Great news everyone, we are over the hump. Thoughts of Winter is starting to creep in but do not fear, the days are still long and warm and your garden is looking beautiful. The hard work is starting to pay off, most of your flowers are in bloom and your vegetables are ready for picking.
…however, all the work is not done yet!
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Your home vegetable patch is one place where you can get beautiful seasonal vegetables the way they should be! Avoid the mediocre all-year-round vegetables seen in your local supermarket if at all possible. No vegetable was originally made to be available all year round. The seasonality of the vegetable patch can bring its very own kind of variety.
July is a time where vegetable growers can reap the rewards of their vegetable garden and even struggle to keep up with the growth of the crops (in a good way). Its a time for picking, eating, processing, donating and freezing your fully grown vegetables. Enjoy that extra-large head of cabbage or the wonky carrot… savour every last bite.
The number one thing to do is enjoy those vegetables that are ready to make the move to your kitchen, why not por yourself a glass of vino while you are at it?.
Continue to nurture the vegetables that are not quite ready yet, such as your pumpkins. Feed and water them like their life depended on it because well, it does.
I do not want to burst this lovely bubble I created however it needs to be mentioned...WEEDING. Bravo if you have been keeping on top of them so far, you get a gold star from everyone here at Keane's Garden Centre.
For those of you who have been avoiding the weeds, it’s time to pick your veggies and clear the space for your next lot. The roots of legumes can be incredibly beneficial for your soil so simply cut down the plant and leave them in!
Fruit trees that are heavily laden with fruit can be propped upwards for extra support.
'We are still in the thick of it’ Martin Joe Keane mentions as he dead heads a plant in one of the twenty hanging baskets neatly hung in the Garden Centre. 'This along with feeding will encourage new growth'.
Now you can enjoy your garden in all its summer glory. The long bright and(mostly) sunny days are in full swing. That odd rainy spell has done wonders following a very dry June and your flowers have been sent into overdrive.
Regular health checks on your blossoming roses, herbaceous plants and bedding plants can be hugely beneficial. Prevention is better than cure after all.
Often the weather conditions in July are perfect for those slimy slugs and snails. Do not be fooled by their small appearance and they slow nature – THEY DONT CARE ABOUT YOU, THEY WILL DESTROY YOUR PLANTS IN THE BLIINK OF AN EYE. We have plenty of organic pesticides here in Keane’s Garden Centre to help deter these guys and their friends. Blackspot and aphids are other common but solvable problems with a spray of insecticide or fungicide.
Your lawn will be growing at full speed with the combination of rain and sunshine Ireland gets in July. If there happens to be a drought, keep the lawnmower on a higher setting than usual to prevent the lawn from drying.
July is the last opportunity to get a soluble weed and feed product if you notice some weeds creeping up.
If drought conditions are predicted, a sprinkler can be used once per week to keep that grass lush.
Top Tip: If you place an open jam jar in the lawn and allow it to fill to 0.5inches, that will be enough water for your garden and prevent water waste. Check water measurements every 15 minutes.
Grass sown in Springtime and early Summer will need extra watering throughout dry Summer periods.
Shrubs and Trees.
June flowering shrubs which have finished flowering can be pruned now. Such plants include forsythia, philadelphus (mock orange), weigela and kerria. Keane’s Garden Centre has plenty of Darlac tools to make the job a lot easier.
You may take cuttings from shrubs such as choisya and hydrangea which are semi ripe. Why not get yourself some gritty compost and a cold frame (or a plastic bag tied over them will do) and try to root them.
Clematis can be propagated.
Support the branches of trees which bear heavy fruit to prevent breakages.
1.Cutting back then feeding plants in baskets can encourage new growth.
- Encourage a second flowering period of Delphiniums and Geraniums by cutting them back after the first flowering period.
- Plants in boarders need to be dead-headed regularly to prolong their flowering.
- Leave roses which can produce attractive hips.
- Weeding, weeding and more weeding, especially perennial weeds. This can be done by hand or with a good weed-killer.
- Prop up tall plants such as lupins if not done earlier in the season.
- Cuttings from fuchsias and pelargoniums can be grown in the greenhouse.
- Keep watering your newly planted trees. They need a lot more water than people expect.
To summarise, July is all about balance between enjoying your vegetables, your blooming flowers and your lovely green lawn all while maintaining the weeds, deterring the pests and doctoring some of your plants which may have been effected by blackspot or aphids.
Well done for all the hard work which got you to this stage and for those who are just beginning, it is not too late to start sowing late vegetables and starting to think about your Autumn garden and bulbs. The fun never stops.