The Gardener's Journal is a free monthly gardening guide delivered direct to your inbox.

Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Monday 1 July 2013

This Month in your Garden – July

Looking back, spring was pretty intensive with all that had to be done in the garden. Now you can slow down – a bit – and enjoy the profusion of flowers, colours and scents. The proud gardener will be sharing this with friends and family. To keep the display at its best, deadheading, watering and staking are necessary tasks to keep borders looking good.

 “There is nothing more difficult to do in outdoor gardening than to plant a mixed border well, and to keep it in beauty throughout the summer.” Wrote Gertrude Jekyll. Pruning shrubs after flowering, weeding, staking late flowering plants that need support, spraying plants prone to infestation, and removing faded flowers, unless the seed is needed, all contribute to maintaining the display.

The Lawn Care Guide – July

It’s likely if it is hot and there is a drought that a fine lawn will suffer stress and quickly turn brown. While your neighbour’s, which comprises tough old grass and clover is surprisingly green.

They say the grass is always greener...but don’t worry, raise the cutting height of the mower, mow less frequently, remove the grass box or collector from the garden tractor, leave the clippings on the lawn...well we went over that last month so we won’t repeat any more.

Lawn Care Questions & Answers – July

Q. How can I tell if I am watering the lawn enough? We’re in a drought area and I don’t want to use too much water but we use the lawn for croquet and don’t want it all brown and rough.

The Vegetable Plot – July

Keep harvesting the glut of vegetables, the more you pick runner beans and courgettes the more they produce. Keep an eye on tomatoes, stop outdoor tomatoes after three trusses.

Shade tomatoes in the greenhouse, if the sun is very strong and water amply and regularly. Feed and train cucumbers.

Leave shallots to ripen in the sun, drawing soil back to expose them, then lift carefully when the leaves turn yellow. You can harvest garlic for storing as well.

Carrots can be sown for a good supply in autumn, and lettuces for a succession of supply.

Top Tip for July

Firm, young side shoot cuttings can be rooted in pots in a damp peat substitute and sand mixture, covered with polythene food bags and sealed with the wire ties. A miniature greenhouse.

The Big Glut Recipe – July


Light the barbecue, pack a picnic, invite friends for lunch, spend a bit of time preparing a salad with fresh veg from the garden and you’ll be fully appreciated. Here’s a feast for a summer day.


  • 4 x 175g/6oz tuna steaks, 2.5cm/1in thick
  • 8 new potatoes, cooked and quartered lengthways
  • 4 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 115g/4oz extra fine French beans, topped, cooked and drained
  • 4 little gem lettuce hearts, quartered lengthways
  • 1 red onion finely sliced
  • 4 hardboiled eggs 
  • 6 anchovy fillets, the ones in thin strips in olive oil
  • 16 pitted black olives in brine, drained
  • 8 big basil leaves