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Tuesday 10 July 2018

The Vegetable Plot – July

‘It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.' Lewis Grizzard

There is definitely a lot to be said for home grown vegetables and fruit. If you have the space and time there’s nothing like stepping out of your back door and pulling up or picking total freshness for your lunch or evening meal.
TV’s gardener Geoff Hamilton used to say even if you don’t have much space you can still grow vegetables in your borders, pots and containers. You can even sow peas in a length of plastic guttering (there are videos on YouTube that show you how). So there is really no excuse.
You can be harvesting fresh veg virtually all year round. Right now you can be sowing spring cabbage, turnips and autumn and winter salads. Then there are lettuces, spinach beet, Swiss chard and carrots – but keep an eye out for carrot fly when thinning. There is celery to be grown and leeks sown in mid-March will be ready to be planted.

If you have already been successional sowing you will be tucking in to fresh salads and those herbs you have grown in pots can be gathered and dried for storage. And I bet you can’t wait for the tomatoes. Feed and train outdoor tomatoes, nip out the side shoots and put some well-rotted manure or compost around the base, and start licking your lips.

  • Keep all vegetables well watered in hot spells
  • Plant out leeks and brassicas
  • Sow French beans and runner beans if you live in the south of England
  • Hoe off weeds
  • Stop climbing beans when they reach the top of the supports
  • Harvest shallots when the leaves turn yellow
  • Harvest garlic when the tips turn colour
  • Lift and store ripened onions sown in autumn

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