July Pruning Tips from Monty Don: Cultivating Healthy and Colorful Gardens

…By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media. Monty Don’s July Pruning Guide: Promoting Growth and Flowering

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As summer blooms across the country, with renowned flower shows like Chelsea Flower Show and Hampton Court Flower Show, gardeners are reminded to stay proactive.

Monty Don, an expert from BBC Gardeners’ World, shares valuable insights on pruning four specific plants and trees in July to ensure continued regrowth and vibrant blossoms.

In his latest blog post, Monty emphasizes the importance of timely pruning to maintain garden health and color.

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Pruning Apple and Pear Trees: Monty advises early summer pruning for trained forms of apple and pear trees, such as espaliers, cordons, fans, or mature trees that have become too large or crowded.

Unlike winter pruning, this method won’t encourage vigorous regrowth.

Monty recommends removing this year’s growth, leaving only a couple of pairs of leaves (approximately two to four inches) unless you’re training a specific shoot.

However, he cautions against removing ripening fruit.

Proper pruning allows light and air to reach the ripening fruit while preventing overcrowding of unproductive branches.

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Pruning Early Flowering Perennials: To promote regrowth and repeat flowering, Monty suggests cutting early flowering perennials like oriental poppies, delphiniums, and geraniums to the ground.

This creates space in your borders for tender annuals and perennials.

Monty advises removing all cut material, weeding around the plants’ base, and providing adequate water.

It’s essential to give these plants enough light and space to regrow and bloom again later in the summer.

Pruning Rambling Roses: Continuing to dead-head roses is crucial for encouraging more blooms.

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Monty notes that while some roses finish flowering by July, ramblers are more vigorous and never repeat their small flowers once they’re finished.

If you have rambling roses, it’s best to let them grow into trees without pruning, except for straggly growth.

However, if you’re training a rose or have limited space, Monty recommends tying or cutting back this year’s shoots, removing damaged or old shoots, and cutting them back to the ground.

Pruning Currants: After harvesting red and white currants and gooseberries by the end of July, Monty suggests giving them a prune.

Remove any new growth crowding the center of the bushes and cut back the new shoots you want to keep by around a third.

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This pruning method allows light and air to reach the plant, promoting the ripening of wood and the formation of spurs that will bear fruits next year.

Blackcurrants can be pruned more aggressively, with up to a third of each bush removed immediately after harvest.

Conclusion: Monty Don’s July pruning guide offers valuable advice for gardeners to ensure optimal growth and flowering.

By following his recommendations for apple and pear trees, early flowering perennials, rambling roses, and currants, garden enthusiasts can maintain healthy, productive gardens throughout the summer season and beyond.

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