Gardening, Gardening Year, Planting, Plants, Wildlife

July is the height of summer, and usually the hottest month of the year, it’s a great time to sit and enjoy the work you’ve put in earlier in the year. July gardening is mostly about maintenance.

General Gardening Jobs

garden lawn

Top up bird baths, ponds and water features – June is one of the hottest months of the year so you need to check your birdbaths and ponds regularly to make sure they don’t go dry.

Trim conifers and other garden hedges – this is the time of year when growth can get a bit out of control, so now is the best time to trim in order to keep an even shape. Just make sure that you check the hedge for birds nests first.

Feed the lawn with specialist fertilizer –  this is your last chance to fertilize your lawn in order to keep lush green growth alongside regular deep watering once a week.

Remove floating blanket weed from ponds – this weed can be bad for water oxygenation so needs to be removed, simply put a pole or stick into the water and twirl it to remove from the pond.  Before composting, leave on the edge of the pond for a few hours so that any wildlife can get back to the pond

Think about which plants you would like for next springit might seem a bit early, but now is the time to get thinking about next year, and if you want to be ready for autumn planting it’s best to start ordering now.

Plants 

creating a sumemr garden

Support climbing plants –  continue to tie climbing plants to supports as they continue to grow this month.

Deadhead bedding plants – July gardening may involve removing dead and dying flowers from your border plants will tidy your garden and encourage new growth, giving you more colour for longer.  

Take cuttings for indoor overwintering – taking cuttings from your tender plants, shrubs and herbaceous perennials should be done this month to give you enough time to prepare them for overwintering and ready for next year.

Prune wisteria –  remove the side shoots from the main branch to about 20cm from their base, this will encourage neater growth.

Wildlife Care 

hedgehog in the garden

Put out food for hedgehogs – hoglets should be emerging from their birth nests this month so to give them a helping hand as they start to explore the world you can leave out water and meat-based dog or cat food (ideally chicken) on a plate or in a hedgehog feeder.

Plant low growing plants around ponds – this is the time of year where baby frogs should be emerging from ponds, and you can help them hide from predators or shelter from the  sun by planting low growing plants or allowing the lawn to grow near the edge of your pond.

Sow wildlife-friendly biennials – planting flowers like foxgloves, forget-me-nots and hollyhock is a great way to attract pollinators to your garden. By sowing now you are ensuring a source of food that’ll last longer into the year, giving them a better chance to survive the winter.

 

Garden Design, Gardening, Gardening & Landscaping, Gardens, How To, Scott, Wildlife

A garden pond is one of the best things you can create to encourage all sorts of animals into the garden. It will act as both habitat and water source to a variety of wildlife such as dragonflies, frogs and all sorts of birds. This guide will equip you with the knowledge to make a wildlife-friendly pond in your garden with minimal materials. 

Be sure to share how you go on with building your own pond over on the Primrose Instagram.

garden pond with water lillies

Tools & Materials:

  • Pond liner
  • String and pegs or stakes
  • Sharp knife
  • A long plank of wood
  • Spirit level
  • Garden spade
  • Bags of sand
  • Some large rocks

Method:

Locate Your Pond

  1. Identify the best spot for your pond. The ideal would be a spot that gets plenty of sun during the day and a little shade in the evening. If you can, avoid any overhanging trees as falling leaves can pollute the pond water.
  2. Mark out the edge of your pond with the string and pegs. Play around with different shapes and sizes until you’re happy. 

Dig Your Pond

  1. Start digging. If you dig from the middle and work out you can adjust the shape as it develops. Things can look very different in perspective once a piece of lawn suddenly become a large hole. You don’t have to dig very deep; a shallow pond will still be very beneficial for wildlife. 
  2. Pile soil to one side of your pond to create a gradual slope. This will allow wildlife to access the water easily and get out of the water should anything accidentally fall in. 
  3. Once you’re happy with the size and shape, rest your plank of wood across the pond and use your spirit level to check both sides are even. Repeat several times at different angles. This step is very important. Having a pond that is higher on a certain edge could lead to water flooding out of the pond in heavy rain. Spend time making sure this part is as perfect as you can get it.
  4. Remove any sharp objects or stones from the bottom of the hole to avoid ripping the lining before covering the bottom of your pond with sand. A small layer of a few cm’s will do to offer a layer of protection for the liner.
  5. Dig a small trench around the edge of the pond for the excess liner to be tucked into. This will help give everything a clean finish.

Line Your Pond

  1. Place the liner into the hole ensuring it covers the entire surface. Take time to remove as many creases as you possible can pushing the liner into the surface of the soil so it fits the shape of the hole as close as possible. 
  2. Tuck the edge of the liner into your trench and weigh it down with rocks, removing any excess liner with a sharp knife.
  3. Use any remaining sand to create a small layer of sand in the base of your pond.

Fill Your Pond

  1. Fill your pond with water! Try to use collected rainwater if possible as this will be packed full of nutrients that are perfect for kickstarting wildlife. To stop the water from disturbing the sand you can empty it onto a surface like a plastic bag so that the force is spread out a little more.
  2. Once filled you can add your choice of aquatic plants; wildlife will soon flock to your new pond!

