July is the month of keeping your plot happy- it’s not the busiest month for seed-sowing or planting on the vegetable plot though there are plenty of tasks to keep your fruit and vegetables ticking over in summer. If you feel you’re going to miss sowing this months we can recommend micro-leaves which are great for sowing indoors.
Effective irrigation is all important as is protecting your plants from pests as small as aphids and as large as crows and pigeons. Keep soft-bodied insects like greenfly at bay with ready-to-use Resolva Natural Power Bug & Mildew Spray and keep birds away with affordable netting and cages.
The Marshalls Team
Our top three jobs for the month
Dampen the greenhouse floor each morning to raise the humidity levels. Salad crops like tomatoes and cucumbers like this environment. You need not go mad; just one watering can full of water will be enough on top of your normal watering regime.
Congratulations! You now have raspberries and strawberries ready for harvesting. Make sure you don’t bruise or damage the delicious fruit by picking and placing fruit carefully in a small basket or HipTrug. Bruised fruit quickly loses the sun-ripe flavour or undamaged home-grown fruit so take care.
Use glyphosate-action weedkillers in the short-term to get into the ‘veins’ of the weeds and carry the weedkiller poison down to the roots. In the long-term plant weed-preventing crops like courgettes that form a carpet of leaves like courgettes blocking out the light for emerging weeds.
From supporting tomatoes to harvesting soft fruits to considering whether green manures is right for your garden, see our complete list of July jobs.
Microleaves are all the rage for easy-growing and intense flavour when you have them as part of a refreshing summer dish. Be sure to sow thinly either on a moist mat on the windowsill or on the soil surface of a small pot covered with a thin layer of seed-friendly vermiculite. Keep the seeds and seedlings moist only using a spray gun rather than watering using a can.
Harvests should be ready in three to four weeks so you can look forward to tasty little leaves by the end of July.
Here are three for you to try for yourself if you’re new to micro-leaves
Amaranth Red Army – pea-like taste and highly nutritious
Mustard Red Frills – gives a fun and fiery aftertaste
Nasturtium – for a pleasantly peppery zing
2 large eggs
sprinkle of grated cheese
1 dessert spoon of butter
1 punnet of mixed sliced olives
1 x teasppon thyme
mixed microleaves to garnish
- Break eggs into a bowl and add salt, pepper and thyme. Beat thoroughly.
- Melt the spoon of butter in a frying pan until bubbling.
- Add egg mix to the pan and swirl round to spread evenly around the pan.
- Add grated cheese once the edges of the mixture start to cook and solidify.
- Fold over the omelette to cook any remaining raw mixture.
- Place onto a plate once cooked adding sliced olives and further cheese to the top of the omelette.
Micro-greens like mustard Red Frills and nasturtium with their zingy after-taste complement omelette perfectly.
Greenflies are all too common in July- especially on the soft new growth of young stems of developing cuttings. This problem is two-fold. Aphids not only suck-the sap of young plants, damaging them. Ants then ‘farm’ the aphids tickling them so they secrete the sap which ants then take away.
Ants are very protective over their prize aphids so the ants want to see them stay. Attack the soft-bodied aphids with Resolva Natural Power Bug and Mildew Spray. Use on the stems of your favourite flowers. Based on natural ingredients you can even spray onto your crops the same day as harvesting them and eating them.
It’s show time!
Visit the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (2-8 July) in the south and the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park (18-22 July) in the north for inspiring ideas from nurseries around the country and the latest findings from the Royal Horticultural Society. See Raymond Blanc at Hampton and budding Young Designers at Tatton.