It's time to: July
If you want a good harvest in summer, get those tomato seeds in now. Photo - Mark Winwood
Turn out the compost bin and spread it over the garden to feed the soil.
Gather fallen leaves from your garden, the nature strip, or the roadside, and add them to the compost.
Prune plants that have finished flowering including hydrangea, salvia, buddleia, angel’s trumpet (brugmansia), sedum, pokers and ornamental grasses. Leave frost-tender plants like hibiscus until spring.
Prune roses. For best results, take a light tough with old roses and with climbers – prune just enough to keep them under control.
Graham loves his long-handled pruners.
Feed daffodils, jonquils, ranunculus, anemones and bluebells with bulb food.
It’s almost time for orchids to flower so encourage them with some fertiliser.
A sudden frost can cause damage frost-tender plants. When frosts are forecast wrap newspaper around the base of potential victims. Get up early and hose off any frost before the sun hits.
Most plants are dormant during July so it’s an ideal time to plant or to move plants that are in the wrong place.
Love mushrooms? Buy a kit and grow your own.
Get a head start on summer tomatoes by sowing seed into small pots or trays. The best-tasting tomatoes in the recent Sydney Tomato Festival were all heirloom varieties. The winner was ‘Wapsipinicon Peach’; impossible to pronounce but great flavour. The cream fruit are covered by a fine fuzz that seems to deter fruit fly. Runners-up were ‘Black Russian’ and ‘Jaune Flamme’. (All available from Diggers.) Fill a seed tray or small pot with seed-raising mix and thinly sow tomato seed on the surface. Lightly cover with a dusting of sand. Cover trays with a sheet of glass; pots with an inverted, snuggly fitting glass jar. Place on a sunny windowsill and keep just moist. Once the seedlings are robust (in about 4 -6 weeks) pot each one into its own small pot. Keep them indoors, warm and just moist until spring. Once any chance of frost has passed plant them into the garden.