By Glyn Smith Head Gardener at Erdigg Hall National Trust Garden
The weather in July is so unpredictable. You just don’t know whether St. Swithin will rear his head or not. Make sure you water hanging baskets and pots regularly, morning is best, then they may last until the evening without drying out. If you can, occasionally take them down and give them a good soak, adding liquid fertilizer at the same time.
How about sowing some Sweet Williams to flower next summer, now is the time. They make wonderful, scented, cut flowers too.
Don’t forget to dead head those roses. Depending on the vigour, prune them back about 20 centimetres, to a strong leaf. There may even be a young shoot just starting to break there. Look out for black spot and mildew too, apply a rose fungicide to prevent infection or spread.
Immature apples (June drop) should be ending soon. Thin out more of the crop if it is very prolific, to prevent branches breaking as the fruit swells.