Our top 10 gardening tips for July
It’s July and summer is in full swing. The sun is shining, the days are long, and it’s hot, hot, hot.
Experienced and new gardeners alike will be biting at the bit to get outside and work on their little slices of heaven.
Whichever of these groups you find yourself in, our top 10 gardening tips for July will give you a good start.
Scroll down to find each tip, or click the linked bullet points below:
- Keep your patio displays looking good
- Provide water for wildlife
- Trim your hedges
- Be mindful of your water usage
- Pick your fruit
- Take care of your lawn without overwatering
- Care for your houseplants whilst on holiday
- Start harvesting your garlic
- Clean your garden decorations
- Start harvesting your onions
1. Keep your patio displays looking good
With the proper care, you can ensure that your patio containers and hanging baskets are resplendent until the first frosts come in.
To begin with, touch your displays’ compost every morning with your hand. If things feel dry, a good soaking is in order. When it’s particularly hot, it's worth checking multiple times throughout the day.
As well as watering, you need to give your plants a soluble feed once a week.
Also, make sure to cut flowers as soon as they start to fade. This will immediately improve how the plant looks and encourage new buds.
If you're leaving for a few days and don’t have a friend to call any favours in with, give your containers and hanging baskets a good soak and set them up in a shaded area.
2. Provide water for wildlife
Understandably, the wildlife that frequents your garden will become particularly thirsty in the heat of July. So, make sure to regularly top off your birdbaths and water bowls.
If you forget too often, you'll soon discover that birds can be fickle. They won't come back to your garden if they can’t quench their thirst.
Also, wash your water bowls thoroughly at least once every two weeks to prevent the spread of diseases. A poorly animal isn’t a happy animal.
3. Trim your hedges
July is a key month for trimming your hedges. Doing so will keep them neat and restrict their growth, making sure that they don’t become unruly.
Also, when you trim in the summer, your hedges will continue to look tidy until the following year because the growth rates slow in the autumn.
Always be safe! Before you start to trim, make sure to check for nesting birds and other wildlife.
Hedging shears and cordless or electric hedge trimmers are the tools to use.
You'll get the best finish when trimming hedges containing small-leafed shrubs – such as privet and shrubby honeysuckle – using shears or a hedge trimmer.
When pruning hedges planted with large-leafed shrubs – such as holly and laurel – use secateurs. Doing so will allow you to neatly cut stems without leaving tattered foliage.
You will find a selection of secateurs on our website if you don't have any or want to upgrade.
4. Be mindful of your water usage
Don't make the beginner’s mistake of panicking when the weather is dry and watering everything.
Both established plants and lawns will quickly turn green again once the rain returns.
This being said, anything planted within the last month or so will require assistance. Instead of misting plants daily, it's preferable to drench them once a week to prevent shallow roots that are susceptible to drying out.
To be more sustainable, try to use grey water and water butts whenever you can.
Grey water is gently used wastewater from places like the laundry, kitchen, and bathroom. It is very different to black water, which is taken from the toilet. Never use the latter.
A water butt is a sizable outdoor container used for collecting and storing rainwater. Because rainwater is excellent for plants, it has a lot of advantages for saving money on water bills, reducing water waste, and lowering your carbon footprint.
5. Pick your fruit
There are many things to look forward to in July. One of our favourites is the pleasure of picking summer fruit.
The following fruits should be ready to pick in July:
- Early plumbs
- Black, red, and white currants
As soon as the fruits are ripe, pick them. Many pests and hungry wildlife will prey on your crops before you can enjoy them!
6. Take care of your lawn without overwatering
During dry spells, lawns frequently turn yellow, and it can be tempting to water them.
Sadly, it takes a lot of water to keep them green, which might not be feasible – particularly if there’s a dreaded hosepipe ban! So, leave your grass unwatered and let nature take its course instead.
Lawns rarely completely die off during a drought, and they will soon return to green when the rains come.
Here are some tips to help your lawn look its best during dry weather:
- Set your mower blades higher to allow your grass to grow longer. Your lawn will experience less stress as a result.
- However, make sure to cut your lawn at least once a week as long grass is far harder to cut.
- When you mow your lawn, leave the grass clippings in place because they will act as a mulch and help to retain moisture.
- Make sure your lawn is free of any obvious weeds, as they compete for moisture.
If you really want to give your lawn some TLC, consider investing in a Professional Grass Shear.
7. Care for your houseplants whilst on holiday
Your houseplants deserve as much attention as your garden – particularly if you’re heading off on holiday!
A big watering and moving the plant to a cool, darker area to stop drying out will be enough if you’re only away for a short while.
You can also consider the bag method when on short trips. Your plant should be covered with a clear plastic bag that is sealed shut. This enables the plant to collect and reuse water vapour. By supporting the bag with canes, you can prevent the sides from coming into contact with the plant.
For longer trips away, consider the wick method. This method is useful for large single-pot plants. Use a large container to hold water and a piece of capillary matting as a wick. Insert one end of the wick into the reservoir and tuck the other end into the plant pot. This will enable the plant to draw on the water reserves in the reservoir.
8. Start harvesting your garlic
You should be able to start harvesting garlic in July.
How do you know if your garlic is ready to harvest? Check the leaves.
If they’re a third brown or yellow, you’re ready to test your garlic.
Just loosen up some dirt above one or two bulbs and see how they’re doing. If they’re a good size, it’s time to dig them up. If they’re a little small, you can put back the soil and leave them to grow a bit longer.
However, make sure to dig them up whatever their size once the leaves are two-thirds brown – once the leaves go fully brown the bulbs will be inedible!
Harvesting garlic is pretty simple. Just gently dig them up (don’t pull them!) and place out of the sun quickly to avoid blanching. Then pop the unwashed bulbs into a dark, dry place like a shed to dry.
Depending on the weather, this should take two to four weeks.
Garlic can usually be stored for several months.
9. Clean your garden decorations
A cool summer afternoon is ideal for cleaning and rinsing your beloved garden decorations. They'll be sparkling in the sunlight and ready to greet you for a stroll in the evening.
You might use the warm, dry weather to reapply protective paint to wrought iron garden ornaments and sand off any rusty areas.
Or, if you like rust, you might consider checking out our decorative stakes that are designed to go rusty.
10. Start harvesting your onions
Onions planted in the autumn should be ready to harvest by July.
If the onions’ leaves are yellowing and toppling, it’s a sign that the crop has reached maturity. Make sure to harvest before the foliage dies completely.
With a fork, carefully lift out the bulbs. You need to be gentle so as to not cause any damage or bruising.
The onions should then be placed on a drying rack and left to ripen in the sun for two weeks. If it’s a bit wet, you can complete this process in a greenhouse or well-ventilated shed.
Once the foliage is papery and dry, the onions are ready to store.
Onions planted in the autumn should keep if stored properly until the early winter.
We hope these tips will help you enjoy your garden in March.
For more gardening tips and guides, make sure to check out our blog.