CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Devon Life today CLICK HERE

Toby Buckland’s Garden Cuttings: July 2014

PUBLISHED: 11:37 11 July 2014 | UPDATED: 11:37 11 July 2014


Toby Buckland delivers some sound practical and seasonal advice

In the greenhouse keep watering and feeding tomatoes and peppers which need plenty of heat to ripenIn the greenhouse keep watering and feeding tomatoes and peppers which need plenty of heat to ripen

Hello! It’s goodbye to early summer and hello to the holidays. Gardeners often complain their plots are looking a little flowerless in July as all those English classics like lupins, delphiniums and rambling roses have finished flowering, but you only have to look to the Americas and the fashionable prairie plants for a whole new raft of colour which will bloom their socks off from now until the frosts.

If it’s hot this month – here’s hoping – take time to water anything you planted this year; it will make all the difference to how well it establishes and flowers next year. Oddly enough it’s also time to prune certain fruit trees which are less prone to fungal diseases if you make your cuts now.

And it’s not too late to plant up your patio pots - plants are larger and more expensive but if you go for patio perennials like South American fuchsias and even the hardy fuchsias - they’ll give you plenty of flower all summer.

Water it in rudbeckia and sit back and wait for the butterflies!Water it in rudbeckia and sit back and wait for the butterflies!

What to do now

Watering, feeding and dead-heading are the main jobs this month. Pots and baskets take priority as plants are reliant on you for care and the bedding plants which grow in them tend to be hungry feeders. Pour some liquid Tomorite or high-potash feed in the can once a week when you water and it makes all the difference.

Pinch off or trim the dead heads at the same time to keep new buds coming. Sometimes snails sneak into pots, watch out for nibbled buds and silvery trails and have a dig round to find them.

If you have any stone fruit – plums, cherries, damsons, peach trees – now in dry weather is the time to do it rather than winter when the risk of infection from silver leaf is greater.

In the greenhouse keep watering and feeding tomatoes and peppers which need plenty of heat to ripen. Whitefly can be a problem now so hang up a few sticky traps. If I get problems with aphids now I spray with an excellent organic spray with the rather unpromising name SB Invigorator. You can use it on edible crops and it not only kills pests, including hard-to-rid scale and mealy bug, but feeds plants at the same time.

Sow mixed salads in shade and empty veg beds with soil-improving green manure such as the bee-friendly phacelia - the flowers of which smell like Bakewell tarts!

Plant of the month:


One of the easiest prairie plants to grow, Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii is happy in sun or part shade and over time builds up into golden clumps full of flower right into autumn. It makes a good cut flower and, having bristly leaves, resists the worst ravages of slugs and snails.

In a sunny border it looks just like it does our on the open plains planted in ribbon-like swathes with the delicate swishing flowers of tall grasses like miscanthus and stipa catching the sunlight.

It marries well mid-border with other North American daisies like coneflowers and helenium and creeping stonecrop at its feet. Water it in and sit back and wait for the butterflies - rudbeckia are generous nectar plants.

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Devon Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Devon Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Devon Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Homes & Gardens

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

NATALIE MILLAR-PARTRIDGE relaxes at a family-run Dartmoor retreat where the emphasis is on the glorious environment it sits in

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Ex-Chelsea footballer Colin Lee came home to Devon and built an incredible multi-million pound waterside house. CHRISSY HARRIS takes a look around

Read more
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As we head into Autumn, the change in season is all around us. From the leaves on the trees turning burnt orange and fiery red, to dark mornings and nights bookending our days. As we put the clocks back an hour to battle the darkness, here’s some top tips on how you can keep your home warm and costs down this Autumn.

Read more
Monday, September 17, 2018

Green, renewable sources of energy are becoming more and more popular for domestic use. We talk to Jay-Dee Williams at Energie about thermodynamic solar panels: the fuel efficient, cost-effective way to heat the water in your home

Read more
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Fig Tree Court is a development of 14 apartments in Tiverton for retired and semi- retired over-55s with gorgeous views over the Grand Western Canal

Read more
Friday, August 31, 2018

Rural energy provider, Calor, gives some top tips for homeowners wanting to make their houses cosy and warm in time for the colder months.

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Converting a crumbling barn into a luxury bolthole takes some doing. Chrissy Harris went to see the results of an ambitious family project | Photos: Rob Coombe

Read more
Friday, August 3, 2018

From a hot tub Land Rover to a Romany caravan, Claire Saul picks out 7 Devon holiday lets that make hot topics for conversation

Read more
Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Two former city dwellers have found peace, quiet and a stunning home in an East Devon village. CHRISSY HARRIS went to visit The Old Rectory in Plymtree

Read more
Monday, July 9, 2018

The redevelopment of some rural Devon barns has unearthed a very unique link with our greatest statesman

Read more
Sunday, July 1, 2018

Residential property company heylo recently signed the Armed Forces Covenant, pledging its commitment to fair treatment and support to the Armed Forces community, including regulars, reserves, veterans and their families. The signing took place in a ceremony held at Wellington Barracks

Read more
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A creative couple with a passion for nature took on a derelict farmhouse in North Devon and used it to inspire their life’s work. CHRISSY HARRIS went to find out more | Photos: Matt Austin

Read more
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The luxury tree top escape is nestled in the grounds of The Fox & Hounds Country Hotel in the North Devon countryside

Read more
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Devon’s iconic Burgh Island, famed for its art deco hotel and links to Agatha Christie, is being sold by owners Deborah Clark and Tony Orchard after almost 17 years.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search