The Vegetable Patch in July

The Fruit Garden in July
Other Gardening Jobs in July

Growing MangetoutPick, pick and pick some more
By mid July, a lot of your veg will be in full flow, including cucumbers, courgette, peas, french beans, carrots, beetroot, beans, lettuce, salad, mangetout, early tomatoes and the last few broad beans. Really enjoy the fruits of your labour and pile your plate high with fresh tasty veg. It’s good for you so eat as much as you like!

Harvest regularly
The more you pick certain crops, such as courgette, beans and tomatoes, the more they will produce, so keep picking regularly. Pick your vegetables small, courgette should be about 10cm (4in) long, and beans should be slender. Leave them too long and they become tough. You’ve probably got plenty, so pick it all at it’s best.

Make cucumber relish
If you’ve got too many cucumbers, think about making cucumber relish. It’s delicious, will keep for months, and goes very well with cold meats and cheeses.

Freeze your excess vegetables
Freezing broad beans and peas is a great way of storing any surplus for the winter months. For the best results, always pick veg that is in good condition. Don’t just freeze the last wrinkled peas and beans from your plants!

Keep weeding
You might feel like relaxing in the garden, but the weeds certainly aren’t! Turn your back and you’ll have a weed bed instead of a vegetable patch. Weed regularly to keep on top of them. Don’t allow any weeds to flower and self-seed, or you’ll just have extra weeds next year.

Keep planting
There are still lots of vegetables that you can sow in July, including french beans, peas, lettuce, beetroot, kohl rabi, carrots, turnip, spinach, pak choi, raddicchio, swiss chard and radish. As soon as soil becomes free, start sowing again.

Feed tomatoes
It’s a good idea to feed your tomatoes once a week with a liquid tomato feed or comfrey tea. This ensures they are getting all the nutrients they require to give you the best flavoured tomatoes. This is especially important when growing your tomatoes in pots or grow bags.

Keep a good eye out for pests
Look out for pests on the leaves of your plants, and deal with them early on. Any broad bean plants you still have in the ground are likely to have aphids. Get rid of the aphids either by squishing them or spraying them. If you don’t they will just move onto other plants such as french and runner beans. We even saw them on courgette one year. If you’ve got a greenhouse, check for whitefly, mealybugs and red spider mite.

Water regularly
If the weather is dry, then water your vegetables regularly. They can’t produce a lot of veg if they don’t have much water. Plants in pots or in the greenhouse will need watering daily. Keep runner beans moist to encourage the flowers to set.

Tie up tomatoes and nip out the sideshoots
Cordon tomatoes will need staking as they grow. Tie the stem at regular intervals to a cane or stake in the ground. Remove any sideshoots from cordon tomatoes. Bush tomatoes often benefit from a short stake to stop them being blown about.

Plant out your leeks
If you haven’t done so already, transplant your leeks to their final growing position.

Harvest new potatoes
Brush some of the soil away, and have a little peek at your potatoes. If they are large enough to eat, then you can start harvesting them.

Harvest onions and garlic
When the leaves of onion and garlic start yellowing and dying back, then they are ready to lift. Lift them on a dry day and leave on the soil to dry before storing.

Transplant winter brassicas
If you haven’t done so already, transplant your winter brassicas, such as broccoli, cabbage, purple sprouting broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts to their final growing position. Once our broad beans have finished, we tend to plant ours there. Protect with butterfly netting, or be vigilant checking the leaves for butterfly eggs and caterpillars. Remove any you see.



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