In order to enjoy your garden in July when the hot weather arrives, there are a few jobs to make sure you do first, to make sure it doesn’t look like an overgrown wasteland.
During prolonged hot spells, dehydration can become a problem, not just for humans and animals, but for plants and grass too. Raise the cutting height on your lawnmower so that the grass is longer. Lawnmowers like the EasiMow 340R have a lever that lets you change the cutting height in seconds. Raising the cutting height prevents provides the soil with shade stopping the sun from drying the grass out and in extreme cases turning the grass brown.
In July, if not before you should consider moving larger often stationary objects like trampolines and benches. These objects block out the sun and stop the grass from growing which is another cause for grass turning brown. You should do this regularly throughout the year.
Keep vegetables growing and harvest what's ready
In July, crops like garlic sown in September time are now ready to harvest. When the tips of the garlic plant start to turn yellow, pulling them up and brush them off and store and dry them out by placing them in a cool, dry place.
Crops like courgettes and peas can be picked and eaten to encourage additional fruits to develops. For tomatoes keep them well watered feeding them at least once a week with a high-quality tomato feed, and remove any side shoots (often referred to as suckers) to help maximise crop yield. Other crops like cucumber will also benefit from a high potash feed.
If plants get too dry, too hot, or the complete opposite, they can bolt. Bolting is when the plant goes to seed as it is overly stressed. Pull any ‘bolted’ veg out and sow new seasonal seed in its place.
Bedding plants and containers
Keep those bedding plants and repeat-flowering perennials looking great, by regularly dead-heading – you’ll also enjoy a longer display of colourful blooms throughout the summer.
Keep plants grown in containers well-watered, feed them every two weeks. Its best water bedding plants thoroughly, a couple of times a week, rather than a little each day, as this encourages plants to put down their roots to seek water making them more resistant to extreme changes in temperature.
If possible use water collected in water butts to limit the use of drinking water and reduce your water footprint.
Keep an eye on your pond
Keep an eye on the water level of your pond, and make sure you top it up with fresh water regularly. Algae and hot weather is a recipe for disaster and can prove toxic and potentially fatal, for fish and other pond-dwelling animals.
Make sure any fish have enough food by feeding them regularly.