The shortest day has now passed. As each day gets a little longer, the promise of spring approaches.
Deciduous plants are bare and are storing energy for the abundance of the season ahead. July is an important month of pruning in the garden. Pruning will not only shape your plants but see plants come back bushier, healthier and more productive as they burst into fresh new growth and colour when the warmth of spring arrives.
Gardening Jobs for July
• Top up your mulch. This will help to control weeds and keep your soil nice and warm in the cooler weather.
• Roses and *fruit trees* should be pruned this month. Not sure how – garden centres have all the expert advice for success.
• Now is a great time to add to your food forest with a huge range of fruiting plants available. Prior to planting, soak in a diluted solution such as Seasol to maximise root development and reduce transplanting shock.
• Berries and small fruits can be planted now for the wonderful harvest ahead.
• Spray roses and fruit trees now to minimise pest and fungal problems during the warmer weather ahead.
• Prepare empty beds by digging through compost and animal manures ready for planting. In areas with a lower ph. add a generous dressing of lime to sweeten the soil.
• Consider some crop rotation to give your garden beds a break and rejuvenate the soil. Plant a green crop such as Oats, Dun Peas, Lupins and Rye Corn for a season to give back valuable nutrients.
• Seed potatoes can be still planted in most areas
*Although winter is pruning time, avoid pruning cherries, apricot and Kiwi fruit vines until the warmer weather. All three of these popular edibles tend to bleed if pruned through winter increasing the risk of disease. Apricots and cherries may be pruned straight after fruiting. Male Kiwi Fruit are best pruned hard after flowering in October, while the females (which bear the fruit on kiwi vines) are tip pruned in summer*
In the Veggie Garden
Whatever your region, there is lots of planting to happen in the Veggie Garden during July