July

July is usually one of the driest months so watering can be essential. To help with this, hoe regularly to break up the soil and remove weeds, water in the cool of morning or evening.

Harvest

onionsForHarvestingKeep up with harvesting of all crops because the alloment is now in full production. Lift early potatoes and carry on earthing up the rows.  Harvest garlic and shallots when the foliage begins to become yellow and strawlike. Pick the first of the early tomatoes.  July is the start of the globe artichoke season.  If your plant is into its second year  cut off the bud once it is big and swollen with some stalk attached. Lift autumn planted onions for immedate use.  Continue to pick rhubarb untill the end of the month and begin to harvest the main crop of strawberries. Start to pick plums, early pear and apples.

Sowing and Planting

RipeRedCurrantsNettedStart sowing the seeds of the over wintering crops of kale, spring cabbage, radicchio, chicory, spinach beet and hardy type of onion to mature in early summer of next year.  Now is the best time to sow the carrots to avoid attack from root fly. Continue with successional sowing of beetroot and lettuce. Plant out the last of your marrow, pumpkins, squashes, over wintering cabbages and leeks.  Cover with netting to help protect them from birds.

Pests and diseases

This is start of potato blight season, and if the weather is wet and humid in July then your crop is at risk from the blight. These should be sprayed from June onwards if a wet July is predicted ( crop rotation the following year is advisable). An infected plant will have a watery rot on the leaves, causing them to collapse – the infected matter should be binned or burned and not placed into your compost, as this will not kill the disease and it will re-occur the following year. The main pests are aphids, cabbage while butterfly caterpillars and pea moth, spray to control the aphids and pea moth with insecticidal soap bought from a garden centre .

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