2020 continues to throw surprises at us, almost unknown to have cherries, pea’s, broad beans, redcurrants and more all in fine form and taste at the end of June. Lovely, but the freezer is already getting full.
So what to do in July? Keep picking and eating and enjoy because there are always jobs to do. The flowers in the garden will take time to come on but there is promise of great blooms later. For plants in flower, take off the seed heads as soon as they appear, to keep the display going as long as possible.
Despite frequent showers (July sometimes can be the wettest month) water whenever you can to keep growth going for as long as possible. Keep sowing veg for continuous cropping later in the year although some garden centres do not have much in the way of seed yet. Van Hage have a sale of veg plants at £1 a pack, fab value. Whilst summer pruning is often advised at the end of July, there is so much growth on gooseberries, apples and the like, prune as soon as possible, but not the fruit branches!!
Reduce the new main stem growth by half, the side shoot to about 4 inches. This starts the plant to produce next years fruit buds, not growth buds. Final pruning in Jan/Feb. If you have a grape vine, reduce the bunches to one about every 12 inchs’ and if you have the heart and time, thin the grapes as soon as practicable.
Runner and French beans are beginning to set and with the extra growth this year, additional supports might be necessary. Odd, the courgettes that usually run mad are taking their time, so give them a nitrogen feed.
If your apples etc, have not thinned from their own June drop, thin to about 1 fruit per 6 inches, fewer bigger fruit is far more preferable.
If you have a favourite plant and wish to; increase the stock, July and August are good months to propagate. Most garden plants all you need to do is rip off a non-flowering shoot and stick it in a pot in a shady spot. For unusual plants, just search the web.
Now sit back (possible under an umbrella) and enjoy the wild life.
More tips on what to do next month!