Wow, where have the last six months gone? It seems like only yesterday that we were celebrating the New Year and now I am writing about my July gardening jobs! It is so hard to believe that we are almost into the middle of winter already.
The best thing about July is the feeling that spring is not far away. During June the afternoons are so short because it is getting dark by 5pm. By July we are well past the shortest day and slowly but surely the days are getting longer. Another reason why I like July is because it is my birthday month!
This last month it has been really hard to get out and do anything in the garden. This is because we have had quite a wet month and it has been really cold. I know you tend to warm up once you get going in the garden but it is so hard to leave the comfort of the warm house these days!
Even though it has been cold and wet we haven’t really had any frosts much so far this winter. I have my frost protection ready but I have only really had to use it once! Most of the plants in the garden have settled down for winter but there are still a few that are flowering; like the daisies, grevilleas, and hellebores. What have absolutely flourished in these cool damp conditions are the weeds, they are springing up faster than we can pull them out! The weed that I hate the most - oxalis (soursob) – is always around at this time of year
So naturally weeding is at the top of my list of July gardening jobs!
My July Gardening Jobs:
- weed ornamental and vegetable garden beds
- treat oxalis weed (soursob) with glycosphate
- feed vegetable crops
- feed spring bulbs
- keep up with mowing lawns
- provide frost protection for susceptible plants when necessary
- prune crepe myrtle and may bush
- harvest lemons from lemon tree to promote summer crop
During June we got busy and set up some more compost bays; we have been really getting into the composting since learning more about it last year. I have wanted to make some compost bays out of old pallets for a while now. Originally we were planning on setting them up along one side of the vegetable garden but we decided that they would take up too much room.
I am glad that we changed our minds because the compost bays (which we did make out of pallets) are quite big. Our vegetable garden is a decent size, but we would have lost too much valuable planting area if we had of put the compost bays in there. We still have two plastic compost bins that are in the veggie garden.
Now that we have these nice big compost bays we can save more of the garden waste that we produce. So far we have added prunings, lawn clippings, and locally sourced animal manure. We will be able to use the compost as mulch in the springtime and also use it to make our own potting mix.
I am quite excited because during June we also planted out some seed potatoes. I have never really has a serious go at growing my own potatoes before. As a kid I can remember planting out the potatoes that had sprouted in the kitchen. But I don’t remember ever setting up a proper potato patch and planting seed potatoes.
We have planted out two varieties; Pontiacs and Dutch Cream. The Pontiacs are a red skin potato that is good for boiling/mashing and microwaving. While the Dutch cream has a cream coloured skin and it can be used if boiling/mashing, roasting, and in soups.
Earlier in the year I bought a couple of potato grow bags because I had planned to grow some potatoes in them. Since then we have decided to put them in the garden instead but we did plant a couple of each variety in the grow bags to see how they go.
It will be really cool to be able to open up the flap in the side of the grow bag and pull out some potatoes! The potatoes were starting to shoot when we planted them but they haven’t come up yet. It is only a little over a week since we planted them so hopefully they will pop up soon!
We have a few hellebores in our front garden and they seem to do well in the mostly shaded position. Hellebores can cope with full shade, so ours grow well in a position where they get the morning sun and then full shade in the afternoon. They are also able to tolerate frost which is good in our cold winter climate.
Until now we have had a couple of hellebores with quite plain flowers; mainly green or white but last year we planted a pretty red one. This new hellebore in our garden is a variety called Anna’s Red. It has lovely dark green foliage and pretty purple/red (magenta) flowers. There is not a lot flowering at this time of year so this pretty red hellebore helps to brighten up the garden.
If you are looking for a small, frost hardy plant that will flower during winter then I can definitely recommend the purchase of a hellebore. We have ours planted in our front garden quite close to the house. So it is nice to be able to look out the window and see the pretty hellebore flowers.
Now I had better go and get started on that list of July gardening jobs. The next few days are predicted to be dry so I will have to get stuck into the weeding and mowing the lawns!
For some more ideas on what to do in the garden during July check out these links:
July Gardening in Australia:
For my northern hemisphere visitors.
July Gardening in the Northern Hemisphere: