Sarah’s Seasonal Gardening Tips: July

I hope you have enjoyed the first few days of July, how good to have some golden sunny days. 

As with every month throughout 2017, my local friend and keen gardener, Sarah Clapham, has prepared some gardening and nature tips for the month, including what to look out for when you are out and about with your children.

Sarah’s seasonal gardening tips will help you and your children make the most of July and all its loveliness.

I’ll let Sarah take over from here…

Your garden, plot or containers will be in full swing in July with flowers, fruit and veg.

It’s really important to keep watering your plants, first thing in the morning or before you turn in. A good long drench is far better than a little sprinkle here and there.

Prune and deadhead roses, bedding plants, annuals and perennials.

Keep privet, lonicera and other hedging clipped.

Have a go at taking softwood cuttings from plants such as hebe, clematis, cornus and hydrangea.

Save seeds. Poppies and Aquilegia are particularly easy to collect from.

Hopefully time to start harvesting some summer veg…

You may have some baby courgettes, runner beans, carrots and beetroot. Picked young, these vegetables are tender and sweet.

You can repeat sow many seeds to provide a continual supply of produce.

Courgettes are best picked regularly, left a day or two too long and you’ll end up with gigantic courgette and the plant will slow it’s production.

Soft fruit is in abundance, gooseberries, currants and summer raspberries are all delicious eaten straight from the bush!

Otherwise try making a blackcurrant cordial, redcurrant jelly, a raspberry pavlova or the great British summer pudding, much loved by Monty Don!

Thin out apples and pears. Too many on each cluster may cause disease. It’s recommended you leave two fruits per cluster.

If you’d like some autumn/winter veg try planting out cabbage, cauliflower, kale and Brussel sprout plants. These will need protecting from the cheeky pigeons who love to eat these tasty veggies!

If you’re growing tomatoes ensure you feed them regularly and pinch out side shoots.

Out and About…

Keep an eye out for brambles with green blackberries…take note as they’ll be starting to ripen in the next month or so.

See how many different kinds of bees and butterflies you can identify buzzing around summer flowers. Buddleia, lavender and many others can be covered in all kinds.

Wildflowers can look absolutely stunning this month. Keep an eye out as you travel around, I came across an incredible patch as I drove through Thornbury the other day!