So busy in July’s garden!
The gardener’s diary with Martin Fish
Keep deadheading roses as the booms fade. Individual flowers can be snipped off or where they are in a cluster, cut the stem back to a bud, to encourage new growth and more flowers.
July is the ideal time to trim hedges now that the birds have finished nesting. Having said that, always check first just in case there is a late clutch of eggs in a nest.
Old, tired clumps of iris can be lifted and divided, and the youngest, fleshy rhizomes replanted in a group. When planting make sure the top half of the rhizome is exposed to the sun and to help them re-establish water for the first month until the roots have grown into the soil.
When lupins and delphinium flowers fade, cut back the tall flowering stems close to ground level. Water and feed around the plant and with a bit of luck you’ll get a few late flowers at the end of the summer.
If you haven’t already done it, raise the height of cut on your mower so that you are just topping the lawn to keep it tidy.
Make sure all plants growing in containers and hanging baskets are kept well-watered, and to help promote flowers and fruit, feed weekly with a high potash fertiliser.
There is still time to sow vegetables such as lettuce, radish, baby carrots, Chinese cabbage, pak choi and turnips. After sowing directly into the garden, keep the soil moist to aid germination.
Harvest fast growing crops such as runner beans and courgettes little and often to keep the plants growing and producing more.
Now strawberries have finished for the season, cut back all the foliage and unwanted runners and then water and feed to promote a flush of new leaves.
Feed tomato plants weekly with a high potash fertiliser such as Tomorite to help the fruits develop and ripen.