Lawn care in July
July is often one of the warmer months of the year and, as such, will mean your garden and your lawn will be growing quickly. With this in mind, if you would like a well-maintained sward of green grass, it is important to continue to cut your lawn little and often, setting the mower at a slightly higher level so as to not stress the grass and prevent it drying out in hot weather. If it is particularly hot, it can cause your grass to brown and look a little like hay. In most cases there is no need to worry as this will often rectify itself as the weather cools and the rain increases in the autumn. If you would prefer to keep your lawn green throughout the summer, then ensure your lawn is well-watered by completely soaking it at least once a week. You should do this early in the morning or later on in the evening to allow the water to soak in before it can be dried out by the sun. Setting up a sprinkler system will help to achieve this.
As you mow, monitor any yellow patches for small pinkish-red strands of grass. If you see this it may be a fungal disease called red thread, an issue that is very common at this time of year. To resolve the issue, apply a nitrogen-rich fertiliser such as Sherborne Turf Fertiliser. Always be careful when applying fertiliser in hot weather, however, and try to apply just before rain whenever possible.
You may also notice increased ant activity. The easiest, and safest way to ease the disruption to your lawn is to brush away any excavated soil and disperse the soil mounds from the ants’ nests before you mow.
If you are keeping your lawn short and maintained, then keep on top of weeding by removing them with a specialist weeding trowel such as the Niwaki Hori Hori.
As a general rule of thumb, we recommend not laying turf in particularly hot or dry conditions as the turf can struggle in the heat. If you do decide to lay turf, or have recently done so, then the most important thing is to keep it very well watered. Find out more here. Remember not to mow and avoid walking across the lawn until the root system has been established. An easy test it to find a corner of a piece of turf and gently try to lift it up. If it comes up easily, the lawn is not yet ready to mow. If it does not come up as you lift, it is established enough to mow.
Garden care in July
As with much of the summer, now is the time to enjoy the fruits of your labour (sometimes literally) and sit back and relax in your garden in the (hopefully) lovely sunshine.
At this time of year your garden is in full bloom with everything growing well, but just as with your lawn, it is important to keep things well watered. Try to water early in the morning or later on in the evening in order to allow the water to completely soak down into the soil. Add a layer of mulch to your borders to help to retain moisture. If you’d like to add extra goodness to your soil, mix in some mushroom compost, especially in your vegetable patch, to keep your garden well nourished.
Other simple jobs are to prolong flowering by dead heading flower borders, keep on top of weeding, and prop up taller plants, if you have not done so already using bamboo canes.
How to help wildlife in July
July is a busy month for wildlife such as pollinators and birds. Remember to be mindful of breeding birds and refrain from cutting back hedges or trees where birds may be nesting (remember: the same may well apply to areas of your house such as gutters, so check before you clean). Help birds further with feeders and bird baths to encourage them into your garden and keep the numbers of pests down.
Help bees and other pollinators by keeping flight paths between flowers overgrowth free, and try planting nectar rich flowers such as lavender to help them further. If you don’t already have one, try adding a bug hotel to encourage pollinators to stay, and you could even add a bee bath – areas with very shallow puddles of water where bees and other insects can get a drink on hot days.