July Gardening Tasks

Gardening in the Depths of Winter

Brrrr, July can often be the coldest month of winter, but the beautiful blooms of camellias and azaleas brighten up the garden. It’s a great month to complete the planting of new trees and shrubs and plant out strawberries.

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Camellia

Planting Strawberries

With strawberries, planting in the coldest parts of the country should be completed in July and August. Plant out baby runners from the mother plant that you potted up earlier in the year to give them enough time to get established before spring. They need one season before they fruit. Make sure to remove any dead or damaged leaves from your runners before planting. Mulch around your strawberry plants with Daltons Premium Mulch & Grow.  

In the Veggie Patch

Traditional winter vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, leeks, lettuce, parsnips, silver beet, and spinach, can be harvested throughout the month. As you harvest your veggies, rough dig over the soil and add compost to keep it healthy. 

While it might still be too chilly for new seedlings in many areas, if you're in the warmer parts of New Zealand with soil that's not too wet, you can go ahead and sow seeds of onions, peas, radish, spinach, and turnip.

Blooming Beauties

Winter flowering annuals of ageratum, calendulas, cineraria, cornflowers, pansies, primulas, snapdragons, and stock will be at their peak throughout July, providing cheerful bursts of colour.

Keep your garden or pots looking their best by regularly deadheading (removing) spent flowers and weeding as needed. If you notice any gaps in your displays, fill them with 'potted colour'—these are annuals that are already blooming and are readily available at your local garden centre. 

Container Gardens

Winter is perfect for growing herbs, salad vegetables, or winter-flowering annuals in containers. Use fresh Daltons Premium Potting Mix and ensure containers have drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. 

With potted veggies, use succession planting to ensure you have a continuous supply eg. keep planting seedlings every few weeks.  

Pruning Kiwifruit & Grapevines

Kiwifruit vines can now be pruned. Select young healthy growth to train and prune out older wood that has already borne fruit. 

Grapes can also be pruned by selecting the strongest growing canes and pruning the main leaders back to two nodes (where a shoot will grow from in spring). Although this may seem like heavy pruning, don't worry—grapevines grow vigorously each year and produce fruit on new growth.  

Fruit Tree Care

Finish pruning your apple and pear trees. With citrus, juicy mandarins, lemons, and early navel oranges are ripening. With young trees, always provide protection from heavy frosts. 

Roses

July is prime time for rose care. 

Pruning Roses
Prune roses to encourage new growth for a vibrant display in the coming season. Use clean cuts at a 45-degree angle and remove dead or diseased wood, inward-growing branches, and shorten remaining branches by at least half (depending on the variety). Always prune to outward-facing buds, where new growth will begin. 
One week after pruning, spray with Lime Sulphur or a Copper compound like Copper Oxychloride to prevent fungal diseases (do not mix these sprays). Then, 3-4 days later, apply a horticultural spray like Conqueror Oil to eliminate overwintering pests (do not mix with copper).

Planting Roses
This month, garden centres offer their best selection of new roses, making it an ideal time to expand your rose garden. Choose healthy plants with well-formed branches. Before planting, enrich the hole with plenty of compost, Garden Time Enriched Garden Mix to improve drainage. Space new plants adequately to allow for good air circulation, which helps prevent diseases. Remember to mulch with Daltons Premium Mulch & Grow around the base to retain moisture and suppress weeds.  

Planting Ornamental Shrubs and Trees

The term “ornamental” means plants that are grown for the beauty of their flowers, and leaves with interesting shapes or colours, scent, bark, form, or decorative fruits, to enhance the look of a garden or landscape.  

This time of year, garden centres offer a wide selection to choose from. When selecting plants, be mindful of their mature height, as some varieties can grow quite large or spread widely and overtake your garden. Visit our How to Grow Ornamentals Guide for more tips.

Lawns

Little work needed for lawns in July. Mow only when the lawn is not too wet and ‘boggy.’ Check for areas that become excessively mossy over winter, these areas may be too shady for normal grass seed, or the drainage needs to be improved.