Garden Tips for July

Garden Tips for July

The fruit and vegetable garden

 Lemon Tree

A tonic for the citrus trees - sprinkle Epsom salts around the lemon, lime or other citrus. This gives a good dose of magnesium and will help to reverse yellowing leaves and turn them green.

Prepare the soil for potato crops – dig compost into the soil to aid drainage and condition it. Set aside seed potatoes for sprouting. Potato crops are great for breaking up heavy clay soil. 

A clean-up copper and oil spray over pip and stone fruit trees should be done now. Prune older trees, concentrating on removing congestion in their centres. New season’s fruit tree varieties are arriving in garden centres now.

Snow peas are a cost-effective crop if you have the space. They like to grow up to 1.8m, and they’re delicious in stir-fries and salads. 

Berry canes - raspberries, currants, gooseberries, boysenberries, and blackberries can be planted from now on. Check for suitable heat-tolerant varieties if you’re in the north. 

 Wild rocket

Rocket, cos, head, and mesclun lettuces can withstand lower temperatures, so plant these to get the salad bed underway.

At the end of this month, summer crops can be sown using a heat pad and mini glasshouse. Try tomato, capsicum and cucumber seeds. 

The ornamental garden

Lots of gaps in the soil with this wet weather? Add sheep pellets, or blood and bone, then mulch. This conditions the soil, ready for planting in spring. 


Plant winter-flowering shrubs that can be picked for colour and/or scent and brought indoors: camellias, daphne, wintersweet and winter-flowering hellebores are all good for the vase.

Lift Dahlia tubers for storing in a cool, dry area of the garage or shed. This prevents them from rotting in the ground in winter, and they can be replanted when the threat of frost has passed.

 Tree pruning

Sharpen secateurs and loppers ahead of the pruning season. This goes for pruning saws and hedge clippers also.

For colour in pots and garden borders, polyanthus and primulas will take you right through to spring. Regular deadheading, plus a side dressing of dried blood around flowering polyanthus, brings out the best in them.

It’s tree planting time for deciduous trees. In clay soils, place a handful of gypsum into the planting hole, then use a mix of existing soil and Garden Mix to fill in. Heel around the tree firmly. 

Treat moss in the lawn with iron sulphate or spray with Yates’ Surrender. For lawns with poor drainage, an application of gypsum will help water move through the soil more easily.

Project for July


Drainage will reduce water in wet lawns 

Cut a square of turf from the drain path, then dig a trench 200mm to 400mm deep and lay scoria at the base. Lay filter-sock covered drainage coil, ensuring the drain is angled to slope downward, taking the water away from the lawn. Fill in the trench with drainage metal or scoria. Don’t fill the channel completely - leave enough space to re-lay the cut sections of turf.