Winter Gardening Tasks for July
July is one of the more difficult winter months in the home garden. It is often wet and cold - conditions that are not conducive to working in the garden! However, on days that are clear and sunny, there are many tasks requiring attention.
Plant flowering annuals for pops of colour
Displays of flowering annuals can brighten up a dull winter garden, whether grown in flower beds, containers or decks and patios. Primulas are often at their absolute best in July. With all flowering annuals, commence deadheading (the removal of dead flowers) to encourage continuous flowering.
Winter flowering annuals include ageratum, calendulas, cinerarias, cornflowers, nemesias, pansies, poppies, primulas, snapdragons, stock and sweet peas.
Continue harvesting your winter vegetables and regularly inspect your plants for slugs and snails. They appear to be hardier every year!
If you have sown a crop this year, then towards the end of the month or August (once plants are about 30cm and before they flower) chop it up dig it into existing soil in preparation for spring plantings.
Now is a good time to be planning your summer vegetable garden. Following the experience of the Covid-19 outbreak, consider expanding the area of your summer vegetable garden and the range of vegetables that you can grow. Read our Growing Summer Vegetables Guide or Summer Vegetable Planting Guide for helpful advice.
Fruit trees and kiwifruit
Finish pruning deciduous (sheds leaves in autumn) fruit trees. Spray with a copper compound to help prevent re-infection of fungal diseases in spring. Kiwi fruit vines can now be pruned. Remove all the surplus growth and tie-down fruiting leaders on frames or wires.
In warm sheltered areas, citrus can now be harvested, mandarins, lemons, limes, and navel oranges.
The final month for pruning vigorous growing berry fruit, raspberries, boysenberries, loganberries, loganberries, and gooseberries. Remove all the old growth and reduce the number of last summer’s canes. Tie the canes to existing wires or framework.
Very little work to do on lawns this month and it is often best to keep off them if they have become excessively wet. Moss may occur in wet, shady parts of the lawn but this is no cause for alarm as it will disappear over the dry summer months. Take note of areas that do retain water long after heavy rain as they may require additional drainage to be installed in summer.
Trees and Shrubs
Now is an excellent time to carry out any further tree or shrub plantings on your property. Always select healthy ‘vigorous’ looking new specimens and ensure they are ‘fit for purpose’ i.e they will achieve what you require where they are planted. When planting, pop in a Daltons Premium Planter tab to give them the best start.
Rose Pruning commences
Most roses have now shed their leaves and can be pruned. Remove all dead or diseased wood, remember most rose bushes, even though quite healthy, will have some dead wood.
Prune to outward facing buds and remove any wood that is thinner than pencil thickness. If some plants have a lot of dead/diseased wood, it is advisable to remove the specimens and replace with new rose bushes.
With climbing roses, train the main leaders (growing up from ground) on a horizontal axis as this encourages the production of flowers. With all roses, a spray with copper compound after the completion of pruning helps minimise reinfection of fungal disease in spring.