July is a fantastic month to prepare your soil for planting flower and vegetable plants in spring! Winter planting continues with many seasonal favourites like roses, camellias and fruit trees.
- It's time to start preparing your soil for spring vegetable planting. If you've sown any Lupin, be sure to dig this into your garden now. Remember to add lime and compost to condition the soil. You should wait until this dries out slightly if it is wet or boggy.
- It's also a great time to sow your favourite vege seeds; these could include Broccoli, Broad Beans, Cabbage, Spinach, Onions and Silverbeet, in seed trays in a warm spot. Transplant these to your garden in about 6 to 8 weeks, or once they're approximately 4 cm high. In warmer districts, you could also sow Parsnips, Carrots and Beetroot now.
- Plant your Artichoke, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Onions, Potatoes, Rhubarb, Silverbeet and Cabbage seedlings directly into your garden. If you use protective cloches (plastic dome or tunnel) will allow you to plant earlier and will encourage vigorous growth.
- Be sure to spray your winter vegetables with Copper Oxychloride every 14 days; this will help to prevent fungal diseases and bacterial blight spots.
- Place your seed potatoes in a tray in a sunny position for at least a month prior to planting. When the sprouts on the seed potatoes are about 2 to 4 cm long plant them in a large plastic pot or a planter in a warm and sheltered position.
- Plant garlic, shallots and elephant garlic bulbs along with asparagus crowns. For the best results, be sure to plant these in a well-draining soil which is rich in organic matter (compost).
- Now's the time to plant strawberries! Getting them in early won't only give you more fruit, but you'll get fruit earlier too. Be sure to add a clean layer of pea straw mulch around the plants. This will deter pests and will keep the berries up off the dirt. Allow for five plants per person. This will ensure that there's enough delicious fruit for everyone at harvest time!
- Plant new seasons fruit trees; Pears, Apples, Plums, Apricots, Peaches, and Nectarines, plus a wide range of citrus trees.
- It's also a great time to prune your deciduous fruit trees now. Ensure that your cutting tools are sharp and clean, and protect the cuts with a pruning paste.
- If your fruit trees had any issues with brown rot or fungus over summer, it would be a great time to spray these with Copper Oxychloride. This controls a wide range of fungal and bacterial diseases. Spray at the leaf fall, bud-burst as well as at the green tip stage for best results.
- To control mites, sooty mould, aphids and whitefly on citrus and fruit trees, spray with a Bug Oil Spray. This oil effectively smothers the pests as well as their eggs and will protect your plants. It's a low toxic option.
- To see what to plant and when in your area, you can download this handy planting calendar. Download this handy planting calendar to see what to plant in your area, and when.
- For instant wintertime colour, it is a great time to plant your favourite seedlings like Sweet pea, Pansies, Lobelia, Stock, Cineraria and Dianthus directly into your garden. Water these in well.
- For some spring colour, be sure to sow your favourite seeds like Forget-Me-Not, Delphinium, Primula, Larkspur, Salvia, Wallflower and Snapdragon in seed trays. Water these with a fine mist.
- Camellias, Rhododendrons, Daphne and Hellebores are ready for winter planting. They can get established in the cooler months.
- Plant shrubs and new trees, remembering to add generous quantities of compost to the planting hole.
- It's the perfect time to cut back untidy growth of perennial plants like Canna lilies, Lavender, Agapanthus, Geraniums and Fuchsia.
- Plant Tuberous Begonias, Gladioli, Dahlias, Lilies and Calla Lilies for summer flowering. Gladioli should flower approximately 100 days after planting.
- Apply mulch around shrubs and trees to suppress weeds as well as improve soil structure and keep plant roots warm.
- To ensure beautiful blooms come spring be sure to protect them by spraying with Copper Oxychloride or a bug oil. These types of sprays guard against mites, scale, aphids and fungal diseases.
- Existing roses will now require a good prune. Ensure that your cutting tools are sharp and clean. Cut out any dead, diseased or damaged branches.
Want to know more about getting more value out of your home renovation? Check out our free guide here!