July in Your Garden

Your July Gardening Guide

Winter started off with a bang this year, but has mellowed into what we can typically expect here in our part of the world.  We need the cold nights and mornings to help keep the pests at bay, while midday on the Highveld is usually pleasant and sunny enough to get those garden tasks done.  To most of us at this time the garden is also a refuge – a place to ‘earth’ ourselves and find some calm.

The Month of July is Pruning Month

  • Prune roses towards the end of July or the beginning of August.  Treat bare stems with a fungicide / insecticide cocktail to kill insect eggs and fungus spores.  Feed with a rose food of your choice.  Top up the mulch layer, keeping stems free of mulch, and water weekly early in the morning. Click |HERE| for a step by step guide to rose pruning.
  • Deciduous fruit trees, bushes and vines must be pruned earlier this month during their dormant season.
  • Semi-hardy and tender shrubs should rather be pruned in September after the danger of frost has passed. This includes plants like Hibiscus, Gardenia, Solanum and Duranta.
  • Don’t prune spring-flowering shrubs until they have finished flowering or you will remove most of the flowering buds.
  • Trim and cut back woody bits on autumn flowering climbers.
  • Herbaceous perennials like bergamot, salvias, catmint, Echinacea and Penstemon as well as ornamental grasses can be cut back now.

General July Garden Tasks

  • Ensure that tender plants are well protected from frost by covering with frost cover, available per meter or in pre-packed sizes.  This will protect your plants to a temperature of -3°C, while allowing enough filtered light and the correct moisture balance for optimum growth.
  • Water the garden early in the day to allow for the soil to dry out and warm up a bit before nightfall.
  • Plant more colourful winter flowering annuals to instantly and effortlessly fill gaps in garden beds, plump up hanging baskets or pots and generally liven up the garden.  Choose from the many winter annuals available at Lifestyle Home Garden, e.g. Calendula, Viola, Pansy, Primula, Primrose, Petunia, Bellis perennis, Snapdragons and the stunning, frilly Ornamental Kale.  Pick flowers and dead head regularly to encourage continuous flowering.  Apply a foliar feed fortnightly. For more on Fertilising click |HERE|.
  • July is also the best time for planting and transplanting rose bushes and deciduous trees, like maples and birches while they are dormant. This will give them enough time to settle and reward you with their beautiful bright foliage next autumn.
  • Continue watering and feeding winter- and spring flowering bulbs regularly.
  • Winter flowering Aloes will add instant colour and attract nectar feeding birds.  Aloes can be prone to white scale that, if not controlled, will spread rapidly.  Check regularly and treat with an appropriate product.
  • Weeds will show off clearly now against the dormant deciduous lawn. Use the opportunity to manually remove as much as possible.
  • Continue feeding our feathered friends as food is in short supply during the winter months. Keep bird baths topped up and clean. We have several great blogs about feeding the birds- click |HERE| to read our latest!
  • This is the perfect time to work on water saving and harvesting strategies and implement them in time for hot, dry days at the start of spring and  the rainy season that follows.
  • July is the perfect time to do all those little things you don’t get to during the winter months: repair and sharpen tools, install or fix water features, paving and retaining walls or create that special corner in the garden you’ve been meaning to.

In the Vegetable and Fruit Garden

  • Plan and prepare beds for spring vegetables. Enrich the soil quality by spreading a thick layer of good quality compost throughout the vegetable patch. If space allows, add to the nitrogen content by planting a green manure, like lucerne or clover now and digging it into the soil when it starts to flower.
  • Plant another batch of cabbage, Asian greens, Swiss Chard, carrots, radish and lettuce and do a last sowing of peas (click |HERE| to learn more about growing peas).
  • Continue harvesting winter vegetables.
  • Winter is the perfect time to plant new deciduous fruit trees. Pick your favourites from the large selection available here at Lifestyle Home Garden.
  • Brassicas tend to be prone to aphids, so check them regularly and spray immediately, if needed, with an organic aphicide.
  • Water the vegetable garden thoroughly once a week and apply 6:3:4 or 8:1:5 fertilisers to leafy veg and herbs.
  • Divide and transplant or plant new asparagus crowns and rhubarb plants now.
  • Replenish the mulch layer around your citrus trees.  After fruiting, prune out any dead branches and spindly growth.  Cut off water shoots at the base of the tree.

Indoor Plants for July

  • Bring the garden indoors with the stunning selection of flowering and non-flowering indoor plants available at Lifestyle Home Garden.  Combine that with expert advice and the largest selection of indoor pots and you have a surefire way of livening up your home and beating the winter blues – it’s the perfect opportunity to choose your fave indoor plants to start creating or to enhance your home and office jungle!
  • Cut down on watering of indoor plants in the cooler weather.
  • Feed flowering indoor plants fortnightly with a liquid fertilizer and water when needed.
  • Feed orchids that are in flower now with a weak solution (half strength) of a well-balanced orchid food once a week.

July is mainly a time to relax, recharge and reflect – particularly on what great new ideas you want to implement in your garden in spring…enjoy!

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