Jobs to do in the Garden in July
Summer is in full flow
July has certainly been a hot one and a great time to sit out and enjoy your garden. Plants still need to be kept looking good by regularly dead heading to enjoy a longer display of flowers. Keep any new plants especially well watered and remember to hoe off the weeds which will thrive in the sunshine.
There is no better place to be on a gloriously sunny July day, than the Kitchen Garden. We are reaping the benefits of all our hard work over the winter and spring with every berry and crop we pick. Such a satisfying time. The larder and freezer are starting to fill up with beautiful home grown organic fruit and veg. However, there’s no time to rest on our laurels. As the harvest gets underway in earnest, space becomes available for new crops to be planted out and for our thoughts to turn to what will we will be harvesting in the winter.
Water, Weed and Feed.
July is traditionally one of the hottest and driest months of the year in Stephanie’s Kitchen Garden. Our crops have all been growing incredibly well and many are now fruiting too. All of this can exhaust crops pretty quickly so this month it is more important that ever to make sure they are getting plenty of water and food. Flowering and fruiting crops, such as courgettes and beans will appreciate a weekly feed of seaweed applied as a root drench. Leafy vegetables, such as spinach and brassicas will like a top dressing of blood, fish and bone every six weeks. Wherever possible water the soil, rather than the foliage – this is particularly important for potatoes where water on the leaves can encourage blight. And try to water in the evening or at night to stop the sun evaporating it before it reaches the roots. Weeds will take valuable water and nutrients away from your crops, so make it a habit to hoe beds weekly to stop them taking hold.
Big Fruit Harvest.
July in the Kitchen Garden sees the big fruit harvest. We will be picking blackcurrants, strawberries, raspberries, tayberries and blueberries and there will be lots of them. Get organised with your jam making kit and fruit press. We will be freezing and preserving our fruit to make sure we make the most of our summer harvest all year round. It’ll be a busy month in the kitchen as well as the garden!
Onions, Garlic and Shallots
On a hot sunny day in July, we will be digging up our onions, garlic and shallots, They will be laid out in the sunshine to dry out thoroughly on chicken wire sheets suspended off the ground on upturned flower pots to allow the air to flow around them. Once completely dry, we will be plaiting the garlic before hanging it in the larder in the house. A lovely job on a beautiful summer’s day, and one of my favourites. The onions and shallots will be stored in nets and also hung in my larder; easily accessible for cooking.
More jobs to do
- Make sure the Greenhouse is well ventilated and apply shading if necessary
- Keep pinching out sideshoots on tomatoes and keep an eye out for aphids and whitefly
- Check for any pests and diseases around the garden and treat promptly
- Continuing picking fast maturing vegetables such as Courgettes & Beans to encourage more crops
- Protect strawberries from birds with netting, feed, mulch with straw and regularly harvest
- If you've not netted your brassicas double check for butterfly eggs
- Harvest Broad Beans if ready, pinch out tops to prevent blackfly
- Harvest early potatoes once they have flowered
- Plant green manure in any beds that are to remain vacant
- Water tubs and new plants if dry but be water-wise and use water butts where possible
- Dead head bedding plants and repeat flowering perennials to ensure continuous flowering
- Sweet peas need regular, cutting, feeding, tying in and removal of tendrils
- Give the lawn a quick acting summer feed, especially if spring feed was not applied
- Clear algae, blanket weed and debris from ponds and keep them topped up.
- Place conservatory plants outside now that it is warm.
- Order catalogues for next years spring-flowering bulbs!
- Pak choi
- Kohi rabi
- Salads and lettuces
- Early Potatoes
- Young beetroot
- Tender carrots
- Kohl rabi
- Globe Artichokes
Towards the end of the month you can harvest:
- Runner Beans
- Broad Beans
- French Beans