July: Miles Ferrante

July Allotment Jobs 2017

Another busy month ahead with many plants still to plant, seeds to sow and harvesting begins. July includes the feeding of vegetables, and we have tomato, potato, vitax Q4, fish, blood and bone, Growmore, poultry manure, all available in the shop at better than garden centre prices, and all profits go back into our allotments.

Continue sowing:

  • Lettuce – try Red Iceberg or Nyman’s for something different.
  • Beetroot – sow in modules, water before planting plugs, works really well.
  • Runner beans –  lots of professional gardener’s sow 2 lots of runner beans to prolong season now that we have milder winters.
  • Courgettes – grow quickly so will get a crop by end of season if planted now.
  • Carrots – try Yellowstone or deep purple.
  • Winter and spring cabbages – Tundra works well at St Mary’s.
  • Chard– bright lights looks and tastes good.
  • Spinach – perpetual is a good variety for our site.
  • Also – Turnips, Chicory, Rocket and Radish

General Tasks

  • Feed and tie in Tomatoes (tomato food available in shop, £2.50 a bottle).
  • Cut Artichokes, or if like me you don’t know what to do with them, leave for flowers as the bees love them.
  • Plant out broccoli.
  • Lift garlic and shallot bulbs when the tops turn yellow.
  • Mulch Runner Beans with grass clippings and syringe them once in flower, this will help the beans set.
  • Feed and tie in cucumbers.
  • Lift early varieties and earth up maincrop potatoes.
  • Earth up Leeks and celery to blanch them.
  • Remove tomato leaves next to fruit to help them ripen quicker.
  • Water down greenhouse to discourage red spider mite as they don’t like damp conditions.
  • Thin fruit, you will then get bigger apples and pears.
  • Peg down Strawberry runners.
  • Summer prune fruit trees.
  • Pick blackberries, raspberries and strawberries as soon as they are ripe, or the birds will have them.
  • Keep an eye out for Potato blight, the recent rain will be bringing it in. If you find any pick and burn leaves, do not compost. If plant is covered badly cut off top as soon as possible, this may save the tubers.
  • Weed, weed, weed!

Look out for:

  • Gooseberry sawfly.
  • Blackfly on broad beans.
  • Aphids
  • Cabbage white caterpillar’s.
  • Deer!

And Finally:

The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies – Gertrude Jekyll