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Maintenance Jobs for the July Garden

Midsummer, and the garden is awash with colour. There is always plenty of work to be done, but make the most of the long summer evenings, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labours earlier in the year. At this time of year, gardens are not only full of colour but the scent of flowers, such as roses and sweet peas, fills the air, especially towards the end of the day. It’s the perfect time for an impromptu evening party!

Make sure the birds have enough water during spells of dry weather and be sure to keep new and young plants well-watered all through the summer. Plants in containers are particularly susceptible to drought, so give them plenty of water (hanging baskets may require watering twice a day) and feed with a suitable plant food once every two weeks.

house sparrow sitting on edge of bird bath

There is no need to water established lawns unless absolutely necessary. If you have to water, really soak it once a week, rather than a sprinkling every day. Established lawns will turn brown in hot weather but it’s not worth wasting water on them, as the grass should recover. Give the lawn a liquid feed, unless you did so in June. Most lawns will benefit from a quick boost and there are many types of product on the market. New lawns (laid or seeded earlier on in the year) will require watering in dry weather. This is vitally important; if it shrinks when it dries it’s virtually impossible to undo the damage when this has happened.

a sprinkler device spraying water on a lawn

This is a good month to trim conifer hedges to keep them under control, being careful not to disturb nesting birds. Conifer hedges have received a bad press recently, mainly because of the notorious Leyland cypress. It can grow very tall very quickly and is too vigorous for a small garden; if neglected, it can quickly become a nuisance. As with all conifer hedges, it needs trimming at least once a year, preferably twice to keep in check. If you start doing this while shrubs 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.

hedge with hedge trimmer visible

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