July Gardening Calendar NZ

Gardening Calendar NZ – July

We’re well into Winter now! It’s also reassuring to know we’re past the shortest day, and the days are lengthening. Although often the coldest temperatures and the wettest weather occurs in July. It’s encouraging to see the spring-flowering bulbs such as Freesias, Daffodil, Jonquils and Hyacinth have their leaves well out of the ground reminding us spring is on the way. Winter flowering shrubs such as some Camellias are blooming to brighten up the garden.

Tasks For This Months Gardening Calendar NZ

General Tasks For July Gardening Calendar NZ

Continue and finish planning and pruning this month. If your wanting deciduous plants, go to the nursery and you’ll have the best selection available to you. If you need professional help with your Landscape design plans, contact a landscape designer now to get your plans sorted and ready before spring.
Tools and equipment maintenance
Shelter from the weather in the garage or shed and do the maintenance jobs, such as:
Mower maintenance – Change the oil,(if your mowers has a 4 stroke engine) sharpen the cutting blades, check the spark plug and replace if needed.
Sharpen and oil steel cutting tools, such as spades, shears, secateurs etc.
Rats and mice will often invade houses in winter for the warmth, so inspect compost bins, wood piles, under house and roof spaces, looking for droppings, tunnelling, nesting and chewing damage, especially on electric cables that can spark fires.

Pruning For This Months Gardening Calendar NZ

For plants that are prone to bleeding sap, such as Grapes Walnuts Kiwifruit,, and, it’s best to have finished pruning them before the second week of July. I personally prefer to prune my Roseacea family plants, ( Plum, Peach, Nectarine, Apple, Pear, and Roses) slightly later at the first sign of bud swelling, in late July, because I have observed less incidence of fungal die back diseases infections. Fungus spores can more easily enter the vascular system of the plant when there is no sap flowing. The sap flow provides a natural defence to resist fungal disease attack.
If you want to plant perennials such as trees and shrubs, it’s normally best to get their growing position before the end of August, when their main growth phase will start.

Food Gardening For This Months Gardening Calendar NZ

Vegetable gardening For This Months Gardening Calendar NZ

Harvest anything that ready to eat.
Remove any plant that are dead or have gone to seed.
Pull out weeds or chop their tops off with a hoe.
Consider sprinkling gypsum on your soil if it’s predominantly clay and sticks together in big clods.
Compost can be spread around on the soil surface to suppress weed growth and allow the worms to work it into the soil.

Seed Sowing

For This Months Gardening Calendar NZ  ( If soil and weather conditions permit ).

In northern, central and warm southern districts you can sow:
Late sowing of Broad beans can be done, continue successive sowings of cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, spring onions, radish, mustard, cress, and spinach, can be made under shelter such as a cloche or greenhouse in containers for planting out in spring. When you sow vegetable seeds, try to consider how many of the vegetables you can eat in a month and try to get that amount of seeds sown each month. There’s a temptation to sow a lot at once, but then you get a glut of one vegetable, that can be difficult to consume in a short time frame before they go to seed.

Plant :

Asparagus
New Asparagus plants can be planted into well prepared soil. Dig the bed to two spade depths and incorporate well rotted compost.
Existing Asparagus beds need to be kept weed free, and can have a layer of compost spread around them.
Broad beans
Late sowing can be done in cold districts.
Spray with a copper based fungicide to prevent rust and chocolate spot fungus disease.
Cabbages, cauliflower, and broccoli –  Remove weeds and spread slug baits, preferably in a container, to reduce the likely hood of poisoning of birds etc. Seed can be sown under shelter in containers, for later transplanting.
Celery
Harvest the outer stalks as needed, and you can extent the harvest longer than pulling out the whole plant.
Chinese cabbages
Harvest as they mature and sow more to suit your needs.
Garlic
Can still be planted as individual cloves at a depth of 40-50mm deep and 60-80mm apart.
Leeks
Can usually be harvested now as needed.
Lettuces
Can be harvested and sown under shelter in warm northern and central areas.
Onions
Can be sown in warm central and northern districts.
Peas
Can be sown in the warmest northern and central districts.
Potatoes
Can be planted in frost free northern and central districts. The tubers should be left in the sun for a couple of weeks, to green up and initiate shoots before planting. Dig a generous amount of compost into the soil before planting. Create ridges of soil in rows 600mm apart and plant the tubers into the troughs between ridges, approximately 50mm deep, with about300mm-400mm. Planting into the troughs makes in easier to cover any tubers that may appear above the ground later. The tubers need to be covered by soil to avoid them becoming green from expose to sun light, because the green parts of potatoes are poisonous to humans.
Radishes
Can be sown in warm northern and central districts.
Rhubarb – can planted.
Shallots and multiplying onions
Can be transplanted into well prepared garden beds.
Silver beet
Can be harvested by removing the outer leaves as needed. Also remove any diseased leaves and dispose of them.
Spinach
Continue making successive seed sowing as desired. Harvest mature plants as beeded.
Swedes and turnips
Continue harvesting as needed.

Herbs For This Months Gardening Calendar NZ

Remove any dead and dying annual herbs such as basil, etc. If there’s any seed heads with seed attached you can spread the seed where you want another crop, or save them to sow in spring . This can save you buying more seed or plants later.

