Jobs for the Garden in July
July is a good month to trim conifer hedges to keep them under control. Conifer hedges have received a bad press recently, mainly because of the notorious Leyland Cypress. These can grow very tall very quickly and are too vigorous for a small garden; if neglected, they can quickly become so large they can be a nuisance. As with all conifer hedges Leyland Cypress needs trimming at least once a year, preferably twice to keep in check. If you start doing this while they are small, long before they reach the height and width you eventually require, you will have built up a good thick layer of leafy growth over the surface of the hedge.
Prune wisteria by cutting back the whippy growths made during the summer so they are within five or six buds of the main stem. This encourages the formation of flower buds for next year. The second prune should be done in February.
Deadhead roses to prolong the display. Many people just take off the old flower head, but if you want to encourage the rose to flower into the autumn, you have to prune back to a bud in a leaf axil, lower down the stem. This encourages strong new shoots. Prune to an outward facing leaf to keep the centre of the plant open. Don’t prune Rosa rugosas or wild roses as they produce attractive hips in the autumn. Once you’ve pruned them, give roses a good feed to encourage more flowers later this year. Use a fertiliser specific to roses, or one high in potash.