My Top 10 things to do in July’s Veg Garden to help you have a happy and healthy harvest.
Finally, July is here and there’s no better feeling that popping out in the early morning to check your harvest and see what delights will be gracing your plate today.
1. Just like us, when the heat is on, hydration is needed. Water your crops daily. Water around the base of the plants to ensure the water penetrates the roots and include a liquid veg feed every fortnight.
2. Pinch out tomato side-shoots regularly (as shown). Remove any leaves below the branches where you have flower or fruit trusses. Removing the leaves will mean you improve the air circulation to the plants.
3. Feed your tomato crop once a week with a liquid tomato feed.
4. Pick, dry and either freeze or preserve your fresh herbs so you can have a ready supply through the winter. It also encourages new growth. Here are our drying and preserving ideas and instructions here.
5. Keep on top of those pesky slugs! Personally I pop out in the evening and just pick them off. Here are a few other natural ways to control the slimey onslaught:
– a disposable cup filled with beer sunk into the ground or container.
– Sprinkle a layer of sand, eggshells or coffee grounds around the base of your crops. Slugs don’t like crossing difficult surfaces. Remember to keep topping up throughout the summer. If there’s a space, they will find it and it won’t take long until holes start appearing on your crops!
6. Clear away weeds and remove any dead leaves / foliage from around your crops to keep them in top condition.
7. If you haven’t already eaten them, dead-head your edible flowers regularly to encourage new growth.
8. Check ties on tomato plants are secure especially if planting outdoors to protect your crop from falling to the ground and spoiling.
9. Look out for cabbage white fly. Check the underside of the leaves of brassicas; including broccoli, cabbage, kale, sprouts etc. If you find any, squash them! A simple mesh / net cover over your Brassicas can cut down their access enormously. Try companion planting with edible flowers like nasturtiums & marigolds or aromatic herbs and veg including onions, thyme and rosemary.
10. Continue harvesting potatoes, lettuce, beetroot, spring onions and any other bounty that’s ready in July’s Veg Garden. Don’t forget to keep sowing quick growing salad leaves for a continuous supply over winter.
Summer for me is breathing in the air, hazy scent filled summer days with a touch of sulphur as the nation’s bbq’s unite. The buzz of the bees and humming of insects. The squeals of excitement or tears from our kids everywhere as the rain begins to beat on the windows. Enjoy your summer!