Scott at PrimroseScott Roberts is a copywriter currently making content for the Primrose site and blog. When at his desk he’s thinking of new ways to describe a garden bench. Away from his desk he’s either looking at photos of dogs or worrying about the environment. He does nothing else, just those two things.

See all of Scott’s posts.

 

Birds, Flowers, Gardening, Gary, Scott, Wildlife

We can’t ignore it anymore – summer is finally here. As the days get longer, and flowers bloom nature kicks into full gear. But the changes you see in in the garden go way beyond more sun and some blooming flowers. If you take the time to look at the natural world around you there is plenty to see. 

Pollinators 

The first and most noticeable thing about the coming of summer is the colour that appears as plants come to life all around us,  but in the background, a small army of critters and insects are working to pollinate these plants and keep our countryside vibrant. Keep an eye out when your in your garden or out for a walk and see if you can spot any of these underacknowledged pollinators at work.

bees

Ants  – not as effective as the pollinating powerhouses such as bees and wasps, they do however have a limited role in pollinating your garden. Next time you see some in your garden, see if you can see where they are walking.

Bees – did you know that the UK has around 250 different species of bee? Bees are some of our best pollinators and not only for our gardens. They also have a big role in pollinating a lot fo the food we eat.

Butterflies – always a happy sight in the garden, this month you may spot the Painted Lady Butterfly. It has a distinct rusty red colour with black wingtips spotted with white.

Moths –  when they’re not flying around your house to try and get to the lightbulbs, these little creatures spend a lot of their time outdoors pollinating plants, but because it happens at night we never see it. If you have fragrant flowers like jasmine in your garden it’s likely a moth that is doing the pollination work.  

Beetles  – known as mess-and-soil pollinators, Beetles will eat parts of a plant and pollinate through their droppings. If you’re out for a walk, take a closer look at some of the plants and you might see a beetle at work.  

New birds 

The dawn chorus is one of the sweetest sounds of summer, and a lot of those voices come from birds who have come over for the summer. If you keep your eyes and ears open when you sit outside or take your daily walk there are a lot of new birds to see so keep your eye out.  

Most birds will be feeding their young on insects this time of year. Below is a list of birds you might spot in your garden:

  • Sparrows
  • Blue Tit
  • Robin
  • Starling
  • Greenfinch
  • Goldfinch
  • Common Chiffchaff
  • Willow Warbler

Flowers

Poppies

There are many kinds of wildflower that will begin to emerge and bloom this time of year. See the list below for some of our favourites; how many have you spotted?

  • Poppies
  • Cornflowers
  • Marsh Marigold
  • Meadow Buttercup
  • Forget-Me-Nots
  • Foxglove
  • Yarrow

 

Birds, Gardening Year, Planting, Scott, Watering, Weeding

In June you will often get the longest days of the year, which means more sun and more growing time for your garden plants. You can achieve a beautiful abundant outdoors in June if properly managed and planned. Be wary, the extra hours of light will also be helping weeds so it’s important to keep on top of things to enjoy the best of what June has to offer your garden. 

General

garden lawn

  • Water your lawn: an inch of water a week on your grass will be enough to keep it from going brown. Deep watering once a week is much better than regular watering every day.
  • Control weeds: use a handheld fork to remove individual weeds from the root.
  • Plant summer beds: get your summer bedding plants into the soil so they can take advantage of the extra hours of light.
  • Check and water: check the soil around your plants regularly, digging your finger into the soil to see if there is moisture underneath. Water accordingly when the soil appears too dry. 

Plants

summer bedding

  • Protect from pests: most aphids can be dealt with using a spray bottle filled with a simple solution of water and a little washing-up liquid. This will deal with greenfly and aphids without damaging to the plant. 
  • Plant out summer bedding: fill your flower beds and borders for a colourful display. Discover our selection of summer bedding plants. 
  • Grow sunflowers: now is a great time to grow sunflowers from seed; a fun project for getting the kids involved with the outdoors. 
  • Sow Nigella seeds: these unusual looking flowers can fill an area of your garden with charming blue whilst providing pollen for bees and butterflies.
  • Sow Nasturtium seeds: these colourful plants are fast-growing and will quickly fill any gaps you have in your bedding. They can also be trained up trellises and such to provide interest at different heights. 

Animals

Blue Tit on a branch

  • Top up birdbaths: keep your birdbath topped up to provide a place to drink, wash and cool down. 
  • Top up bird tables: this time of year most birds will be collecting bugs for their young (a bonus for pest control) but bird tables and feeders are still needed for a quick energy top-up for parents as they do this.
  • Avoid trimming hedges: be careful when trimming hedges as birds can be nesting inside
  • Allow some weeds to flourish: letting a small part of your lawn to grow wild will be incredibly beneficial for all sorts of wildlife. I can provide a habitat for insects which in turn will support the growth of birds. 

What June gardening jobs have you been up to this month? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!

Scott at PrimroseScott Roberts is a copywriter currently making content for the Primrose site and blog. When at his desk he’s thinking of new ways to describe a garden bench. Away from his desk he’s either looking at photos of dogs or worrying about the environment. He does nothing else, just those two things.

See all of Scott’s posts.