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The Gardening Month - July
July Scene Lawns
If you really have to water a lawn, soak it. The water needs to get down under the roots, and frequent light waterings will only induce shallow rooting and a greater susceptibility to drought.

When adding grass clippings to a compost heap, mix them or spread them in thin layers with coarser, stalky materials, to keep the heap aerated. Turn it from time to time, and add a can of water if it is at all dry. A layer of carpet or a board on top will help to keep it sufficiently moist.

Pruning and Training
July is the big dead-heading month. Roses, delphiniums, peonies, pinks,
argyranthemums, you name it. Argyranthemums in patio pots are also the
better for having the leading shoots nipped out at the tip after the first
flush of flower, to encourage bushiness in the second crop.

Fast-growing hedges like leylandii, privet and Lonicera nitida can be given
a first trim now. This is especially beneficial in the early years, when the plants are growing so hard and fast. In old age, when the hedge is
established and the plants are competing for water and nutrition, once a year may be enough.

Prune out some of the older flowered growth on philadelphus (mock orange), deutzia and kerria, so that there is plenty of light to ripen the growths made this summer.

Tie in the long growths of climbing roses, honeysuckles and vines where required, before they can tear off in strong winds.

Soft tip cuttings can now be made under polythene of easy shrubs such as philadelphus, hydrangeas, and potentilla. Use rooting hormone powder for a
faster result, and keep the cuttings in a bright but not sunny place until they are rooted (2-3 weeks).

Flowers
Cut out the flowered stems of Euphorbia robbiae, Euphorbia characias, and Helleborus argutifolius, unless you want to leave a few to produce seedlings. Removing the old stems make space and light for a stronger crop of stems for next year.

Colchicum corms, sometime known as autumn crocuses, are dormant now, and ready to make new roots next month. Clumps can be lifted, divided, and replanted singly now. They soon make clumps again, even in turf.

Kitchen Garden
Be generous with the watering of tomatoes, courgettes, sweet corn and cucumbers. Keep the liquid feed flowing generously too, if they are not in well-enriched soil.

Pick beans regularly to keep them cropping, and make sure they are never short of water.

Make sure fruit trees against walls are also never short of water while the fruits are still swelling.

Prune blackcurrants as you pick, taking out a number of the older stems altogether, to be stripped of fruit over your knee.

Sow more salads to produce a succession throughout the summer.
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