7. Things to do in July

 

Kitchen Garden

  • Female flowers of squashes of all kinds – courgettes, marrows, squashes and pumpkins – may need manual pollination with a male flower if fruit is to set.
  • Long-term crops like sprouting broccoli should be generously mulched – particularly after heavy rain (or watering) to encourage water retention.
  • To prevent tomato fruit blackening at the flower end (flower end rot) keep plants evenly moist.
  • Spray tomatoes and potatoes with copper-based fungicide against blight (RHS, The Garden, July 2013)
  • Check brassicas – broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, pak choi etc – for mealy cabbage aphids and caterpillars.
  • Water soft fruit during dry weather to encourage good fruit development.
  • Fruiting shrubs and trees need more water to enhance fruiting.
  • Thin apples: dessert & cooking- to 1 or 2 fruits spaced every 4-6 inches (15-23cm)
  • Look out for aphids on beans etc and spray with detergent based insecticide.

 

Sow

  • sow spring cabbages
  • sow chard and perennial spinach (for crops into next spring)

 

Plant Out 

  •   plant out young winter cabbages such as ‘Winter Jewel’ (RHS, The Garden, July 2013, p23)

 

Avoiding Bolting  

  • ‘bolting’ is – to cut a long story short – racing to set seed.  The ‘race to the end.’  Ahem
  • It’s a fever!  Hot spells and drought can bring on bolting – of which many garden crops are susceptible, including  lettuce, sorrel, spinach, brassicas, and so on.
  • Grow succession crops to stagger stages of plant growth across a crop.  (Yum!)
  • Water plants regularly in hot, dry weather to minimise stress.
  • Grow oriental brassicas like pak choi and mustard greens from late summer, when less prone to extremes of temperature.

 

Sow Directly

  • Early July sow beetroot, spinach, chard, kohl rabi & turnips for autumn crops.
  • Flowers: biennials like sweet william and stock to flower the next year.

 

Harvest

  • harvet autumn-planted onions, shallots and garlic
  • harvest early potatoes for best flavour when they are about a hen’s egg’s size.  Lift one plant first to check tuber development.

 

Flower / Ornamental Garden

  • divide bearded iris if flowering is declining.  Replant yougest sections 12 inches (30 cm) apart.
  • deadhead perennial flower beds
  • deadhead roses to encourage repeat flowering
  • Feed dahlia and canna with high-potasium feed such as tomato feed
  • control weeds before they take over!

 

Plant

  • plant autumn flowering bulbs such as autumn-flowering crocus

 

Cuttings

  • Take internodal cuttings of ** taking cuttings above and below a node.

 

Wild Things

  • Keep birdbaths and water areas topped up when weather is hot and dry.
  • Fledgling garden birds will be ‘fledging’ – ie leaving their nests – at this time.
  • July is peak bat watching time.  Look out for them at dusk.
  • Adult frogs and toads will be leaving ponds.
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