Summer is there and the garden has settled in! The month of July gifts us a multitude of colors, tastes and fragrances as we go about gardening.
The long hours we spend relaxing in the greenery mustn’t let us forget that a few gardening tasks are needed to keep enhancing this pleasurable pastime.
Watering, weeding, pruning, harvesting, cleaning up or running the hoe along the vegetable patch are short, regular chores that will turn your garden into the nicest spot of your house during the summer.
Caring for flowers in summer
Without a doubt, flowers are the plants that will most suffer heat. The stuffy, sometimes stormy weather doesn’t often bring rain.
Flowers need water and it’s important to give them the amount they need or they’ll disappear from your flower beds.
Before that, though, run the hoe or cultivator along the soil to ensure the water penetrates right from the first raindrops or watering can.
- Favor watering in the evening so that evaporation doesn’t occur.
- Check the weather forecast to see if rain will fall or not.
- No need to water too much nor too often, because flowers can take having a few days without rain…
Divide your perennials for the species that have born flowers in spring to propagate them.
It’s the best way to get new flowers, at the same time rejuvenating the plants that you’re dividing.
Usually, splitting the clumps every 2 or 3 years is best practice, which means it’s better to not divide the plants you’ve planted this year.
Trees and shrubs
Regarding shrubs planted this year, especially those planted in spring, water often because the first year is when they need it most.
Just as you’ve done for flowers, clean the soil and scratch it up to ensure that every rain drop that falls seeps in.
Rose trees in summer
It’s the right time to pruning your determinate roses, those that only bloom once a year.
Also eliminate young stems that appear from the soil or from the stock of the rose tree, these are called suckers because they drain the shrub’s energy.
Keep watering your roses regularly without wetting any leaves, this is the best way to avoid having certain diseases appear, like powdery mildew.
- Treat against aphids with effective organic treatments
Fruit trees in summer
Cherry tree – Time to harvest those red cherries for most varieties!
- During the harvest, avoid breaking branches, because the cherry tree is very sensitive to this kind of wound.
Pear tree, apple tree, peach tree – Reach for your pruning shears and perform a fruit-inducing pruning.
- Select which fruits you’ll keep on each branch.
- If you’ve got 4 fruits growing on a single twig, remove one of them.
- You’ll thus have larger, tastier fruits.
It’s also possible to remove some leaves that might be casting too much shade on the fruits, they need sun to ripen best.
Lastly, treat against fruit fly to avoid your pears and apples being devoured by the voracious codling moth…
Pruning grapevine – Prize grapes only come at the cost of a little more effort
- Keep treating with Bordeaux mixture until the end of the month to stave off downy mildew.
- You can pull out the smaller grapes from your prize bunches to ensure the nicest grains grow nicer still. Simply nip them off with scissors or bonzai shears. Wait for the grapes to be at least as large as a pea before doing this, though.
The vegetable patch in July
Still time to sow some vegetables directly in the ground, for example:
You may also sow zucchini seeds in nursery pots that you can transfer to the ground at the end of the month or at the beginning of August.
As for the rest, stay on top of the weeding and watering for those plants that need it most, carefully watering in the evening without getting the foliage wet because it would invite diseases in.
Treatment-wise, it’s important to treat turnip and cabbage against both flea beetle and cabbage moth.
- These caterpillar-bearing flutterers are particularly numerous during dry spells.
- Organic caterpillar control
- Water these growing plants on a regular basis to ensure they stand strong.
Grass and lawn in summer
If your lawn starts turning yellow, no need to water. This would consume a lot of water which is like wasting this precious resource that makes our planet blue.
- Whenever rain will fall, it will turn green within hours!
- If you think your lawn is growing sparse, try renovating your grass.
Lawn and garden ornaments
A mild summer afternoon is perfect to soap up and hose down cherished garden ornaments and resin garden furniture sets. They’ll be sparkling in the sun and ready to welcome you for an evening stroll.
- As for wrought iron garden ornaments, you might take advantage of warm, dry weather to freshen up protective paint and sand off any rusty spots.
Smart tip about gardening in July
Remember to take a moment to sit back and relax on a bench to admire your growing oasis!
CC BY 2.0: Paul Pitman
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