July is the month when your garden is at the peak of its beauty and bountifulness, and it is tempting to sit back and enjoy it. While of course you should spend plenty of time doing this, there are a few jobs you can do that will help to keep it in full glory. Here are some suggestions.
Keep on top of the watering
It’s been a hot dry summer so far, so the ground will be dry and parched. Keep an eye on the larger leaved plants in particular which may require more watering. Plants in containers will need to be watered more often than those in beds and borders.
Although you should water your plants regularly, be mindful about how you use resources. ‘Grey’ water that has been used in the bath, shower, or washing machine can be recycled to water the garden, but keep it away from edible parts of fruit and vegetable crops as it may contain household cleaning products. Do not use toilet water or water that will carry bacteria.
Install a water butt to take advantage of heavy summer downpours. Rainwater is best of all for your garden because it contains no added chemicals. As the climate trends towards hotter and drier conditions, it’s also worth investigating some more drought tolerant plants.
Hopefully the drier weather conditions will have stunted weed growth, but it’s best to keep on top of any weeds that have appeared to prevent them from spreading seeds and developing deep roots. Pull them up by the roots and hoe over the soil in borders to discourage further growth.
Deadhead flowers such as geraniums, delphiniums, lupins and roses to encourage full growth and keep them looking their best. At this stage in the summer, they should soon produce fresh blooms.
Prune shrubs and trees
Prune out woody growth from shrubs to help them maintain an attractive shape and from sprawling too far into other areas of the garden. Trees may require pruning to keep them from becoming too wide or tall. If a significant reduction in size is required, it may be worth contacting a professional gardening service to undertake the work.
Feed the lawn
During hot dry summers, it’s easy for a lawn to become brown and parched. This isn’t a sign that the grass has died, and it should soon revive once the weather freshens up. During dry weather, raise the blades on your lawn mower so that the grass isn’t cut too short. This will help it to retain more moisture. Add some lawn feed if your grass needs a helping hand.
Look after water features
If you have a pond, then keep an eye on any plants that may be getting out of hand and starving the water of oxygen. Use a rake or a garden cane to remove blanket weed and any dead or decaying vegetable matter. However, leave the plants by the side of the pond to drain for an hour or two, to allow any wildlife on the leaves to return to the water.