Here are some ‘Top Tips’ for things to do in the garden in July 🙂
In the Orchard :
Apple trees :
2023 is a good year for fruit here in Central Brittany, France, and certainly at the moment the apple trees at La Rabine Jardin are looking the best they have been for some years.
However the natural phenomenon of the “June Drop” is continuing and some fruit will fall to the ground. These fallen fruit will probably start to go brown , as will some on the trees if the fruits are too tightly bunched together.
Do remove all brown fruits from the trees and on the ground as this is the dreaded “Brown rot” (Monilinia laxa and Monilinia fructigena).
Dispose of the fruits well away from the trees and do not compost unless you have a high heat compost system.
If there appear to be fruits too close together after the “Drop” you can reduce the number to enable the apples to grow bigger in size.
Try to remove fruits from the centre of the groups. Sometimes it is easier to twist the apple until it comes away in your hand.
Fruit trees :
Support the branches of any trees that are heavy with fruit.
Summer pruning : Lightly prune cherry trees to re-shape them. Plum trees can be pruned after the fruit has been picked. Remember to prune any fruit trees where the fruit contains a stone during the summer after the fruit has been picked. Fruit trees where the fruit contains pips – like apples – can be lightly pruned but save any hard pruning for the winter.
Vines : Shorten the steps of any vines to encourage the fruit to ripen more quickly.
Kiwi plants : If you have a kiwi growing against a wall or along a trellis, now is the time to tie-in the stems to re-shape the tree.
In the veg-patch :
Onions and Shallots : If rain is forecast and your onions and shallots are already lying down, depending on the amount of rain it would be a good idea to just pull them out of the ground even if they are small. If there is a lot of rain the bulbs will try to grow, possibly split and will not store well, so it’s best lift the plants that are ready and leave them on the ground for a while to ripen.
Courgettes : Prune the runners if they have more than six leaves.
Tomatoes : Tie the stems to a support regularly from now onwards. Also, remove any side shoots to encourage the plant to produce fruit.
Broccoli : If you live in a cool summer climate (18 – 23 degrees Celsius) you can plant broccoli now so that it’s ready for the end of the summer/beginning of autumn.
Trees and Bushes :
Hedges : Mulch the base of hedges to keep the soil cool.
Conifers : Spray the foliage with water in the evening to help prevent attacks of red spider mite.
Trees : Remove any young shoots that start to grow out from the trunk on non-multiple-trunked trees.
Roses : Prune roses that only flower once a year.
Clematis : Tie-in young clematis shoots whilst the shoots are still supple.
Rock plants : Keep an eye on any vigorous plants and trim them when necessary so that they don’t smother other more fragile plants.
Lavender : If you have many lavender bushes, you can pick some of the flowers now and leave them in an airy space to dry. The dried lavender can be used in many different ways around the house. However, please do leave enough flowers for the bees, butterflies and any other insects to feed on!