Jobs to do this July

Dead head roses as the flowers fade – it’ll prolong flowering. Also keep roses well watered over summer and feed weekly with a high potash feed.

If you’re going away on holiday, get on top of any pests or diseases before you go – they’ll only get worse while you’re away. Give plants a good watering and feed, and mow the lawn.

Water the garden regularly during warm weather, but avoid watering during the heat of the day. Applying a layer of mulch to borders will help plants conserve moisture.

Take cuttings of shrubs and climbers now. Cut off the top 10cm of healthy shoots and plant in a 50:50 mix of compost and grit. Cuttings will take about 6-8 weeks to root.

When strawberry plants start to produce runners, peg them down so that the tip is touching the soil or compost. Once they’ve rooted, cut them from the mother plant and pot them into 9cm pots. By September, they’ll be the perfect size for planting.

It’s a great time to trim hedges. Try to cut the sides at a slight angle so the bottom is a bit wider than the top. This helps strengthen the hedge and also lets more light reach the base which helps it grow better. Remember to check for nesting birds before you trim.

Pinch out the top of outdoor tomatoes once they have set four trusses. They’ll  ripen faster so you don’t get left with lots of green tomatoes in the autumn.

For the best crop of runner beans , keep them well watered, especially during hot weather. To help the flowers  set, mist the plants in the late afternoon/early evening.

For the longest lasting display of sweet peas, keep picking them as soon as they open. If you leave them on the plant and they go to seed, they’ll simply stop producing any more flowers.

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