Grow Your Own

Jobs to do in July

Summer's in swing

Top tips

This month, protect heavily-laden fruit tree and bush branches against snapping under the weight. Use a stake or prop to keep them upright. If necessary, prune cherries straight after harvest.

Aphids in the garden

2:02

Sowing and planting

Vegetables

  • Sow spring cabbage, turnips, Oriental vegetables, chicory, fennel, and autumn/winter salads.

  • Carrots can still be sown, but beware of carrot fly when thinning existing seedlings.

  • Last chance to sow French beans and runner beans (south of England only).

  • Plant out leeks and brassicas for a winter supply, if not yet done.

Pruning and training

Fruit

  • Continue training fan-trained trees.

  • If necessary, prune cherries straight after harvest.

  • Complete summer pruning of gooseberries and redcurrants and white currants.

  • Summer prune kiwi fruit if not done last month.

  • Remove the lower sideshoots of indoor melons up to a height of 30cm (12in).

Problems

  • Check plants regularly for aphids.

  • Watch out for potato blight and tomato blight.

  • Look out for asparagus beetle.

  • Keep an early eye out for the sunken brown patches of blossom end rot on tomatoes.

  • Deal with woolly aphid, plum rust, pear leaf blister mite and pear rust.

General care

Fruit

  • Check tree ties as tree trunk girth increases.

  • Water cranberries, lingonberries and blueberries regularly with rainwater. Tap water will do when butts run dry.

  • Complete summer pruning of gooseberries and red/white currants.

  • Pollinate female indoor melon flowers, then pinch out 2cm (0.75in) beyond the flower.

  • Pinch out the growing point of outdoor melons twice, at four-week intervals.

  • Water and feed outdoor melons regularly once established.

  • Pull off suckers appearing around the base of fruit trees.

  • Make sure fruit isn’t drought stressed, especially those in containers, against a wall or newly planted.

  • Give regular liquid feeds to plants growing in containers.

  • Protect heavily-laden fruit tree and bush branches against snapping under the weight. Use a stake or prop to keep them upright.

Vegetables

  • Ensure all vegetables get a regular, consistent supply of water. This will aid healthy development, and help to avoid diseases, disorders and bolting.

  • Continue to hoe off weeds in dry weather. Done in wet weather, the weeds are liable to re-root.

  • Don't forget to stop cordon tomatoes by removing the main shoot. Look for the leaf that's above the fourth truss (set of developing fruit) and cut it off here. This should ensure that all the fruits ripen by the end of the season. Bush tomatoes can be left to their own devices.

  • Climbing beans may also need stopping, to maximise cropping on existing sideshoots. Stop them when they reach the tops of their supports.

  • Beans need sufficient watering to help the seed pods set.

  • Check climbing vegetables are securely tied to supports.

  • Earth up non self-blanching celery cultivars (with a protective collar of paper between the stems and the soil).

Ready to harvest

Fruits
  • Cherries

  • Currants

  •  Apricots, peaches & nectarines

  •  Strawberries

  • Raspberries

  • Gooseberries

Vegetables
  •     Spinach

  •     Peas & beans

  •     Carrots, potatoes & beets

  •     Salads

  •     Globe artichokes

  •     Spring-planted garlic, onions

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