Things to do in July

Top tasks for July - Its the height of summer. The days are long, temperatures are most likely at their highest and all being well you are harvesting something delicious from your plot. July can often be a dry month so watering is crucial as most crops require a steady, unbroken supply of water.

• Weed regularly - don’t ease up on hoeing, weeds will be growing as vigorously as everything else of your plot


• Mulch to conserve moisture - as soon as possible after rainfall spread mulches such as garden compost to retain the moisture in the soil.


• Net against birds - peas, brassicas and soft fruit need to be protected from birds by securing netting


• Dry out garlic, onions and shallots - a few days before harvest loosen the soil around the roots. Choose a dry spell of weather, lift the bulbs and lie on the soil surface in the sun. The more thoroughly dry they are the longer they will keep.


• Pinch out tops of climbing beans - climbing beans don’t really know when to stop so pinch out the growing tips when they reach the top of the canes or they will soon become tangled and top heavy.


• Pinch out tomato shoots - nip off the side shoots and pinch out the growing tip at the top of each plant once four or five trusses have formed.


• Feed tomatoes & peppers - start watering regularly with a liquid fertiliser as soon as you see that the first fruits have formed.


• Summer prune - gooseberries, redcurrants, whitecurrants, blackcurrants and raspberries and tidy up the strawberry patch.


Sow or plant in July

Brussel sprouts, cabbages and cauliflowers - July is the time to sow cabbages for next spring and your last chance to plant out sprouts, winter cabbages and autumn cauliflowers


Peas & French Beans - last chance for sowing or planting these, any later and the pods are unlikely to develop enough before the onset of frosts


Leeks - finish transplanting out leeks raised in pots or modules


Lettuce and other salad crops - succession sow more lettuce, rocket, land cress and other salad leaves for an ongoing supply into autumn