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Lychnis chalcedonica (Maltese cross)

JULY

Watering and dead-heading are two of the most important jobs around the garden this month, to keep plants healthy and vibrant.

On hot days damping down the greenhouse floor helps reduce the temperature and increases humidity, encouraging plant growth and mitigating against red spider mite that prefers it hot & dry and is otherwise very difficult to control.

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Divide clumps of bearded iris, if you did Click for RHS video not do it immediately after flowering last month; done every 3 - 5 years, it really does improve flowering.

Feed roses after their first flush of flowers.click for more info Continue to dead-head repeat-flowering roses to keep them flowering strongly.
For varieties that flower only once, the spent blooms can be left to develop into hips.

Click for more info Thickened and curled margins on bay trees (Laurus nobilis) are a sign of bay sucker damage.
Scale insects can also affect bays at this time of year.

In dry weather, powdery mildew is a poedery mildew on Knautia macedonicadanger for susceptible plants, such as clematis, honeysuckle, centaurea, monarda, scabious and knautia; however, regular watering can help ward it off.

Pruning of plum, cherry, apricot & peach trees should be carried out as soon as the fruit has been harvested, if at all possible in dry weather, to minimise the risk of silver leaf infection.

Neat circular areas removed from the edges Click for more infoof rose and other leaves are tell-tale signs of leaf-cutting bees – these fascinating creatures can be tolerated since damage is rarely severe.
Click for more infoCut back delphiniums and hardy geraniums after the first flush of flowers to encourage a second flowering later in the season. Feed and mulch them after cutting them back.

Make sure indoor plants have enough shade and ventilation to prevent scorch damage and water them adequately. Many benefit from being placed outside for the summer – this also lessens some pest and disease problems, such as red spider mite and scale insects.

By mid-summer some lawns may be heavily infested by ants. Brushing out the nests on a dry day is a good method of control, and should be done prior to mowing.

Plants with a carpet-like growth habit, e.g. some alpines, can become patchy, with central areas dying off.
These patches can be in-filled with gritty compost, to encourage re-growth.

Wildlife in the garden

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