Your Garden in July
“Welcome, winter. Your late dawns and chilled breath make me lazy, but I love you nonetheless.” – Terri Guillemets
Now is the time to prune!
For the deciduous fruit trees to bear a good and bountiful harvest, pruning is a must and July is when this task should take place. Pruning has a lasting effect on the trees. For young trees of one to three years, it is important to develop a well-balanced framework with a strong support base trunk and branches. The resulting top growth will then be able to support many fruit bearing branches.
The main aim of pruning is to remove old wood, weak and thin stems, especially those growing into the center of the tree. Create an open cup shape as this allows air and light to reach all the branches.
Be sure to use clean and sharp equipment, using a saw for larger branches and secateurs for the thinner material. Seal the larger wounds with Steri-Seal to prevent pests and diseases from taking hold at these cuts. As much as possible try to cut above a good, strong bud which is facing in the direction you would like the new branches to grow.
Your roses also need a good pruning this month. Be sure to get rid of all the old, dead and weak stems. The harder you prune now, the stronger the new spring growth will emerge. As with the fruit trees try to create an open cup shape, the top most bud will grow out in such a way as to extend away from the center of the bush.
Spraying an insecticide and fungicide at this time is a good idea to protect the plant from pests and diseases as the new growth emerges.
Now is the time to also plant up additional fruit trees and roses. The roots will settle down over July and August, and be ready to start growing in the spring. Keep these new plantings well watered and feed every four to six weeks with an organic 6.3.4 fertilizer such as Vita Veg from Talborne Organics.
Spare a thought for the bird life in your area as seeds and insects are in short supply at the moment. Keep up with your feeding stations with a regular supply of seeds and fresh fruit. The birds are used to the regular warm season larder from your garden. Keeping up this buffet in the winter months will ensure that the bird life remains active in your area.
“Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.” – Paul Theroux