Jobs for the Garden – July

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We’re fully in the middle of summer, and earlier splashes of spring colour are something of a distant memory. These have been replaced by vivid annuals and exotic dahlias, whilst our vegetable gardens are starting to show their promised bounty, and the apples on the trees begin to swell.

There are still plenty of jobs to do in and around the garden this month, but also remember to take some time to sit back, relax and drink in your surroundings.


Pond water can very quickly become covered with blanket weed, and skimming the surface of your pond should be a weekly job at this time of year. Gently skim the surface of our pond with a large net, taking care not to churn the blanket weed back into the water as you go. Empty out onto the edge of the pond and leave there for a couple of days to allow any aquatic creatures to crawl back into the water, before taking the weed to the compost heap.


Agapanthus need free-draining soil and plenty of sun to successfully overwinter. However, if not fed and watered regularly throughout summer, they may not flower well, if at all. To keep them at their best during dry spells, soak their compost or soil once a week, and feed with a high pot ash fertiliser every fortnight. This will strengthen the bulb for flowering next year.


Once a flower has bloomed and gone to seed, it’s finished its work for the year and, as such, will stop producing flowers. Take a daily walk around your garden and snip off any faded flowers you come across. This will encourage further blooms to come, and will also keep the plant looking its best for as long as possible before autumn hits.


Keep tomatoes under control, and to ensure a good quality crop, pinch out their side shoots. These are the shoots that grow between the main stem and an already formed set of leaves on the plant (in the armpit of a set of leaves, if you will). Take this opportunity to ensure that your tomato plants have enough support to bear the weight of the growing fruits without topping over.


In order to get a bumper crop of big, juicy apples, start thinning out growing clusters whilst they are still young. Either snip off small fruits, or gently pull them out of the cluster, aiming to leave about three apples on each branch. This will also help to ensure they fruit consistently for years to come.


Once garlic foliage begins to turn yellow and dry out, dig up the bulbs with a fork and knock the soil off. Lay the plants out flat, with their foliage intact, on sheets of newspaper to dry out for three or four days (in the sunshine if the weather permits, otherwise the kitchen table is fine). Store in open crates, still with the foliage attached, until any remaining soil has dried up and can be easily brushed off. Garlic can be stored somewhere cool and airy for several months.

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