3 Jul 2011

Garden Notes: July

Here is the last set of my Garden notes...for the other sets click 'Label below and scroll down.

July Notes

Top up ponds and bog gardens in hot weather - thin excess plant growth and remove blanket weed initially to the edge to allow trapped critters to return to the water

Collect horse-manure to bulk up the compost heap

Prop or tie up heavily-laden fruit trees and dispose of fallen fruit which may contain pests

Continue removing side-shoots of tomatoes and thin cucumbers - remove lower leaves of tomatoes only when they go brown or yellow - fully ventilate greenhouse maybe even at nights and dampen floor and staging often - avoid splashing tomato fruits as this can spread botrytis

Soak nettles or comfrey in a water butt for a few days for an excellent liquid manure and feed to tomatoes with a dressing of wood ash. 

Put straw under bush tomatoes to keep fruit clean and raise it above soil level

Continue sowings including early varieties of vegetables - broad beans for their tops which can be cooked like spinach in the autumn while their roots supply nitrogen to the soil

Cut Aquilegia to ground to discourage mildewy leaves and remove main spikes of delphiniums and foxgloves to encourage side shoots to bloom - leaving the best plants to save seed for next year

Harvest garlic when about 4 leaves begin to yellow and harvest globe artichokes while their heads are still small

Dead head to encourage further flowering and take semi-ripe cuttings of shrubs like hebe, choisya, potentilla and spirea

Cut spring flower meadows and remove hay

Summer prune red and white currants and gooseberries

Prune damage or intrusive growth from plums July or August to avoid disease

Pinch out growing point of runner beans when they reach the top of their canes and harvest soft fruit when absolutely ripe for best taste

Earth up and stake large brassicas in exposed sites

Watch for mealy cabbage aphids (waxy grey insects that build up on the underside of leaves & in hearts) and cabbage white eggs and caterpillars

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