“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.”
– Lewis Grizzard
July is the beginning of that wonderful period when we get to eat what we’ve sown and grown. It’s the month when the delivery of veg boxes can be suspended as we enjoy our home-grown crops of tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, strawberries and more.
Normally the hottest month of the year July is yet another busy month for the gardener as watering becomes a daily task, lawns need regular mowing and weeds still need weeding.
- Keep your sweet peas flowering by regular picking. Pick in the morning or evening when the temperatures are at their coolest, plunge the flowers up to their necks in cool water and then enjoy the colour and fragrance in your home.
- Remove side shoots from cordon tomatoes and water and feed regularly.
- It can get very hot in the greenhouse so leave the door and vents open and consider applying shading paint or similar. Damping down the floor with a hose will help to reduce the temperature.
- Pick cucumbers as soon as they’ve reached the right size for the variety and are still nice and firm. A slice of cucumber in a G&T makes a lovely change to the traditional lemon.
- Keep picking courgettes to encourage the plant to keep producing. Share with friends and neighbours until they beg you to stop.
- Early potatoes will be ready for lifting but dig under just the one plant first to check they are the size you want.
- Maintain a good watering regime remembering that plants growing in pots will need extra.
Blooming Lovely Clematis
Previously only available from florists and specifically bred for their long stems, our Amazing Clematis range is available to grow at home for the first time. Flowering for 2-3 months from May, each long, sturdy, straight stem produces multiple blooms. Then, a second flush of flowers will open in August providing you with more beautiful blooms. Each stem grows to 40-50cm and produces 5 or 6 flowers that will look equally as good in a vase in the home or in the garden.
Strawberries are an essential element of a British summer. Depending on whereabouts you live the peak for home-grown strawberries tends to be June/July. Keeping them out of the fridge will help their flavour to develop but they will need eating within a couple of days. That shouldn’t prove difficult.
- Strawberries retain water so don’t wash them until just before you are ready to feast. And don’t hull them until after you’ve washed them. Nobody loves a soggy strawberry!
- Strawberries combine beautifully with rhubarb, especially when baked together in a crumble and served with custard.
- Custard Creams come tops in many a “favourite biscuit” survey but how about strawberries, pureed with sugar and a dash of orange juice, sandwiched between two thin layers of home-made shortbread? I’m salivating as I type.
- Of course, strawberries can also be made into ice-cream, added to Pavlova, mashed into Eton Mess, plopped into Pimms or simply topped with cream.
- I shall be making strawberry gin this coming weekend. Wish me luck!
Spring Bulbs and Winter Bedding
Our latest catalogue will be mailed early next month but many of the varieties will be available on our website from the middle of July. This includes autumn and spring bulbs, autumn, winter and spring bedding and also winter veg.
So, if you’re planning ahead, as every good gardener should, please visit www.dobies.co.uk
Summer Bedding Displays
With summer now ramping up it’s always nice to sit back, relax and enjoy the hard work you’ve put into your garden. Flower beds and borders should now be bursting with colour, the rewards for the time and effort spent raising the plants from seed or small plugs. But what to do if there are gaps in your displays? What if you somehow don’t have enough plants to fill your borders; or worse still, you have lost some of your precious plants to adverse growing conditions or slugs have got to the young tender leaves.
Well help is now at hand. Whether you are looking to replace lost plants or add more to your displays, Suttons have introduced a new range of already established large potted bedding plants. For the first time you can now order a limited range of plants supplied in 1 litre or 3 litre pots, available for immediate despatch. From begonias to cosmos and fuchsia, these varieties are ready to plant straight out into the garden where they will provide instant colour and impact, seamlessly filling in any gaps to give you a full and colourful display all summer.
Check out the full range of large potted bedding plants and don’t miss out on these fantastic special offers: