Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – July

It’s July, Midwinter has arrived! As all of Nature’s energies turn inwards, and life comes to a standstill, we finally have a chance to rest and reflect too. This month temperatures will hit their lowest for the year, rain will fall for half the month, and the windiest time of the year in Melbourne begins.

There are still a limited range of seeds to sow, and lots of opportunity for winter pruning, relocating deciduous plants and planting new ones!

Things to Do This Month:

  • Plant deciduous trees, shrubs, vines and cane fruits. Wait till spring for planting citrus.
  • Divide existing perennials and plant new perennials.
  • Protect plants that are not frost-hardy in frost-prone areas. Frost-tender plants in pots are more vulnerable as roots are above ground, wrap pots of plants with plastic bubble-wrap or hessian.
  • Install windbreaks, such as the plastic tree guard sleeves, around newly planted evergreens.
  • Prune deciduous fruit trees (not apricots, best to prune these in late autumn when the leaves start yellowing, during dry, preferably windy weather to prevent diseases entering the pruning cuts). To prune fruit trees, first cut away any dead or diseased wood, then cut away any branches growing inwards towards the centre or crossing other branches (to prevent rubbing and bark damage), and finally, prune tree to shape using the appropriate technique for that species.
  • Prune deciduous shrubs (and it’s rose pruning time in July too!)
  • Finish pruning grape vines and take hardwood cuttings from these for propagation.
  • Finish pruning currants and gooseberries and take hardwood cuttings from these for propagation.
  • Apply organic fertiliser to fruit trees at the end of July, so that the slowly released nutrients will become available when the new growth commences.
  • Spray peaches and nectarines to protect against leaf curl fungus. Use lime sulphur or a copper fungicide at the bud swell stage (just before the buds begin to open) but before pink bud stage or colour shows. It is too late to spray once flowering occurs.
  • If you use horticultural glue bands on tree trunk to prevent winter insects crawling up the tree to lay their eggs, now is the time to replace the glue bands with new ones.
  • Relocate any deciduous plants (trees, shrubs, vines) or herbaceous perennial plants growing in the wrong place in winter. (Evergreens can only be moved in autumn and early spring, where they have time to regrow roots – remember, they retain leaves in winter which transpire and lose water!).
  • Sow seeds from berry producing trees and shrubs. Stratification (exposure to cold) over winter will break seed dormancy.
  • Some perennials can be propagated from root cuttings, which can be taken through winter.
  • Continue propagation of hardwood cuttings which began in autumn – prune off 30cm long shoots of current season’s growth, cut off the soft growing tip, cut off the bottom end below a bud, and dip end into rooting hormone. Make a ‘slit trench’ by pushing a spade into soil and rocking it back and forth. In clay soil, add some coarse sand for drainage. Put cuttings in so 2/3 is below the soil, and press the soil down around them. Cuttings will root and be ready to plant next autumn.
  • Continue planting strawberry runners and shallot bulbs.


Vegetables and Herbs to Sow:

Sow in July   Harvest (weeks)
Beetroot ds 7-10
Lettuce ds 8-12
Mustard greens d 5-8
Onion ds 25-34
Peas d 9-11
Radish d 5-7
Shallots d 12-15
Snow Peas d 12-14
Strawberry runners d 11
Strawberries (seed) s 12 months

d = sow directly into ground
s = sow in seed tray
ds = sow directly into ground or seed tray

Download printable PDF version of Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – July


  1. tonytomeo says:

    What are the berry producing trees and shrubs? You do not grow the cane berries from seed, do you? It seems like it would be much easier to grow them from cuttings or layers. I know you have different native berries than we do, like the lily pilly. We have only ornamental specie of that, and it is not grown from seed.

    1. Angelo (admin) says:

      Hi Tony, that would include all berries that didn’t need to be cold stratified first such as hawthorn berries for example. In the US, I believe berry producing trees such as Amelanchier (shadbush, serviceberry, juneberry, Saskatoon) and Aronia (chokeberry) need cold stratification first to grow from seed.

      1. tonytomeo says:

        Oh yes. (I did not consider saskatoons and chokeberries because they are not grown here either.) Hawthorns are almost as rare. There are so many other fruits that grow here that some of those old types have been forgotten about. Even the mulberries are rare now. You probably have elderberries too. I did not think of those.

      2. Angelo (admin) says:

        We have elderberries here in Australia, but only the American elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) will produce flowers in this part of the world, the common Black Elder (Sambucus nigra) only produces flowers here and no berries, so it’s often referred to as Elderflower, the flowers are used to make cordials which taste wonderful! Both elderberry and mulberry are propagated from cuttings taken in winter.

      3. tonytomeo says:

        Blue elderberries are native here, and the other American elderberry and the European black elderberry are not planted. They are quarantined here. Fortunately, the blue elderberry works the same way.

  2. TP says:

    Hi Angelo,

    May I ask that do you have a writing about how to propagate the thorned-blackberries from cuttings ? Kindly help to advise, thank you.

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