Summer’s here and it’s time to make the most of July’s (hopefully) sunny weather with all our favourite things like gardening, outdoor dining and BBQs. There’s still plenty to be getting on with this month, though, including watering, looking after the lawn and tending to the allotment or veg patch if you have one.
What flowers and veg to grow in July
By now, if you planned ahead, your garden will be full of July flowers providing a riot of colour. If you’ve not yet fully planted your summer border, though, don’t worry! You’re not too late. As opposed to planting from seed (which unfortunately you are a bit too late for) you can plant pre-grown plants from your local wilko, nursery or garden centre into fresh soil. To add some colour to your garden, these are the flowers to plant now for summer:
- Begonia – coloured large blooms which thrive in both sun and partial shade
- Nasturtium – these multicoloured flowers are perfect for hanging baskets
- Aster – tough perennials available in a variety of colours which thrive through the height of summer
- Gloriosa Daisy – radiant yellow coloured flowers to brighten up any garden
If you want to grow flowers straight from seed, plant the seeds from the above flowers around February/April time and you should see them blooming in July.
Veg to plant in July
Growing your own veg is not only a great way to introduce nature into your garden, it’ll also provide you with tasty home-grown produce for your whole family, helping to teach kids exactly where their dinner’s come from. It’s not too late for planting pre-sown vegetables in July, and some straight from seed. So if you’re wondering what vegetable to plant in July, wonder no more!
- Spring cabbage – perfect for sowing now in seed trays or a seed bed ready to be transplanted to the veg patch in Sept/Oct when things should be a bit calmer on the patch!
- Root vegetables – carrots, turnips and beetroot can still be sown in July – but don’t leave it any later
- Peas – be quick with peas and beans, July is your last chance
- Leeks and brassicas – plant out now for your winter crop if you haven’t already
For many of us, the lawn is the centrepiece of the garden. To keep it in its best condition, when your lawn is actively growing, it’s a great idea to invest in some good lawn feed. This will help give you a luscious, green and healthy lawn throughout the whole year, not just when you’re feeding it. You’ll want to keep on top of mowing the lawn over some to avoid any added stress – about once a week, or every other week, should do the job. During dry weather, remember to raise your lawn mower blades to let the grass grow a little longer – this’ll help keep it greener and help retain moisture too. Starting to get some bare spots? Late summer/easrly autumn is the perfect time to sow some grass seed – so now’s the perfect time to start thinking about that. After some more lawn care tips? Check out our 4 step guide to the perfect lawn.
To maintain colour and life in your garden throughout warm and dry spells, it’s important to keep on top of watering. However, it’s during these dry times that water needs to be used even more carefully and thoughtfully. Here are some of our top tips on how you can water the garden in a more eco-friendly way:
- Invest in a water butt – plants prefer rain water to tap water and it’s a great way of making the most of natural resources when we do get the odd shower.
- Use a layer of mulch – applying a thick layer of compost, mulch or bark chippings on soil between plants to help keep the moisture in and suppress weeds – win, win!
- Use ‘grey’ water – cooled bath water or washing up water can be re-used as long as it’s not laced with strong detergents or household cleaning agents and isn’t too greasy. Use on the roots only and avoid the leaves for best results.
- Attach a trigger gun to your hose pipe or use a watering can to preserve water.
- Always water your plants in the cool of the evening or very early in the morning, allowing the water to get to the root before it evaporates in the heat of the day.
- Water the base of plants where it can get to the roots quicker rather than over foliage.
July gives us the perfect excuse for a big BBQ or simply having a day in the great outdoors with a picnic. Get your hands on a family-sized gas or charcoal BBQ to keep everyone happy and well fed on those sunny days. And if you’re heading out on an adventure, why not take a portable or disposable BBQ along for the ride to spice up mealtimes? Whatever your BBQ style, get grilling to perfection with our top 10 BBQ tips. And of course, you’ll need some gorgeous and practical outdoor garden furniture that’s perfect for chilling out on.
Although the big jobs should mainly be out of the way now, there’s still a fair bit of work to do to keep your garden in top shape in July when everything is growing in abundance. Here’s a rundown of your gardening jobs for July:
Fruit and veg
- Sow oriental veg seeds like pak choi
- Plant out leeks if you haven’t already
- Pick courgettes to encourage more to grow
- Pinch out tomato side shoots
- Feed crops with a general-purpose fertiliser
- Harvest garlic when the tops bend over
- Keep adding compost to potato grow bags until full
- Pinch out chrysanthemums
- Take cuttings from shrubs and alpines
- Deadhead annuals and bedding plants
- Feed perennials
- Sow biennials for next spring – ready to plant out in late summer, early autumn
- Tie in and train climbers as they grow
- Prune out hollyhock leaves that are suffering from rust
- Continue cutting weekly
- Give it a soak during hot, dry spells no more than once a week
And, of course, for all your gardening and outdoor needs, head over to our gardening department at wilko.com