It’s high summer and the colours in the garden are rich and warm, just like the weather.
The irony is that just when plants are growing fast and need plenty of water, it’s dry and rainy days are few and far between, so first on the list of things to do is:
Plants in pots need plenty of water in July, a good soaking in the morning will be very welcome on hot sunny days. I water my big pots every couple of days unless it’s really hot, I don’t bother with small pots that dry out too quickly.
The smallest shed or greenhouse collects quite a bit of water from it’s roof into a water butt. The contents are soon used up, but still worth having because it’s an easy and sustainable solution.
Encourage flowering plants in pots to produce even more flowers by givng them a weekly dose of tomato fertiliser or diluted comfrey tea.
and the plant will producing even more, cut just above a leaf joint to encourage new buds to be formed. The exception are those roses that produce decorative rose-hips, leave the flowers on to die naturally.
Sow biennial flower seeds:
July is the last month to sow these this summer, they’ll grow this year and be ready to flower next year, they’re fabulous for giving you lots of flowers from a few seeds.
Biennials include foxgloves:
- sow the tiny seeds in a tray under cover (e.g. cold frame, greenhouse or light filled window-sill) leave them uncovered
- move each tiny plant into a smalll plant pot
- in early autumn plant them where they are to flower next year
- Hesperis (sweet rocket), Papaver nudicaule (poppy), wallflowers and violets are all biennials.
avoid cutting these in case there are nesting birds in them.
short grass struggles to suvive in hot, dry weather, so set the mower high and leave the clippings on the lawn as a mulch. Watering a lawn isn’t necessary, it’ll green up with the first rain.
any bare earth after rain with well rotted compost, it’ll keep water in the soil for longer. A thick layer of mulch makes a weed barrier, though not against those really determined ones like bindweed and ground elder.
……. and relax
spend as much time as you can lazing around in your garden and enjoying it.
Happy gardening, Jill
all photos: Jill Anderson