water liliums once a month.
    • Continue treatment of conifers with Aphicide or Insect Granules.
    • Dead, diseased and damaged wood from deciduous trees and shrubs can be removed. Evergreen and tender plants can be left until Spring.
    • Dig manure and compost into the ground where you plan to plant in spring.
    • Slightly increase the watering of cacti and succulents as their growing season will start soon

What To Plant And Sow In July?

Annuals

  • Plant these seedlings out from trays:

    Violas

    Violas

    Primula

    Primula

    lobelia month

    Lobelia

    Calendula officinalis

    Calendula officinalis

    Celosia

    Celosia

    Stocks

    Virginian stocks

    Sweet peas

    Sweet peas

    Dianthus

    Dianthus

    Gazanias

    Gazanias

    Tagetes erecta

    Tagetes erecta

    Papaver nudicaule

    Papaver nudicaule

    Mimulus Species

    Mimulus Species

    Viola wittrockiana

    Viola wittrockiana

    Petunia

    Petunia

    Vinca Major

    Vinca Major

    Bellis perennis

    Bellis perennis

    Antirrhinum majus

    Antirrhinum majus

    Digitalis purpurea

    Digitalis purpurea

    Phlox maculata

    Phlox maculata

    Penstemon

    Penstemon

  • Great Ideas:
    • For a great display during winter and spring plant up containers around the patio and entrances with lobelia and petunia seedlings.
    • Sweet peas:
      There is still some time to plant sweet peas. For the best germination results remember to soak the seeds in water overnight before sowing. Sow the seeds 2.5 cm deep and pinch out the growing tips when the seedlings reach a height of 10-15 cm. this not only encourages branching and bushier growth, but eventually leads to more flowers. Remember to erect a suitable support structure for these babies to cling onto.
    • Namaqualand daisy, Dimorphotheca aurantiaca can be sown through out the country.

Bulbs to plant during July:

Keep your eyes open around the garden centres, nurseries and home improvement stores for a selection of bulbs available for purchase during July.

Muscari armeniacum

Muscari armeniacum

Leucojum aestivum

Leucojum aestivum

Tulipa x hybrids

Tulipa x hybrids

Great tips:

As bulbs come up, keep them well watered and feed once a fortnight with a general fertilizer.


Herbs and vegetables to plant in July

In frost free areas, July is a good time to plant herbs like.

Chives

Chives

Parsley

Parsley

These vegetable seedlings can be planted out in open soil during July.

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts

Cabbage

Cabbage

Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Broad beans

Broad beans

Carrots

Carrots

Beetroot

Beetroot

Salad crops

Salad crops

Celery

Celery

Spinach

Spinach

Onions

Onions

Leeks

Leeks

Turnips

Turnips

Permanent crops to plant now in the vegetable garden during July.

Cynara scolymus

Cynara scolymus

Rheum rhaponticum

Rheum rhaponticumSow the following in seed trays and place them in the greenhouse:

  • Great Ideas:
  • In areas where frost is not a problem tomatoes can be planted as well.
  • Parsnips , lettuce and peas can be planted now.
  • Continue sowing salad crops, remember to sow in regular successions to ensure they mature in accordance with harvesting requirements.a

Trees, Shrubs and Perennials to plant in July

Plant these shrubs now for some winter colour

 

Rhododendron x hybrids

Rhododendron hybrids

Aloe africana

Aloe africana

Aloe striata

Aloe striata

Aloe marlothii

Aloe marlothii

Aloe cryptopoda

Aloe cryptopoda

Aloe suprafoliata

Aloe suprafoliata

Aloe arborescens

Aloe arborescens

Large shrubs and trees to plant in July:

Camellias

Camellias

Aloe Ferox

Aloe Ferox

Remember these prefer slightly more acidic soil.

Great ideas:
Various Aloes and flowering succulents are widely available this time of year. Why not add a few to your winter garden? They boast warm vibrant colours and attract all sorts of wildlife to the garden.


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