It may be raining and cold outside, but we say it’s the perfect time to do some pruning!
Why is pruning so important? It’s simple: pruning encourages new plant growth. By removing dead, diseased, long or spindly branches and trimming dense plant growth, you’re allowing more light to penetrate all parts of the plant. It also allows for increased levels of oxygen to circulate around your plants, and new, stronger shoots to sprout. This will boost the immune system of your plants and trees, so they’ll suffer from fewer fungal diseases and fewer pesky insects can hide away from you.
It’s also a great way to shape plants, trees and hedges and keep your garden looking neat and tidy, as well as clearing your view of overgrown trees and hedges.
Keep these tools and gardening aids handy for your pruning sessions
What to prune in July:
- Deciduous fruit trees like peach, plum and apricot trees. They lose their leaves in winter so it’s easier to see which branches are diseased, old or weak. We give you some top tips on pruning fruit trees.
- Roses: Pruning your roses is important if you want to encourage bigger, better blooms. Just remember, if you live in the Western Cape, time your pruning between mid-July and the first week of August. Prune hybrid roses, tea roses and miniature roses now, but wait to prune rambling roses until after they’ve flowered. When pruning roses, follow the DSTV rule:
- D: Deadwood. Always remove.
- S: Sickwood. Essential to prune.
- T: Tiny, twiggy branches. Remove.
- V: Pruning in a v-shape allows sunlight in to the centre of the plant.
For more information, watch this simple tutorial video for a look at exactly how it’s done.
OTHER BITS ON YOUR TO-DO LIST:
- Hydrangeas: Notoriously tricky, hydrangeas do well with a bi-annual pruning, one in summer and one now in winter. For more advice, read our guide on growing hydrangeas.
- Summer- and autumn-flowering climbers and shrubs like cassia, clematis, golden shower, barleria, ribbon bush, wild dagga and westringia.
- Sweet peas: Pinch out the growing tips to encourage strong, bushy growth.
- Ferns: Cut off old fronds to make way for new growth.
Plant & Sow
- Plant pansy and viola seedlings now in well composted beds. They’ll reward you with a burst of colour in late winter and spring.
- Sow the following seeds now for colour in summer: alyssum, balsam, candytuft, linaria, Shirley poppies, impatiens, vygies and calendulas.
- For a hearty winter meal, sow winter veggies like cabbages, leeks, peas, turnips, carrots, radishes, beans, eggplant, pumpkin, broccoli, Swiss chard and Asian greens, which can all handle the wet, cold weather.
- Make sure you get your lilium bulbs into the ground before the end of the month.
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