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As the weather gets warmer, you’ll probably be tempted to just sit back and enjoy the heat. However, time waits for no gardener! July brings its own share of opportunities to improve your garden, along with a number of issues that you will have to stay on top of if you want to ensure a healthy crop.

With July’s warm, dry weather, regularly watering your plants will become more important. By this point in the year, much of your crop should be progressing nicely, which will also attract hungry pests. The heat will create more jobs for you to do, but on the plus side you’ll soon get to enjoy harvesting your gorgeous greens.

Given how busy a time of year July can be for gardeners, you may want to consider hiring a local gardener to help you with ongoing garden maintenance tasks, such as weeding, lawn mowing or garden planting. If you simply need another pair of hands, a handyman can provide the help you need. A local pest controller can also help you if your garden is from a pest infestation. Do not be ashamed of asking for help here: certain pests can completely ruin even the most well kept gardens!

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What to sow/ plant outside

You will be happy to hear that most of the year’s seeding is behind you at this point, but there are still opportunities to sow and plant new crops in July. Young seedlings may need additional help in this dry weather, so keep them well watered and remember to look out for weeds and pests, such as slugs and caterpillars.

As always, pay special attention to the sowing or planting instructions that come with your seeds and follow them to the letter. 

To sow: basil, beetroot, carrots, coriander, dill, parsley, beans (French and runner), kohlrabi, lettuce, pak choi, peas, spinach, radish, cabbage, spring onions, chard, turnips

To plant: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, leeks, brussels sprouts

What to sow/ plant in a greenhouse/ polytunnel

While toasty greenhouses are invaluable for growing greens all year round, the summer sun can cause them to overheat, endangering the plants inside. You can avoid this by opening the windows regularly to let your greenhouse air out, as well as damping the inside with a hose every so often.

Now will also be the perfect time of year to transfer any younger plants that have been doing well in your greenhouse to your beds outside!

To sow: gherkins 

To plant: chillies, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers

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Jobs to do in July

While you should have plenty of gorgeous greens that are ready to harvest by this point in the year, most of your gardening work in July will revolve around protecting your plants from the heat. Not only will it increase the rate of evaporation in your gardening, which will necessitate more regular watering, but it will also create ideal conditions for a number of weeds and pests.

Simply keep these jobs in mind and pay special attention to your precious plants to ensure a delicious bounty:

  • If you have been growing tomatoes, start cutting off any new leaves growing beneath the lowest ripening fruits. This will help to prevent diseases, while also making sure that your fruits have all the air they need.
  • This is a time of year when you can give your crops a helping hand by treating them with a general fertiliser. Pay close attention to the instructions, as using too much will cause more problems.
  • If you have been growing garlic, then by now some of your plants will have started to bend over and develop yellow tops. This is the time to harvest them!
  • Keep an eye on your herbs and harvest them as soon as they are ready. At this time of year it is good to start drying or freezing herbs for later on.
  • Now is the time of year that several vegetables should be ready for harvesting, including any beetroots, carrots, peas, chard, potatoes, lettuce or tomatoes. Keep your eye on these crops!

  • With July’s overbearing heat, it will be important to water your fruits and vegetables around once a day to keep them consistently moist. 
  • Summer will attract several different pests to your garden. One of the most common will be slugs, which can munch away your crops before you ever get a chance to taste them yourself! Avoid using chemical pest control methods at this time, as they will be likely to damage your healthy plants.
  • The summer weather will provide ideal growing conditions for weeds, so keep looking out for them and remove any as they appear. The last thing you want is a giant weed competing with your tasty greens for resources.
  • If you have been growing fruit trees, now will be the time to start thinning out the fruits that are growing. This might sound strange, but pruning a tree in this way can lead to much healthier crop.
  • Eventually, leaves will start to fall from the trees in your garden. It will be important to rake these up and remove them before they form too dense a layer: not only will this deprive your greens of resources, but it will also encourage the spread of fungal disease.
  • While many insects can harm your garden, others will help to protect it. If you find any hoverflies, ladybirds or lacewings flying around, leave them be, as they love to eat harmful pests like aphids.
  • If you have been composting, you will need to start turning the contents of your bin every few weeks or so. Otherwise, the hot sun will cause your compost to start stinking up your garden!

Greenhouse jobs to do in July

  • When watering, you will need to pay special attention to the plants in your greenhouse, where a lot of water will be lost through evaporation. The best thing to do will be to water your greenhouse plants either first thing in the morning or at night.
  • As with previous months, you will need to keep damping down your greenhouse in July. As well as keeping the environment nice and humid for your plants, doing this will also deter pests such as red spider mites. You should also regularly open the windows and doors to improve ventilation. If the weather is particularly hot, you may even want to apply shade paint to your greenhouse to stop it from overheating.
  • Flying pests can be a big problem at this time of year. A simple but effective way of tackling this issue will be to hang sticky traps in your greenhouse: not only will this help you to eliminate plenty of your flying friends, but it will also help you to gauge how big of a problem you have and whether you should hire a pest controller.