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Onions growing in soil

More Maintenance Jobs for your Garden in July

Harvesting continues in the vegetable garden. Onions and shallots should be ready this month. Before you do this, bend over the tops to prevent seeding and to allow for maximum sunlight. After lifting, spread out under cover and dry completely before putting into store.

Prune wisterias 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.

Purple blooms against a blue sky

Deadhead roses to encourage the display to last longer. Don’t just take off the flower head. If you want to continue the display into autumn, you must prune down 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 rose bush an open shape (this helps protect from disease). Don’t deadhead Rosa Rugosa as they produce attractive hips in the autumn that help to feed birds in winter. Roses are greedy plants so, after deadheading, give them a feed using a fertiliser specific to roses. Don’t use a fertiliser high in nitrogen as this encourages soft, sappy growth that’s prone to attack from pests and diseases. I apply a good layer of well-rotted manure around the base of roses twice a year but if you can’t get hold of any, garden compost will do.

deep pink flower against leaves and red seedheads

Gardeners should always be planning for the season ahead, so now is the time to order spring-flowering bulbs online. There are some great bargains to be had. Look for a selection that will give you colour from the earliest snowdrop all the way through to alliums and lilies.

Purple crocuses and white snowdrops

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