July is here and summer is in full swing and your garden and flower beds are looking at their best. Read on for our guide on what to to do and plant in the garden in July.
1. Prune spring flowering shrubs
Now’s the time to prune spring flowering shrubs, such as Philadelphus (Mock Orange), Weigela and Kolkwitzia (Beauty Bush). The general rule with shrub pruning is to reduce by one-third once a year just after flowering and a hard prune once every few years (or when it starts to look too dense).
2. Clip box, euonymus and privet hedging
Euonymus and Privet hedges should have put on a good few inches of growth. To keep them under control it’s best to clip them regularly, starting in July – leaving it until they are unruly makes for much heavier work later on. Use a hedge trimmer or shears to snip the excess growth.
If you have a gravel path or driveway alongside your hedge, it’s well worth putting a sheet or tarpaulin down while you cut it. The leaves are very small and are very difficult to pick out of the gravel.
3. Deadhead perennials and summer bedding
Deadheading perennials will encourage new flowers to grow throughout the summer. Use secateurs to deadhead perennials, simply snip the spent flower to remove it from the plant. You can dead-head most bedding plants by ‘pinching’ the old flower off with your fingers.
4. Tackle bindweed
If you have a Bindweed or Ground Elder problem in your garden, it will really start to take over by July so it’s time to control it. It’s almost impossible to completely get rid of it forever, however, it can be controlled using the steps below:
Using a border fork, dig around every single Bindweed stem in sight pulling the white ‘stringy’ roots out as you see them. The roots can grow quite deep in the ground so it’s important to dig as deep as possible, pulling out every single root that you see.
It’s more than likely that within a few weeks, signs of new Bindweed plants will be appearing in your borders again, the best thing to do is just dig them up as soon as you see them and not to let it get out of control.
The chemical method: The chemical method delivers results that last a lot longer than digging, however, it is exceptionally fiddly!
Glyphosate is ideal for killing off Bindweed, but it is essential that full protective clothing is worn during application, including rubber gloves, goggles, full-length sleeves, trousers and wellies.
Being careful not to break any of the Bindweed stems, unwind the weed from the neighbouring plant.
Gather together a handful of unwound Bindweed stems and put them in a plastic bag (make sure there are no holes in it!) as far away from ornamental plants as they’ll reach. Ideally, the top 5 inches or more of each stem needs to be in the bag.
Pour in a small amount of diluted herbicide, making sure it covers all of the leaves in the bag and seal the top with a clip or band.
Repeat this process so eventually, all of the Bindweed is unwound with the tips in contact with herbicide.
Leave the bags for around a week, you’ll notice that even though just the tips of the stems are in contact with herbicide the whole plant starts to go yellow and die-off.
Once the Bindweed is yellow it can be pulled from the ground. Many of the roots will have been killed in the process so it is unnecessary to dig them up.
5. Tackle Ground Elder
Ground Elder grows in patches – as soon as you notice one, they’ll multiply into hundreds before you know it! Use a fork to dig as much of the root system as possible. Any little bit left in the ground will grow into another plant. Here’s how to control ground Elder:
Throw Ground Elder roots in the rubbish or garden waste collection bin.
The chemical method: An application of herbicide such as Glyphosate will kill off Ground Elder, however, it’s almost impossible to completely get rid of it.
Dilute herbicide as per instructions on the label – NB makes sure you wear full protective clothing including rubber gloves, goggles, full-length sleeves, trousers and wellies.
Using a herbicide sprayer, spray all over the leaves and leave for up to a week. The leaves will eventually go brown, then they can be dug up or trimmed away.
We hope this guide has provided lots of ideas of what to do and plant in the garden in July. Why not get started by looking at our fantastic range of bedding plants.