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Garden Jobs to Do in July

Garden Jobs to Do in July

July is the time to reap the benefits of all your hard work earlier in the year! Vegetables and flowers will be at their peak and you can start to harvest too. July is also one of the hottest months of the year; so keeping an eye on your garden water levels is very important as plants can quickly dry out and perish. This time of year is ideal for enjoying the great outdoors and making the most of your outdoor space.

Harvest Time!

Growing your own vegetables is a great way to make the most of your outdoor space and after all your hard work you can finally start to harvest in July. The warm weather from June helps vegetables grow strong and now you can start picking, cooking and enjoying all your hard work.

It is important you harvest your vegetables; if left vegetables like courgettes or tomatoes will rot, go woody or become bitter. After all your hard work preparing and maintaining your garden you don’t want to let all these yummy vegetables go to waste.

If you have grown lots of vegetables you may find you have too many vegetables to eat after harvesting. Don’t panic! There are many ways to preserve and store vegetables so they are useful to your family all year round.

Preserve & Store:

Storing and preserving your harvested vegetables is the best way to deal with a glut and will ensure you have enough of your crops to last you throughout the winter months. Some vegetables can be stored for months if they are preserved or kept in the right conditions. The main key to success is ensuring you pick the best specimens to use; removing anything which looks diseased or blemished. For example one rotten tomato could ruin a whole batch of stored tomatoes.

The best way to store your crop is to choose a dry, well ventilated area in your home. You can buy vegetable storage boxes from most garden centres or you could just use a shallow cardboard box. Check your stored vegetables everyday to ensure the fruit or vegetables are okay; if you spot a rotten piece remove it quickly.

Most stored vegetables will rot fairly quickly not really giving you enough time to use and enjoy them. Another way to help use up healthy home grown fruit or vegetables is to preserve them. There are many different ways to preserve crops in tasty, enjoyable ways.

If you want to preserves soft fruits like strawberries or blackberries try making jam. Jam is easy to make and will preserve your fruit for months so you can enjoy it all year round.

Vegetables can be made into lots of yummy and diverse preserves. For example beetroot, carrots and onions can be pickled in vinegar. This softens the fruit and preserves it so you can enjoy them all year round; pickles go great with cheese. Making chutney can be a great way of using up onions and tomatoes from the garden too. There are lots of ways to preserve vegetables from your garden and allotment so you don’t waste any of the produce you’ve spent months growing.

Make the Most of your Blooms!

July is the peak for most gardens; plants are at their strongest and largest usually. Now is the time to make the most of your garden; by encouraging plants you can ensure they bloom throughout the summer.

Cut back early flowering perennials; trimming and cutting back these plants will encourage new growth. New growth and leaves will help the plant spring back into action and might encourage some late summer flowers which can brighten up your garden and add colour. Don’t forget to water plants well after any cutting!

Dead heading plants is also important if you want to encourage more blooms in your garden. Plants are desperate to seed in July so by removing any faded or dying flowers you encourage the plant to produce more seed bearing flowers. Take a close look at your floral plants; when their flowers start to look tired just pinch at the base and remove.

Splish Splash:

July is one of the hottest months of the year and your garden will notice. Watering plants throughout the day is really important. Container plants often suffer the most during the summer; they don’t benefit from rain in the same way plants do when planted into the ground. Make sure you water any plants in pots or containers often; especially if the day has been hot and dry.

The best time to water plants is early in the morning and in the early evening. The sun won’t be hot during these times of day so your plants have more time to soak up any water before it evaporates. Always water the base of plants as close to the soil as possible. Remember to pay close attention to container plants and water their soil well.

Pond Life:

If you have a garden pond keep an eye on it during July. In hot weather water can quickly evaporate from a garden pond or water feature. Top up your pond regularly to ensure the water levels don’t run too low; this can be potentially lethal if your pond houses fish. Remember you are allowed to use your hosepipe to top up a pond if it houses fish. Rainwater from a water butt is the best to use in a pond; tap water can contain chemicals which can affect the nutrient balance in your pond.

You may start to notice blanket weeds on your pond during the warmer months. Remove this weed from your pond as it can block oxygen from your pond. Use a net or rake to remove the weed. Don’t throw the weed away straight away; there can be important wildlife living in the weeds. So leave it in a pile next to your pond; this will give anything living in the weed a chance to get back into your pond. 

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