What to do in the garden in July

What to do in the garden in July

So many gardens peak in July: this is when the delicate shades of early summer give way to the joyful colours and scents of high summer. Make sure your personal fireworks display lasts with this month's key jobs.

General tasks:

Trim hedges now that birds have finished raising their first broods, snipping new growth back to a sharp, neat shape.
Save water to ease the pressure on domestic supplies in dry spells. You'll find water butts and downpipe adaptors in your favourite garden centre.

Ornamental garden:

Plant autumn-flowering bulbs like autumn crocus, nerines and hardy cyclamen for a late burst of colour in September and October.
Prune wisteria, reducing long, whippy shoots to five or six buds of the main stem to encourage plenty of flowers next year.
Feed hanging baskets weekly by adding a capful of liquid fertiliser to the water to keep flowers coming for longer.

Kitchen garden:

Tidy strawberry plants by trimming off top growth, removing any straw mulch and giving them a good weed through.
Prune summer-fruiting raspberries after harvest, cutting out old fruited canes to the ground and tying in young canes 10cm apart.
Sow winter salads like winter lettuce 'Rouge d'Hiver', claytonia or mizuna in greenhouse borders or under cloches in the garden.