With July comes a whole new gardening agenda

·2 min read

July: the starting pistol of autumn prep. The wrong side of midsummer for fearless freeform sowing. The good side for your harvest. The days start to shorten, the nights lengthen. There is much to do.

Sow beetroot, fennel, beans and peas, purple sprouting broccoli, turnips, salad onions. Time to move on to the faster carrots. We are now into the hottest, driest months. Save water if you can. Wander around with string for tying in. Deadhead. Mulch for moisture and weed suppression.

Time for the oriental leaves: mibuna, mizuna, mustards in cooler spots, they should last you into autumn

Pinch out tomato tops and side shoots, and feed. Keep a close eye for blight. Trim the tops of rampant climbing beans that sometimes don’t know when to stop. Many gardeners spray beans’ setting flowers with water. We will anyway water and feed the roots as if for teenage kids. The same for speedy, needy courgettes and summer squash.

Continue to sow salads, chicories, endives, landcress, radishes where space opens up. Give rocket a rest as it can tend to bolt about now. Time, too, for the oriental leaves: mibuna, mizuna, mustards in cooler spots. They should last you into autumn. Also chards.

Weeds will be growing well now. Howard and I’ll be hoeing regularly, though perhaps just a little at a time. Prune fruit trees and bushes if you are lucky enough to have them.

July is time to lift and dry garlic and onions when the leaves yellow. Lay them in the sun for a longer life. Trim woodier herbs and lavender for drying, take cuttings of thyme for potting on later. We’ll soon sow chervil for cooler days.

Refill ponds and leave water out for birds. Liaise with neighbours on any holiday plans you all have. Remember to save seed and pick any food and flowers. Also remember to soak it all in, say silent thanks.

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