What to do in your garden in July

Rose - Queen Elizabeth - In your garden July

Use this checklist to keep your garden looking its best in July. This month brings plenty of sun and lovely high temperatures, so make sure you make time to sit back and relax with a cool drink and enjoy your outside space. 

Midsummer is the time when beds, borders and containers are full of colour, and the vegetable patch is producing plenty of tasty treats. But there are still plenty of vegetable seeds you can sow in July for cropping later in the year.


Flowering plants in July

Vegetables in July

  • Water your growing onions and shallots regularly to ensure you get a crop of larger bulbs with good flavour.
  • Keep on top of weeds during July. They benefit from the longer daylight hours as well as your crops!
  • Remove any side shoots from your tomato plants. Stop the plants when 4-5 trusses of fruit are present by nipping off the main growing tip. Feed your tomatoes regularly with organic tomato food. And don’t allow the soil to dry out or you run the risk of blossom end rot.
  • Start harvesting your second early potatoes. Make sure the potatoes have developed into a good size before digging them all up by gently lifting one or two tubers to inspect. If they’re a bit on the small size, leave them a little longer, remembering to water regularly every week.
  • Harvest beetroot and carrots while they’re young and tender.
  • Carry on staggering your sowings of carrot seeds, lettuce and leaf seeds, and spinach seeds through the month.
  • Sow spring-maturing cabbage seeds this month.
  • Sow broad bean ‘The Sutton’ and dwarf French bean seeds until the middle of the month.
  • Pick regular harvests of runner beans, French beans, and courgettes to encourage further cropping. Keep an eye on your courgettes and harvest before they grow into marrows.
  • Plant out your pot-grown sweetcorn. It’s best to place the plants in blocks rather than rows, spacing them out about 45cm (18″) apart each way, to aid wind pollination.
  • Take cuttings of herb plants such as thyme and sage using the fresh summer growth.

Fruit in July

  • Pick your soft fruit this month. It’s time to make the most of those strawberry plants, raspberry plants, and red, white, and black currant plants.
  • During fruiting, remove strawberry runners by cutting them close to the base of the plant. This focuses the plants’ energy on producing good size fruit.
  • Prune established plum trees and apricot and peach trees now.
  • Tie new growth from your blackberry plants and loganberries to sturdy supports.
  • Pinch out the growing tips of fig tree side shoots when they get to five leaves from the main stem. Make sure to wash any sap off your skin as it can be an irritant.
  • Protect fruit bushes from birds by covering them with plant netting. Remember to check daily that no birds are trapped.

Pots, baskets and containers in July

  • Hanging baskets and containers dry out quickly in warm, sunny conditions. Water them twice a day, and feed every few weeks to promote flowering.
  • With regular watering and feeding, cascading varieties such as ‘million bells’ and petunia ‘surfinia’ will flower right through summer until the first frosts.

July lawn care

  • Mow the lawn at least once a week, if possible twice, and keep the edges neat using a stainless steel edging knife.
  • Feed your lawns this month with a specific lawn fertiliser.
  • Don’t mow and avoid feeding during long, dry spells – just let the grass grow longer.
  • Lawns may turn brown during drought in the summer, making them look less attractive. Using an oscillating sprinkler in the evenings will help keep grass lush, however the grass will quickly recover once wet weather returns in Autumn.
  • Remember to treat weeds and moss using lawn sand.
  • After applying weed killer to the lawn, don’t add the first few loads of grass clippings to the compost heap or you’ll kill seedlings and plants when you come to use the compost later in the year.
  • If you’re having problems with moles ruining your lawn, try a natural solution such as a mole repeller to deter the pesky mammals.

General July garden jobs

  • Remember that your potted plants require daily watering during warm weather, especially those in the greenhouse. Water your grow bags daily to prevent them drying out.
  • Give your container plants a feed this month.
  • Open doors and ventilators in the greenhouse each morning. Remember to close the doors in the evening to keep predators out.
  • Keep a lookout for whitefly and red spider mite, especially in greenhouses and conservatories. Treat any infestations using a biological control and put up sticky traps.

July pond care

  • Clean pumps and filters, removing any weeds or other debris.
  • Deadhead flowering pond plants if you want to prevent them self seeding.
  • Top up water levels during hot spells to ensure the health of plants and fish, and to prevent damage to the pond liner.
  • Remove blanket weed from the pond surface as and when it appears.
Lead image: Rose Queen Elizabeth from Suttons
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