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Author: Julia Smith, Posted: Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 08:00

July in your garden, what a joy! Hopefully all your hard work is paying off and you can sit in your lounger, sipping a Pimm’s and reflect on your beautiful handiwork!

Having said that, the weather has been so unpredictable that the poor plants haven’t known whether to grow or curl up and die! Obviously I write this column in advance and we have had truly horrible cold, windy, wet weather – perhaps by the time you read this it will all be forgotten in the balmy days of summer. Here’s hoping!

A wonderful day out

Take the time this month to do a bit of garden visiting – the National Garden Schemes are open again and are a wonderful day out, particularly when a whole village takes part.

It is lovely to saunter around someone else’s garden and get ideas on planting partners – and hopefully a lovely bit of homemade cake! Check on www.ngs.org.uk to see where and what is available in the local area.
Understandably, with the current climate still a bit unpredictable, pre-booking is necessary for some gardens. Make sure you check on the website for up-to-date details.

July gardening tasks

Now for your tasks to do this month. If you have grown early potatoes they should be ready to lift now. Keep sowing ‘cut and come again’ varieties of lettuce in small batches in old mush-room boxes, etc. They need to be placed out of the hot sun and kept moist but not soaking.

If you notice little metallic beetles on your rosemary you should pick them off and destroy them. You could put some newspaper underneath the plant and shake the branches to make them drop off. The Rosemary beetle can do lots of damage to the plant if they are in large numbers so keep removing them.

Now is a good time to prune early summer flowering shrubs like Deutzia, Rubus, Wiegela and Philadelphus, as they have finished flowering. Pruning will encourage new shoots to spring up from the base, and if you cut out about 1 in 3 of the thickest old branches at the bottom, these new ones will take their place and ensure the flowering doesn’t decrease.

Give shrubs a boost

As with all shrubs when you have pruned, lightly fork in some chicken manure pellets or balanced fertiliser like Gromore around the base. Water well and mulch with some compost or well-rotted manure to give the plant a real boost (don’t touch the stems with the mulch or they could start to rot).

I hope you manage to enjoy the sunshine!

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