Prep Work and To do List
- Any ground that has finished cropping must be quickly cleared away to take more vegetables - this is the essence of a productive veggie patch.
- Write down your successes and failures – make a note of when things were sowed, transplanted, harvested etc. These records will be invaluable for next year. GIYers have great plans but poor memories!
- Use your produce - eat it, freeze it, process it, exchange it, give it away. Do not let it rot in the ground or end up on the compost heap.
- Continue to water and feed plants and practice good weed control.
- Continue to pinch out side shoots on your tomato plants and remove the lower leaves.
- Earth up brassicas such as Brussels sprouts - these plants will grow tall and require a good deal of support.
- Prune raspberries and gooseberries when they have finished fruiting and apply a mulch.
- Cut down legume plants that have finished cropping and compost them. Leave the roots in the soil as they fix nitrogen in the soil.
- Keep an eye on the blight forecast and spray potatoes if required.
- Continue successional sowings and use quick maturing varieties for autumn use - Swiss chard, lettuce, rocket, salad onions, radish, turnips, peas, French Beans (dwarf), carrots (Amsterdam forcing is a good variety for late summer sowing).
- Sow for winter use (yes you read that correctly – it's time to start thinking about growing things that will crop in winter) - spring cabbage, Hungry Gap kale, parsley, perpetual spinach, chicory and coriander.
Anything left in pots!
Harvesting – what's in season?
- July is a peak month for produce – enjoy it!
- Pick early and often as some vegetables stop producing if not continually picked.
- First crops of French and runner beans, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, courgette and aubergine, marrows, beetroot, globe artichokes.
- Continue to harvest new potatoes, calabrese, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, carrots, turnips, shallots, garlic, radish, spring onions, salad crops, strawberries, raspberries, tayberries, currents (black, red and white), gooseberries, loganberries, peas, broad beans. Ask yourself – do you really need to go to the supermarket?!