July is bringing us typical winter weather, cold and wet, but we’re also getting some beautiful sunny patches which are perfect for tackling some “traditional” winter tasks in the garden.
Fruit tree and rose pruning should be on the agenda this month if you haven’t already done it. Roses are very easy to prune, a good guide for bush roses is known as the 50/50 rule. This means remove half the stems and reduce the remainder in height by half, quite simple really. Roses are very forgiving so don’t be afraid to have a go. Clean, sharp tools are a must for a good result, you will need secateurs plus loppers and/or a pruning saw for thicker canes. Thick leather gloves also help to stop getting attacked by any thorns! A spray with Lime Sulphur after pruning will help to control pests and any diseases. Rake up and remove all the fallen leaves too as this also helps with disease control.
If you’re not sure how to go about any pruning just ask one of our nursery staff for some advice and tips.
Now is also a great time to identify areas in your garden that may not be draining well and need some attention. Clay soils in particular may benefit from an application of Gypsum. This should be spread over affected areas at the rate of 1kg per square metre and watered in or let the rain wash it in for you. Repeated applications ( 6 monthly is fine ) may be needed. Adding organic compost to your soil as mulch or when planting will also help to improve the drainage.
On the plant front have a look at this one when you’re next in store, plants with good blue flowers are not easy to find. Ceanothus Blue Sapphire is a compact evergreen low growing shrub that will be covered in masses of intensely blue flowers in Spring. It has long graceful arching stems covered in small very dark glossy leaves almost black in winter. Frost hardy, sun loving and drought tolerant.