July is a key month in the garden, with lots of plants coming to life and flowers blooming at their best. It's definitely a time to sit back and enjoy your hard work...
But of course, there's always more to do in the garden! According to the RHS, here's exactly what you need to get done this month:
Ensure any newly planted trees and shrubs are not left to dry out. With the blazing sun, it's vital to ensure they get enough water, with their roots still being new to the soil.
One way to ensure you do not overwater is by testing the soil before watering. Do so by poking your finger about 1-2" below soil level - if it is very dry, the plant will need a lot of water, but if the soil still remains moist, then it's best to not water for another day or so.
Keep on the look out for flowering stalks on Bamboo plants, and remove them immediately, as they will weaken the plant.
Pruning & Training
Fast growing hedges such as Leylandii or Laurel will need to be clipped as required, throughout the growing season. After all, summer is the most vigorous time for growth with the sun being up much higher and longer each day.
Your June-flowering shrubs such as Hebe, Philadelphus and Weigela will need to be pruned after they have finished flowering. It's also a good time to give your deciduous Magnolias a prune, if needed.
Any climbers and ramblers will also need to be kept an eye on throughout the month, and tied in as they grow.
For those looking to propagate shrubs such as Hydrangeas, and Choisya, now is the time to do so. Take semi-ripe cuttings of the plant and root them into pots of gritty compost in a cold frame or a plastic bag tied over them.
You can also propagate Clematis by taking a section of stem that's above and below a leaf.
It's very important to keep an eye out for pests and diseases throughout summer, as they are particularly active throughout this season.
For instance, brown sections on conifers (such as Leylandii), may be an early indication of cypress aphids. Signs of the infestation having well-started already would be black mould along the stems. It's very important to watch out for Cypress Aphids as it takes a long time for them to recover once infected. Be sure to cut out any infected brown shoots, and tie in surrounding branches to cover up the gaps as best as possible.
Scale insects and bay suckers will also appear on Bay trees (Laurus nobilis), at this time- you'll know your tree is infected when the margins are curled and thickened.
Summer is also the season for Viburnum beetles, which can be noticed by holes/damage on the leaves. They're generally not severe enough for treatment, but insecticides can be used for effective removal.
As well as all this, if you begin to notice any yellowing/dying leaves on Cherry Laurel, this could be an immediate sign of powdery mildew - the trick to preventing and eliminating powdery mildew is by noticing the problem soon enough, so be on watch!