Fruit For This Months Gardening Calendar NZ

Pip (Apple and Pears)and Stone Fruit ( Peaches, nectarines, and Plums ) –

Do winter pruning between now and the end of July. I prefer to prune pip fruit in late July, because I’ve noticed less fungal infection occurring with die back etc, when the pruning wounds are open to the wet weather for a shorter period, before the sap starts to flow in spring.  If you can, get the prunung done before green tips show on the buds.
In warm Northern and central districts bud movement may be  starting, you may want to spray fungicide for the control of leaf curl and bladder plum fungus infections, with either copper oxychloride or Bordeaux mixtures.

Subtropical Fruits For This Months Gardening Calendar NZ

Citrus

Harvest your limes, mandarins, oranges, ugly fruit, lemonade, and lemons soon after there is little or no green on the skin. If you’re not sure if they’re sufficiently ripe, try sampling one first. It’s tempting to treat the tree as a storage unit, by leaving the fruit on the tree, but if you leave the fruit on the tree too long, the tree will suck out the moisture, leaving them “dry” tasting. Also leaving the fruit on too long delays and reduces the following flowering, so you get biennial bearing, where you get a heavy crop one year, then the following year the crop’s light, because so much of the trees energy went into the heavy years crop.
Consider frost protection in frost prone areas. There are frost covers that can be purchased, or use an old blanket or similar material, draped over the plant.
Another problem I’ve often seen is the skin being eaten and the flesh left untouched, particularly on Meyer lemons. People tend to blame opossums for this, but when I’ve used a Tim’s opossum trap all I’ve ever caught is rats, which I believe are the culprits for lemon skin eating. So you may want to have a rat control program, if you notice this.

Grapes and Kiwi fruit – Are best pruned now before July,so get them done asap. When I’ve pruned in late July I’ve noticed they will often bleed sap.

Berry fruits

Blackcurrants and Gooseberries – Prune out the dead canes, and old growth and leaving the healthy new growth.
Raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries, and loganberries – Complete pruning them this month, by removing dead growth and weak growth and the old canes that have flowered and fruited last season. Leave the strong healthy canes and tie them to a support system.
Strawberries – Weed and fertilise. Spray with copper oxychloride to prevent fungus diseases.

Green Houses/Glass houses For This Months Gardening Calendar NZ

You can sow cucumber and tomato seeds for early crops, if you can provide heat, such as bottom heat for the seed containers. I usually just buy my early crop of tomatoes in punnets of six seedlings in early August, to plant in a glasshouse for an early crop that can produce tomatoes before Christmas.

Pots and Containers For This Months Gardening Calendar NZ

Place movable containers in a warm sheltered location if possible. Consider using a cloche to shelter cold sensitive plants.
Containers need to have any dead plant matter other than compost removed. If the soil level has sunk they can be topped up with fresh potting mix or well rotted compost.
Potted plants such as tuberous begonias are dried off and stored for September re-watering and if needed re-potting.

Ornamental Garden For This Months Gardening Calendar NZ

Flower Gardening For This Months Gardening Calendar NZ

Seeds to sow in warm northern and central districts:
Directly outdoors – Allysum, Aquilegia, Clarkia, Cornflower, Forget-me-not, larkspur, Snapdragon, stock, sweet peas.
In green/glass houses –Ageratum, Aquilegia, calendula, Carnation, Cinereria, Cornflower, Mignonette, nemisia, Pansy, poppy, snapdragon, Stocks, sweet peas.
Perennials –
Divide and replant perennials now, before they start vigorous regrowth.

Trees and Shrubs For This Months Gardening Calendar NZ

June and July are the main months for planting and transplanting most trees and shrubs.
Carefully consider where you want to plant trees and shrubs, and their cultural requirements. E.g. Do they like:
Shade or full sun.
Dry or wet soil.
Need shelter from wind etc.

It’s often a good idea to research the what the plants natural environmental conditions are. Also look around your neighbour, hood to see what plants are flourishing for planting ideas. These consideration may save you having to transplant later or loosing a valued plant.
Prepare the soil properly before planting, and consider whether a new plant needs staking. If the soil is too waterlogged, wait until it dries out enough.

Roses

Can be pruned when flowering has finished. Often repeat flowering roses varieties such as Iceberg will flower throughout the year, so if you see a flower bud, I usually prune the rest of the plant and have a second prune later, after the bud has flowered. I prefer July rose pruning to minimise the period that the open wounds are exposed to wet weather to reduce die back fungus disease incidence.

Lawn Tasks For This Months Gardening Calendar NZ

You can get away with stretching out the frequency of mowing to between three to five weeks depending on grass growth rates, and your tolerance of the “wild look”.

Compost Tasks For This Months Gardening Calendar NZ

Make new compost heaps by incorporating dead leaves, grass clippings, vegetable scraps with a sprinkling of lime and animal manure etc. Turn and mix existing compost heaps that haven’t decomposed sufficiently. Heaps that consist of predominantly unrecognisable matter are ready to be spread around planted areas as a mulch, or in preparation for digging in when soil conditions are dry enough.

Gardening Calendar NZ July

It’s at this time of year deciduous tree trunk bark patterns become more visually important in your garden design.

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