GardenAction Newsletter
July 2008

July, 2008

Welcome to the GardenAction newsletter for July 2008 in your garden.


Brussels Sprouts should not normally be fed during July, but they will really appreciate a mulch with well rotted compost or other organic material. This will help preserve water round the roots. Brussels sprouts do not like being short of water.
Click here
for more information on caring for Brussels Sprouts.

Carrots should be kept watered and weeded during July. In many areas, carrot seed can continue to be sown until mid-July. Do remember to thin out any recently sown carrots seedlings to ensure that competition for water is kept to the minimum. Unless your soil very poor in nutrients, carrots do not need feeding.

Continue to harvest carrots during July - if you have any doubts on how to pull carrots, there is a section on this in the link below.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

Continue to sow lettuce until mid-July. Lettuce are cool weather plants so keep them well watered and mulch them now the hot weather has arrived if this has not already been done. If you can choose a spot out of the mid-day sun, all the better. Lettuce harvesting should be in full swing during July.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

In July, water is the main need of pea plants. Water well in dry conditions and if you haven't already mulched around them, do this after a good watering. Check the supports to make sure they are strong and secure.

Peas planted early in the season should be ready for harvest late June to early July. Pick them young for the sweetest peas of all!
Click here
for easy to follow instructions on sowing peas.

In July French Beans need to be kept well watered and they appreciate a feed every couple of weeks. Mulch around them if possible. The critical time for watering is when they are in flower which is different for each variety. Don't forget to pinch out the growing tips when they reach the tops of their supports if they are the climbing variety.

There are four pages of advice and pictures on French Beans on the GardenAction site and the last one is devoted to pests and diseases which attack French Beans. If you have any problems, take a look by clicking on the link below.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions on caring for your french beans.

Sow radishes over a period of months to avoid a glut. They can continue to be sown in July. The best position will be sunny but not too hot. If the plants get too hot they will bolt and run to seed, so try to avoid placing them where they get the full sun in the early afternoon.

At the same time you should be harvesting previously sown radish. Radish require only water in July, dont feed them.

At the very end of July you can begin to sow winter radish, but spread this out over August and early September to ensure a supply over a long period time.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions on sowing radishes.

Water and feeding are the main needs of tomatoes during July. If you are applying a liguid feed, use tomato plant feed which will be higher in potash than normal liquid feeds. This encourages fruit growth over leaf growth. As the plants grow, make sure you continue to tie them into their supports.

Tomato plants very often produce too many tomatoes which leads to small fruit which matures late in the season. To stop this happening pinch out all but six or so trusses of tomatoes. This can be done any time in July - the earler the better. Remove all foliage that is touching the ground to avoid disease. Also, be ruthless and cut back some foliage if the centre of the plant is becoming congested. Do click on the link below for more details, especially on how to prune tomatoes.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions on tomatoes.

Onions are good news in July because they require almost no attention other than weeding and watering if conditions become really dry.

Japanese Onions sown last year should be ready for harvest in late June to early July.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions on growing onions.

Runner Beans are also good news in July. Just keep them watered and they will do fine. Remember to pinch out the growing tips when they reach the top of the supports. If you are going on holiday in July make absolutely sure that the supports are strong enough.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions on growing runner beans.

Rhubarb should still be harvestable at the moment but this will end in early July. Other than that, let your rhubarb grow happily on it's own for a month or so.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions on growing rhubarb.

New potatoes should be in peak condition now for harvesting. Continue to harvest them throughout July.

Maincrop potatoes should have their flowers removed as they appear in July. This will help the plant concentrate it's efforts on producing tasty potatoes. In mid July, spray the plants with Bordeaux mixture (available from most garden centres) to prevent attack from botryitis.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions on growing potatoes.

Sweet corn are very easy vegetables to care for. Their needs in July are simple, water when dry and a fortnightly feed. The best feed is one rich in potassium - tomato plant liquid feed is ideal
Click here
for easy to follow instructions on growing sweet corn.

Winter Cabbage should be growing well by now and will appreciate a water when the dry weather comes. Feed with a nitrogen rich compost or liquid rich feed. Hoeing around the plant during July will break up the surface soil and deter pests.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

Nothing complicated for summer cauliflower in July, just water and weeding.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

Spring Cabbage should be sown outside at the end of July - they will be ready for harvest in March next year when there is not much else available from the vegetable garden.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

In July it's water that broccoli need most. They are especially vulnerable to drought when the heads begin to form.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

Beetroot can still be sown up to early July. Continue to thin out seedlings as they emerge - thin to 10cm (4in) apart for round or globe varieties and 15cm (6in) apart for long varieties.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions on growing beetroot.

Now is the time start thinning out excessive fruit. This will ensure that the ones that remain are in peak condition. As a rule of thumb make sure there is about 10cm (4in) between fruits. Also remove any fruits that look diseased.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

At the beginning of July it's a good idea to spray raspberry plants with copper fungicide and derris for a second time. This will greatly help to prevent fungal diseases attacking the plants. Raspberries will be ready for harvest at the end of July and the beginning of August.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

When fruit production stops remove all straw, and cut off all leaves that show any signs of disease.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

July is the time to harvest your gooseberries and enjoy them.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

All the main herbs can be fed this month. Keep them watered if in pots. If in the ground, only water in very dry conditions.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

This month the spotlight is on


Rudbeckia originate from North America, this is why they like the sun in summer, but are very hardy - North America has freezing winters, but gloriously warm summers. Both annual and perennial varieties are readily available.

The reason for being nicknamed 'coneflower' is the black cone which is in the centre of their flowers. Use them as border plants, or in pots. They come into flower around the end of July, with medium sized golden yellow blooms, and will last well past most other plants, right up to the beginning of November. They are excellent as cut flowers for flower arrangements in the house.
1 Gaydon Hill Farm Cottage, Gaydon, Warwick CV35 0HQ

This Month's Recipe
Spaghetti Bolognaise

This spaghetti bolognaise recipe is rich in tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and herbs. Other vegetables can also be added to reduce the amount of meat used - we have found that chopped grated carrots go well with the mixture. This is a favorite regular meal in our house, kids and adults both love it.

It's ideal for the forgetful chef because it can cook from anything between 30 minutes and an hour and a half with no obvious effect on the flavour. Great if you have guests coming but are not sure exactly when.

Make a large batch of it and you can have your meal and then freeze the rest in small plastic pots for later in the month. It tastes even better when cooked from frozen because all the flavours blend in so well.
Click here
for this delicious recipe.

The word Dill comes from the Saxon word "Dilla" which means soothe. It has long been taken as an aid to digestion and as a tranquillizer.

Dill is used in love and protection. The dried seed heads hung in the home, over doorways, and above cradles provides protection. Add the herb to your bath to make you absolutely irresistible to your lover.

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