July


 

Prune: 

  • In most parts of the country Julyis traditionally the time to pruneroses, deciduous fruit trees and grape vines.
  • Pruning is best done in late winter because the plants sap flow is low and therefore the risk of infection and transplant shock is at its lowest.
  • Correct pruning will rejuvenate old plants; produce fruit laden trees; and well-shaped shrubs and roses that flower well.
  • Winter is also a good time to prune deciduous shrubs and trees; but do not prune plants which flower in late winter, spring and early summer; these can be pruned when they have finished blooming.
  • If you did not prune your hydrangeas in April you can do so from mid to late July.
  • They need to be pruned down to a good, fat bud and all the old, dead wood needs to be cut right down to the ground.
  • Ensure that all your pruners are sharp and always make clean cuts as ragged cuts are subject to infection.
  • You will need secateurs to prune small branches and loppers for bigger branches; a garden saw will also come in handy for large branches.
  • Large branches should be sealed with a tree seal.
  • A good pair of gloves will save your hands; and if you are doing a winter spray, ensure that your sprayer has good pressure.

Lawn:

  • At the end of July, prepare your lawn for summer, by firstly mowing it very short, then raking out the dead mat with a steel rake.
  • Apply agricultural lime at about 200g per square meter and water it in well.
  • Weeds thrive on acid soils and lime sweetens the soil and therefore discourages weed growth.
  • Add a Topsoil or lawndressing about 2mm thickness and rake evenly.
  • Fertilize with a balanced Fertilizer for top grow and root growth (Wonder 7;1;3)

 

Flower beds:

 

  • Water your winter and spring flowering seedlings and bulbs regularly and feed with organic 3:1:5; nip out the dead flowers often to prolong blooming.
  • Sweet peasshould be growing vigorously and need to be fed with a liquid fertiliser that is high in potassium every 2 weeks until they have finished blooming.
  • If parts of your garden look a bit dreary, why not visit our nursery to select your favourite instant colour seedlings to transform those drab areas, not forgetting your baskets and pots.
  • Plant out petuniasand verbenasbecause they flourish during the dry season, and as soon as the rainy season starts they become prone to fungal diseases, so put them on your list to plant next season, or plant out established plants now.
  • Also, try some Iceland poppiespansies,violasalyssumcalendulasand primroses and primulas, to name but a few; but remember that when the weather warms up in early summer most of these plants will need to be replaced with fresh summer varieties.

 

Veggie and Herb Gardens/Fruit Trees:

  • Start preparing beds for spring plantings of vegetables and herbs.
  • Stake winter vegetables that may need some support; like broad beansBrussels sproutsand broccoli. Nip out the growing tips of broad beans to promote pod set and to prevent aphid infestations.
  • Pick your peaswhile they are still young and tender.
  • Divide and replant large clumps of rhubarbat the end ofJuly.
  • Citrustrees and avocados are bearing and do need some attention at this time of the year.
  • Water them regularly and deeply, and when you have finished harvesting, mulch the trees with compost and feed with 3:1:5, but keep both well away from the trunk of the tree.
  • Ripe lemons last long on the tree and can be harvested as required, but limes start to deteriorate on the tree and are better if they are harvested right away.
  • Spray thoroughly with Oleum if red scale insects are noticed on the stems.
  • Almonds that are starting to bloom and should be fed with 6:1:5 or similar organic fertiliser.
  • Use about 100 grams for young trees and about 200 grams for mature trees, watering it in well afterwards. .Mangoes must also be fed once the flower trusses emerge.
  • The long side branches of granadillas can be cut back now if they were not pruned in February; this will promote new side shoots.

 

Container and Indoor Plants:
Feed every 4-6 weeks with a water- soluble fertiliser, or use a specifically formulated food for plants like African violets, orchids and ferns. You can also use a granular fertiliser like 8:1:5 in single specimen containers.

 

General to do List:

  • Julyis the best month to transplant roses that are growing in the wrong position; as well as deciduous shrubs or trees.
  • It is a good time to transplant Cycads and Cycas; remove any cones from your plant before transplanting and ensure that the new site has good, well-drained soil, adding some river sand to the new planting hole if the drainage is not good.
  • Do not overwater until the rainy season starts.
  • If you did not transplant conifers growing in the wrong place last month and lightly prune existing ones, you can still do so now.
  • If you did have not lifted and divided your dormant summer flowering bulbsyet you can do so now.
  • Store the harvested bulbs in dry sawdust or vermiculite and in a cool, dark, dry place.
  • If you plan on leaving them in the soil, mark the position where they are planted to avoid damage while they are dormant. They can be planted out again in spring once all danger of frost is over.
  • Keep your cliviason the dry side to initiate flower spikes; and if you have not planted out Liliums, you can still do so this month.