July gardening tips
Prune early summer flowering shrubs such as weigela, philadelphus and deutzia after they have flowered to avoid the leggy look. Cut out some of the oldest wood (up to a third of the bush) right down to the base - don’t leave it too late or the new growth will not have enough time to produce a decent show for next year’s flowering... procrastinate at your peril!
Keep spraying roses with fungicide to ward against black spot and mildew. Do this in the evening to avoid harming bees. Repeat every fortnight until the autumn. Remember stricken leaves must be burnt - do not leave them on the compost heap as this will become the perfect incubation site. Feed with a foliar feed and beware greenfly - treat immediately if an infestation occurs - ask in the garden centre for advice as to what to use if you are unsure.
Keep deadheading roses regularly, cutting back to the nearest five leaf spray with sharp secateurs - just breaking the stem leaves the rose more vulnerable to infection.
Keep an eye open for rose suckers (which appear from low down and have different leaves) and remove by pulling downwards and tearing - cutting them will merely encourage them to reappear!
Keep tying in climbing and rambling roses horizontally - this encourages more flower production as fewer side-shoots are produced due to restricted sap flow.
Cut long lavender stalks, tie into bunches and hang upside down for wonderful dried lavender. Try tucking a sprig or two under your pillow to help you sleep peacefully.