25th July 2016
Well, July is rapidly coming to a close and there are quite a few jobs which need doing around the garden.
Now is a good time to prune lavender. If you have a lot of old wood and want to try rejuvenating it – cut back to the last couple of green shoots before you get to the wood. Lavender doesn’t grow from the old wood but cutting back quite close to it can quite often cause it to sprout from this woody material.
I’ve been lifting and dividing irises which will need doing every two or three years. It is also a good time to do the same with rhubarb but in this case lift it and throw away the old centre and replant the outer clumps to form new plants for next year.
Roses will need dead-heading and feeding now to encourage more flowers. Feed with a well-balanced rose feed such as Bayer Garden Toprose which costs around £4 for a kilogram. When weeding between roses with a hoe it is best to take care as their roots can be close to the surface and may become damaged if you are too enthusiastic.
I found some sawfly larvae – see picture right– on some gooseberry bushes, they can also be found on blackcurrants. To get rid of them just pick them off and squash them, which is a lot safer than spraying. In fact it is never a good idea to spray any edible crops with insecticide, for obvious reasons of health.
Taller perennials may need staking I’ve been tying back dahlias and lysimachia punctate, (below) which had suffered from the heavy rain this week.
Now is the perfect time to prune plum trees to avoid them getting silver leaf. If you leave it too late then you run the risk of the spores getting into the cut ends of the wood.
Don’t forget to feed your lawn and be prepared to raise the height of cut if it remains dry for a week or more. I know, not much chance of that in Crail!
Tubs and newly planted plants will need watering which is best carried out in the evening to help reduce any loss due to evaporation make sure you let the water really sink into the compost to ensure the roots go deep.
As it is holiday time think about your houseplants and if possible make arrangements for your plants to be watered, especially those close to a window which otherwise will dry out very quickly.