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Now you can benefit from your spring gardening: in July, things are in bloom everywhere and you can harvest and enjoy fruits, vegetables or herbs. July is the first harvest season and the second planting season of the year. Because temperatures regularly rise above 30 degrees during the day and do not fall below 20 degrees at night, all plants in the garden, on the balcony, on the terrace and in the house or apartment need more water than usual. And also more nutrients.
Your lawn needs a lot of water in hot and dry July. Water it rather once a day than twice, but water it abundantly, then the roots of the grass blades will reach deeper. It is best to water in the evening - if you sprinkle the lawn in the morning, the damp blades can burn in the heat. It makes sense to mow the lawn less often and let it grow higher than usual (five centimetres or higher), then the blades will shade themselves. Fertilise your lawn with slow-release fertiliser, which releases nutrients gradually, but refrain from scarifying or aerating it.
If you water the lawn automatically, you can relax and enjoy your evening off and don't have to look for someone to blow up the lawn for you during your summer holidays.
In July, summer flowers such as dahlias, fuchsias, daisies or roses bloom magnificently. If you regularly remove the faded flowers, the healthy flowers will receive more water and nutrients and bloom longer. As soon as all the peonies have faded, you should fertilise them so that they grow more vigorously next year. Sow seeds of early flowering plants like primroses now and collect seeds of ornamental plants like poppies or marigolds after they have flowered for next spring. Because the risk of summer thunderstorms increases with the heat, tie large perennials and plants with heavy flowers to sturdy poles to prevent them from bending in rain or wind. If you buy potted plants for the balcony or terrace, be sure to repot them because most pots are too small and do not store enough water and nutrients for the hot and dry July.
Depending on the location and the weather, you should water and fertilise potted plants only moderately but regularly. You need more water in a clay pot than in a plastic pot.
Don't know how much water your plants need? Our plant guide tells you, for example, when and how often you should water, fertilise or prune them back.
You can harvest a lot in July. For example, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, peas, early potatoes, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes and courgettes. Maybe garlic too - as soon as its green turns yellow, it is ready for harvest. After the first harvest, you can reseed in July and have a second harvest in late summer or early autumn. Bush beans, Chinese cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, lettuce and spinach will grow as long as it is warm enough. You should also plant endives and radishes in July for harvesting in autumn or winter. Before sowing new seeds, add nutrients to the soil with a green manure, for example cruciferous crops such as yellow mustard, oil radish and winter rape or legumes such as clover and lupins. With a thin layer of bark mulch, you can prevent the humidity in the soil from evaporating quickly in the summer heat and weeds from spreading.
You will probably harvest more herbs than you need at the moment. You can simply dry herbs and store them in an opaque and airtight dark jar until you need them.
June spoils us with berries, fruits and fruit. Besides strawberries, which are in season in June and July, blueberries, raspberries and currants are ripe, but also apples, pears and cherries. If you want to enjoy strawberries from your own garden or raised bed next year, you should cut off the small shoots on the stolons of the strawberries now and plant them individually in pots. You should cut back raspberry bushes to the ground and leave new shoots at a distance of plus/minus 10 centimetres. July and August is the time for summer pruning of fruit trees. Remove competing shoots and diseased or troublesome shoots from young trees and trellises. Thin out heavy-bearing trees and strengthen non-bearing trees with a stronger summer pruning. Cherry trees, for example, grow quickly and strongly. If you thin them out after harvesting, they will not sprawl and the main branches will be even more fruitful next year.
Apples, pears or cherries that are not yet overripe can be stored in a cool and dark place, for example in the cellar. Make jam or puree from fruits that spoil quickly.
The flowers, vegetables and herbs in the balcony boxes, raised beds or planters are also thirstier than usual in the summer heat and need more nutrients. If possible, place them in a semi-shady or shady spot where they will not be in the sun all day. If you remove dead or wilted flowers now, flowers will bloom longer and more magnificently.
With plants in the conservatory, you should ventilate more often while it is (still) cool. Otherwise it will get too hot under the glass roof. Blinds or roller blinds protect plants from sunburn. Put houseplants out into the fresh air from time to time, but never in the blazing sun; this promotes their growth and strengthens their resistance. Of course, plants in the house or flat also need more water and fertiliser now. If you fertilise them every few weeks with liquid fertiliser or every two to three months with fertiliser sticks or granules, they will produce more flowers. Because everything is in bloom in July, pests feel right at home. That's why you should check your houseplants thoroughly. Pests prefer to hide on the undersides of the leaves.
If you have not treated your wooden balcony, garden or patio furniture for protection, or have not done so for a long time, you should do so now at the latest. Otherwise your loungers, tables or chairs will weather quickly in the blazing July sun and in the extensive summer storms. Enjoy the beautiful time outside, but protect yourself and your family from the heat and the dangerous UV exposure at the height of summer. A sunshade or a sun sail with a high sun protection factor of 50 or higher is sufficient. Sunshades and sun sails made of water-permeable hard polyethylene regulate the temperature in the shade best and avoid heat accumulation.
In the article "Sun Protection: How to Shade Your Home and Enjoy the Sun" you can read how to shade your house or flat sensibly inside and out, including balcony, garden or terrace.
July is also called aphid month. Without natural enemies like lacewing larvae, ladybirds, ichneumon wasps or birds, aphids multiply like rabbits in the heat. If there are a few nests on the tips of the shoots or a few pots, you can simply brush off the aphids or wash them away with water or spray them away. If the infestation is more severe, you can spray infested plants with an environmentally friendly spray against aphids, whiteflies and spider mites based on potash soap. It is best to do this in the morning or evening when it is dry.