The garden diaries: Victoria in July

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The garden diaries: Victoria in July

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The air is crisp, clear and invigorating, so what better time to be gardening in Victoria than July. It’s a fantastic time to get out into the garden and there’s plenty to do.

Plant of the month: fruit trees

It’s the best time to plant deciduous fruit trees. Cherries, apricots, nectarines and apples are available now in-store. These varieties grow well in cooler climates like Victoria’s and are available in smaller growing dwarf trees as well.

Plant fruit trees in a sunny spot. Always dig a hole that’s one and a half to two times larger than the roots. Add plenty of compost in the hole and surrounds at planting time. Create a small mound at the bottom of the hole. Water well and then place the plant in the hole. Spread out the roots. It’s a good idea to stake your tree for support and protection against the wind.

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What else to plant

It’s also time to plant vegies such as kale, cabbage, peas, lettuce and beetroot. Plant beetroot as seedlings, as they transplant well, or seed. If you’re planting seed, then soak overnight for better germination results.

Give yourself something bright to look at on a drab winter day and add some potted colour to your yard. Polyanthus and pansies are in full bloom now. They come in a range of colours and look great in the garden or as a pop of colour in a pot.

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Harvest

There’s also plenty to pick. Harvest cabbages when they’re ready, pull leeks and pick kale, Brussel sprouts and broccoli. Pull parsnips, carrots and beets. These are best picked before they get too woody.

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Maintenance

While they’re still dormant, it’s a great time to prune deciduous fruit trees. Prune to shape and to let in light in the tree’s centre. Pruning also encourages growth.

Keep on top of weeds. They pull easily when the soil is moist and it’s great exercise as well.

Another job to do now is mulch around the garden. Lucerne or pea straw are both excellent choices. They break down and build up the soil and help breed beneficial microorganisms. Adding mulch helps retain moisture, protects the soil over winter and also helps prevent weed growth. It’s always good so spread mulch to about 5-7cm thickness, so that it blankets the soil, but allows some moisture to penetrate.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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