In July there's some harvesting, weed control and a need to keep a sharp eye out for troublesome pests and diseases. Do watch out for my weekly gardening tips for other memory joggers in July.
Home Grown Vegetables
- Pick beans and peas early and when they are young. If you have lots and haven't the time to freeze them, do give them away to a friend or neighbour. Later they may repay the favour with something that you haven't got.
- Watch out for pests and diseases. Aphids- in all their colour forms- can multiply alarmingly fast! Keep a look out for them on your climbing beans. A well-directed squirt of water to remove them may be all that is needed.
- Mildew and other diseases can also quickly get a hold, and preventative treatment is the best form of attack. Spray prone plants with Fungus Fighter or other suitable fungicides.
- Sow more courgettes. These will be fresh and young ready to replace those you planted earlier and those suffering from mildew.
- Slug and snail protection gets easier this month but watch out for them moving into cabbage heads.
- Cover your Brassicas with butterfly proof netting to prevent caterpillar attack.
Home Grown Fruit
- If your fruit trees have a heavy crop developing, then it is wise to thin now. This will improve the fruit quality and the size too — thin apples to just two fruits per cluster and pears to a single fruit.
- If plums have a massive crop set, then a drastic removal of excess fruits is needed to prevent small fruit and branch breakage later. Silver leaf disease often starts with a broken branch.
- Wall or fence trained gooseberries, red and white currants will need side shoots cut back to leave 4-5 leaves. This reduces vigour but also improves fruit bud production for next year's crop.
- Plums, cherries and other stone fruits of all training styles should be pruned now but never in the winter.
- Regular hoeing between plants in borders and the vegetable patch will keep annual weeds under control and also reduce drying out of the soil.
- Now is an excellent time to spray thistles, couch grass, Japanese knotweed, bindweed and other difficult to control perennial weeds. Roundup or other weedkillers containing glyphosate is the best material to use, and it is claimed that it is inactivated when it touches the soil. However, keep it off the leaves and stems of plants you do not want to kill.
- If the problematic weeds are in among plants you wish to keep, carefully use Roundup Weedkiller Gel.