July is indeed a very busy gardening month

There’s much to be planted and harvested this month and certainly no absence of life in the garden. Check out your monthly garden check-list.

July is all about colourful comforts in the garden and enjoying the hearty harvest winter has to offer. Keep your beds looking lush and your veggie garden stocked with these flowers and edibles to plants.

Don’t forget your July maintenance to help your garden stay in top shape and ready for the last cold stretch. Enjoy the journey with your landscape and take some time to appreciate the remarkable changes of Mother Nature.

What to plant
Hardy, fancy flowers: Plant these lovelies now for colour and coziness – Calendulas, Asiatic lilies, flowering perennials such as osteospermum daisies, pelargoniums, wallflowers, diascias, and aquilegias for a gorgeous spring show.
Robust succulents: Aloe Hedgehog, aloe Ferrox, and aloe Speciosa
Indigenous gems: Krantz aloe, Basuto kraal aloe, nandina, viburnum, camellia, holly and Elaeagnus.
Colourful fun shrubs: Pink – plectranthus (Plectranthus fruticosus), Blue – Zulu spur flower (Plectranthus zuluensis), Green/purple – Mona lavender.
Balmy bloomers: Grab these flowering delights now – pelargoniums (geranium), Cancer Bush (Sutherlandia frutescens), sweet peas, poinsettias, and calliandra.

A flying reminder: Help the birds out and ensure your birdbath and bird feeder is well-stocked. Food is scarce for the flyers during the winter months.

Photo: Life is a Garden – Aloe Hedgehog

Everything edible
Garden Centre treasures: Fig, olive, grape, cherry, peach, plum and apple trees are available at GCA Garden Centres from July.
Harvest now: Horseradish, asparagus, celeriac, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and waterblommetjies.
Sow now: Hardy vegetables and herbs such as radishes, beetroot, spinach, lettuce, parsley, leeks, turnips, carrots, eggplant, broccoli, Asian greens, and garlic chives in seed trays. In frost-free areas plant peas, cauliflower, cabbage, and root vegetables.
Split & divide: Divide your asparagus and rhubarb now for a larger yield and remember to mulch well after transplanting.
Support: Stake broad beans and Brussels sprouts to give them more support and increase growth.
Feed: Remember to feed your winter veg seedlings with nutritious fertilisers and compost.
Top tip: Use bird netting or frost cover sheets to deter birds while also allowing light and air into the veggie garden.

Photo: Life is a Garden – Broccoli

Perfect pruning & maintenance

A little off the top: Fruit trees, roses, deciduous shrubs, golden shower, barleria, ribbon bush, wild dagga, westringia, and hydrangeas. Also, cut back bougainvilleas that have finished flowering.
Cut away: All dead wood, diseased branches, and leaves, large trees casting unwanted shade. Remember to add all this organic matter to the compost heap.
Check your tools: Sharpen your garden blades, lawnmower blades, and replace any old pruning shears. Remember to get your lawnmower and edge cutters serviced too, spring is going to be busy!
Rose care: Start pruning roses at the end of the month and spray with Kumulus afterward. Feed them with a rose fertiliser and apply a new layer of mulch around the bushes. Also, transplant roses that need to be moved now.

Photo: Life is a Garden – Spring pruning roses in the garden

Top tip: Visit your GCA Garden Centre for advice on products to help seal pruning wounds as well as which sprays and fertilisers to use after fruit tree and rose pruning.

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