One of the most important jobs to do in July is to sit back, relax and enjoy your garden. I often forget to do this but I do try and take a step back every now and again to see how far the garden has come. If, like me, this period is a bit short-lived for you, here are some jobs you can be getting on with!
If you’ve never grown Alliums before I highly recommend giving them a go as they are as nice when in full bloom as when they have died back. I keep them in the garden for as long as possible – remember don’t snip too soon as you want to allow enough time for all of the energy to go back into the bulb for next year. To check if they are ready to be removed I just give them a little pull, when they are ready they should easily come out. I then hang them upside down to dry as they are a fabulous addition to add to floral arrangements.
The wonderful world of Agapanthus
If you like alliums then you are almost certain to love agapanthus. They are like the alliums of the Summer months, plus they are in flower for a good amount of time. I treat them in exactly the same way as alliums in terms of leaving them in the ground for as long as possible, plus like the allium, you can add them to your dried collection for later use in floral arrangements.
In terms of growing them, they tend to be happier in pots as they like their roots to be restricted. As a result, if you plant them straight into the ground they may take a few years before they flower. Alternatively, you can plant them in their pot, straight into the ground to help restrict their roots and encourage flower production. If you’ve got an empty pot, pop in an agapanthus and they will be very happy and they are a fabulous Summer bloom.
Pinching out your annuals.
If you are growing annuals such as Cosmos, Sunflowers or Zinnias then July is a good month to remove the tip of the main flower to encourage them to bush out.
In terms of planting, everything should now all be in your cut flower garden. However, you can still plant out half-hardy annuals such as Cosmos to ensure you have these well into the Autumn months. If you are growing gladioli you can also use this month to plant your last few bulbs, again to ensure you have flowers into the Autumn months.
Watering and feeding
Don’t forget to keep up with your watering and feeding. I feed the majority of my plants weekly or every other week over July. Also, make sure you take particular care of roses, especially after their first flush of blooms. I use liquid seaweed or a rose food. Also, don’t forget to plant some salvias next to your roses to help reduce the spread of disease.
Cut flower garden update.
As I’ve grown the majority of my plants from seed I was expecting growth to be a little behind those that would have been grown in the Greenhouse. However, I’m pleased to report that everything is starting to bloom. Here’s a little visual update.
And finally, look out for catalogues arriving on your doorstep for Autumn planting. Now is a good time to start planning for the Autumn and Winter months, plus you tend to pick up some good discounts. Next week I’ll talk you through what’s on my shopping list.