It might be a little cold and wet outside, but there's still jobs to do around the garden that will help it to thrive when the warmer weather arrives.
Here's some guidance from the Bunnings team about what to do in the garden in July.
July is when you want to be mulching, pruning, weeding, and planting.
If you live in the tropics, there’s a huge selection of plants you can get into the ground. Everything from beans, sweet corn, cabbage, rocket, silverbeet, garlic, ginger, mint, rockmelon and tomatoes. You can also take frangipani cuttings, dry them for a week and plant them. It’s also a good time to plant figs, pistachios, bare-rooted roses and vines.
In sub-tropical areas beetroot, carrots, garlic, lettuce, peas, rocket, snow peas and spring onions are some of the things you can plant now.
In temperate climates, there’s not much going on in the vegie patch. But you can plant beetroot, lettuce, onion, peas, radish, snow peas and strawberries. Many ornamental and fruit trees are ready to plant now including figs, pistachios, bare-rooted roses and vines.
In colder regions, there’s also not much to plant but you can still go with mustard greens, onions, radish and spinach.
July is when winter fruit and vegetables are at their best. It’s time to pick apples, grapefruit, kiwifruit, lemons, limes, mandarins, oranges, quinces and rhubarb. On the vegie and herb front, there’s broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, garlic, ginger, leeks, potatoes, pumpkin and fennel.
After you have finished planting your winter fruit, vegies and herbs, it’s time to fertilise. Use a seaweed or a low environmental impact liquid fertiliser, to help your plants grow.
Winter is also a good time to prune but before you do, some simple tool maintenance will make the job easier. Head to the shed and clean, sharpen and oil your garden tools. They’ll work better, last longer and it will even help to prevent the spread of disease.
Once your tools are sharp, deciduous fruit trees love a good prune now, but leave your apricot tree alone. In temperate areas, you can also prune your roses.
After the winter rains, weeds are easy to pull out. So spend a little time every day walking around your garden and getting rid of them.
After weeding is a good time to add some mulch, especially if the winter rains have washed it away. Choose a mulch that will improve your soil as it breaks down.
Green manure or cover crops are good to grow in dormant vegie patches now. They include fava beans, field peas or mung beans. These crops reduce soil erosion and improve soil quality. Remember to chop and drop them before they flower.
Feel free to let us know what you're up to in the garden at the moment by replying below or hitting the Start a discussion button.
It's a great time for planning @Jason and also one of my favourite times... bare-rooted tree time!
Coming into nurseries soon will be what old-school gardeners call bare-rooted but these days is more often called 'bagged' plant stock.
These are an excellent budget gardening secret.
For folks that don’t know what I'm yabbering about...
Normally a grower will keep a plant in a pot & care for it, potting it up as it grows, watering feeding etc. It's a labour & time intensive process to grow good plants this way, hence the cost of quality plants in pots.
Bare-rooted or bagged stock is different. Plants are field-grown (i.e. – in the ground) and then when they are dormant they are lifted, root pruned and bagged.
You may have seen bagged roses? The broader bare-rooted range covers an extensive selection of fruit, nut, flowering & ornamental trees. They all have one thing in common however, they are deciduous, hence their dormancy.
As they are field-grown the actual costs to grow them are lower. When they are lifted and bagged they are not put into a typical mix but into one that’s designed to keep them happy & healthy just until they are planted so the bag is often much smaller than you would expect a pot to be for a similar sized plant.
All of this means that growing, handling and transport costs are lower so the actual end bagged product can be massively cheaper than the potted alternative.
The other thing too is that many hard-to-get varieties are only available once a year as bagged stock, especially the fruit and nut trees. It’s the best time to buy fruiting figs for example as you’ll find many varieties.
So if you are looking to add some deciduous trees & are keen to get best value for money ask the folks in your local when they are expecting their bagged stock in
And just some ancient trivia… when I first started working in retail nurseries these trees would arrive totally bare-rooted. They’d come up overnight from Victoria and would literally be bundles of soilless plants tied together with hessian tie.
In the nursery we would have a bed we’d put them into & then a truck-load of potting mix would be poured in around the roots to keep them moist. Customers would select their plant, pull it out, dust it off & we’d wrap the roots in newspaper …
How is your garden looking at the moment?
I've been spending more time in the garden over the past week now that we're having to bunker down in Melbourne again. There's certainly always plenty of weeding to do!
My wife has also just pruned the roses. For much of the country, now’s the time to prune your roses to encourage plenty of new growth when the weather warms. It also helps ensure you have a healthy, well-shaped and bushy plant. Make sure you check out @Noelle's fantastic step-by-step advice in her guide How to prune roses.
Our winter vegies are also doing well, and we're even still getting some chillis.
Let us know how your garden is going and if you need a hand with anything.
Great tips, thanks Jason. Especially with a fresh lockdown in Sydney, I've been paying more attention to what's happening in the garden, BUT I kinda missed the boat when it came to planting the right things at the beginning of winter / end of autumn. Ah well.... next year! But these tips help to set everything up for success come Spring.
If you're talking about the vegie garden, I wouldn't hesitate planting things like leafy greens and beans at the moment.
Hope you and the family are coping OK during lockdown. As a Melburnian, I can certainly sympathise! And I agree that time in the garden can be a great way to spend those quiet weekends when you can't get out and about.
Please let us know if you need a hand with anything.