Every gardener knows the work on your allotment is never done. There is always something you could be doing. However, sometimes in July you just need to sit back and admire your garden, which is generally at its peak, before all the fruits and crops start to come in.
July is one of the best months for allotment gardeners as all of your hard work is starting to pay off. You can see the, er, fruits of your labours - and best of all, there is still time to sow another crop!
Below we’ve listed the best veg to sow in July, and what you can expect to harvest.
- Chinese brassicas
- Japanese onions can be sown between now and the end of August
- Salad onions Keep on sowing until August / September
It should be fairly obvious what you can harvest – almost everything. When it comes to taking fruit and veg from the garden, don’t wait until the produce is huge because it will be past its best. Small is best! Each plant has an optimum size, so pick it when this is reached.
This is particularly true for plants such as cucumbers. The longer you wait for them, the less tasty they will be. Moreover, if you pick them regularly the plant will be encouraged to set more fruit.
You should be enjoying lots of new potatoes. Don’t be tempted to compost the vines; collect them together and burn them, spreading the cooled ashes around the garden. This way you reduce the possibility of disease next season.
Water to cool the hot greenhouses and polytunnels, then make sure crops that are susceptible to fungal attack have low humidity by increasing ventilation.
Pests and other problems
In greenhouses, try some ladybird larvae to control aphids - the enclosed areas mean you won’t lose them to next door!
Use good netting
Spray apple and pear trees with derris
Treat all fruit against infection
Use good netting
Keep a look out when rain falls following a hot dry spell. Do not venture into the greenhouse after tending potatoes because tomatoes are susceptible.
Slugs and snails
Nematodes are useful now that the soil has warmed up
Keep up on the weeds and make sure you suppress them by mulching all around. Any areas of ground not being used after harvest can have green manures sown onto them as they become free.
Prepare for a committee meeting before the holidays start. July is a great time to finalise preparations for fetes, shows and community days. Gather together information for the summer newsletter.
Plan your entire year on the allotment with Haynes's Allotment Manual: The complete step-by-step guide!