Winter Gardening Tasks for July
Winter Gardening Tasks for July
Often the coldest days of winter occur in July, so it is not the easiest of months for gardening. However, there are many tasks requiring attention - pruning, mulching, and spraying, so take advantage of those fine days when you get them!
Pay close attention to your houseplants observing how they are growing in the colder winter months, remembering that many of our houseplants come from very warm, tropical countries. Move them closer to windows for more light and warmth if needed, but not in the direct path of heat-pumps or drafts. Water only as required, rather than on a regular, scheduled basis.
Planning on rainy days
Use rainy days or downtime planning your summer garden. For instance, think about expanding your veggie garden to provide even more crops for your family (container gardening is a great way to utilise space too).
Vegetables to be harvested in July include, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, carrots, celery, leeks, lettuce, parsnips, peas, silverbeet and spinach. Where required, plant new seedlings of broccoli, cabbages, lettuce, kale, silverbeet and spinach.
Broad beans should be growing vigorously and may need support to prevent them blowing over in the wind. Hammer one-metre stakes at regular intervals alongside the row of beans. Then stretch and tie gardening twine (or even old pantyhose), horizontally about 30cms high between the stakes (add another at 60 cm if your plants are taller).
Now is the main month for pruning roses, bush, standard and climbing. Ensure your secateurs are sharp and give them a clean with methylated spirits before you begin.
With bush and standard roses, reduce the amount of main ‘leaders’ or branches. Remove all inward growing branches and prune to an outward facing bud. With climbing roses tie down main leaders as horizontal as possible. It is the growth from these leaders that will produce flowers. When planting newly purchased roses prepare the site thoroughly with fresh compost, the new roses will be in the same position for a long time so give them the best start.
Ornamental trees and shrubs
Garden centres are packed with new trees and shrubs in July. Always be careful when selecting new specimens for your garden. Choose the very best plants you can find as they will be with you for many years. Inspect plants thoroughly and purchase healthy, undamaged, pest and disease-free varieties. Add plenty of compost at planting time.
Complete pruning of all deciduous fruit trees and follow up with a spray of a copper compound to help prevent reinfection of fungal diseases in spring. Mandarins, navel oranges, lemons and limes can now be harvested.
It’s time to plant out new fruit trees. Always try and select a warm, sheltered, sunny position. Fruit trees only flower once a year and in a windy position, flowers can be blown off the tree. The end result is the fruit will not set, which means no crops! Again, add in plenty of compost went planting, and stake young trees if required.
Paths, decks, and driveways
It is in the wet, cold months of winter that slippery driveways and paths become an issue. Water blasting not only cleans the surface but makes it that much safer when walking to carry out all the many tasks required in a garden. Also cut back overhanging branches or shrubs that may be blocking access to paths or the sun.