Although it has been a slow start to the season and things may take a little longer to reach maturity than usual, July is normally when it all starts to happen…when the beans start cropping, the courgettes swing into action and the veg patch moves into a new gear! It’s not all about harvesting though, it’s also a fantastic month for planting and there are loads of little jobs to keep you busy.
What to harvest
What you will be able to harvest will depend on when your plants went into the ground, but we would expect you to be harvesting the following at some stage this month:
- Beans & Peas (all varieties – some beans may be a little later this year)
- Courgettes & Summer Squash
- Lettuces & Leaves (spinach, chard, oriental leaves etc)
- Beetroot, Carrots
- Summer Purple Sprouting Broccoli
- Onions & Spring Onions
- Strawberries & Summer Fruiting Raspberries (as well as other berries & currants)
The list could go on forever! The key is to get out there into the veg patch as often as you can to see what is ready for harvesting.
What to plant
It’s easy to think that the planting season is over, but it’s not! There is really a lot that you can get in the ground now to extend your growing season:
Plant these crops for harvesting in late summer and early autumn:
- Spinach & Chard
- Salad Leaves
- Swede & Turnip
- Beans, Tomatoes, Chillies, Peppers
Don’t forget, you can still plant herbs and companions for a more or less immediate crop and it’s a good time to buy potted fruit for a summer/autumn harvest too.
Jobs for July
The jobs to keep on top of this month are:
- Watering – we like to water well & thoroughly in the morning as and when the soil needs it. Be vigilant in the greenhouse of course where soil dries out faster, and pots too.
- Mulch plants that are prone to bolt – these include rocket, mizuna, mustard leaves, and lettuces too. If you’re planting them new, try and plant them in a slightly shadier spot.
- Weeding – weeds will be shooting up in the summer. It’s easiest to hoe them off on a sunny day while they are still very small (thumbnail sized) and let them die out in the hot sun.
- Tend to tall plants – tomatoes will need tying in as they get taller, and keep pinching out the sideshoots. Pinch off the growing tips of tomatoes, peas and beans as they outgrow their supports/trellises. Sweetcorn and broccoli may need earthing up for stability on windy days.
- Keep on top of pests/diseases – the ones to really look out for include blight, caterpillar damage, flea beetle, carrot fly and blossom end rot.