“Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes
What would life be like without homegrown tomatoes
Only two things that money can’t buy
That’s true love and home grown tomatoes.”
~ John Denver
Hopefully, July will be a lovely warm month (dare we hope for hot?) meaning that regular watering will be necessary. In fact, water/feed/weed/repeat is the July gardening mantra. July is when we (hopefully) get to eat the edibles that we’ve grown and to fill our vases with colourful blooms. True satisfaction and pleasure can be gained from a delicious meal of homegrown fruit and veg eaten outside in a well looked after garden with a vase of sweet-smelling, freshly picked annuals adorning the table.
It is time to harvest your tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, and strawberries as early potatoes will be ready for lifting, the courgette harvest will be underway too, and cucumbers will be reaching their optimum length for picking! Home-grown strawberries will be ripe and ready, perfect for refreshing cheesecakes this summer!
Flower beds will also be bursting colour this month and pollinators will be out and about on the hunt for nectar. Much of the heavy lifting will have been done earlier in the year so now is the time to look back and enjoy the wonderful outdoor space that you have created and reflect on the crops you have achieved and used.
Normally the hottest month of the year July, and according to our July Newsletter it 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 cold 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.
- Give sweetcorn a gentle shake to help spread the pollen
- Remove duckweed from ponds and keep the water level topped up. It’s surprising how much water will evaporate during a sunny spell.
- Sorry, but early this month you will need to stop harvesting rhubarb. Apply a layer of mulch or compost and leave the crowns to recover ready for next year.
Our Guide to Deadheading – July Newsletter
One of the least strenuous gardening jobs must be deadheading but it is needed at this time of year either way. With a careful snip snip here and a pinch pinch there your plants will be revived and freshened. Soft stemmed plants can be deadheaded by pinching between finger and thumb whereas secateurs will be needed for the stronger stems.
Reasons for deadheading:
- Keeps the plant looking tidy and with plants such as roses stops the petals from scattering.
- Encourages the plant to produce more flowers (which in turn leads to more deadheading!).
- Directs energy into stronger growth.
- Bedding plants.
- Sweet peas – keep filling those vases!
- Some perennials such as Delphinium, Lupins, Yarrow and Rudbeckia.
Not worth deadheading:
- Plants that bear autumn berries.
- Roses with attractive hips.
- Plants with attractive seed heads.
- Sunflowers – leave them for the birds!
- Plants such as lobelia that produce numerous tiny flowers.
- Plants that you want to self-seed and spread.
July Flowers to Sow
By July there’s a wealth of flower seeds to sow outdoors, including aquilegia, campanula, coreopsis, delphinium, myosotis, penstemon and pansy. You can also prepare for autumn biennial planting by sowing foxglove, sweet William, and forget-me-nots.
Vibrant, large, golden yellow and magenta flowers characterise this impressive variety. Plants become smothered in blooms and plants flower to the summers end. A versatile brightly coloured item for borders and containers that will flower in its first year. RHS Perfect For Pollinators. Height 20-25cm (8-10″). HP – Hardy perennial.
Since the disappearance of pansy Universal, we at Dobies have been working hard to find a replacement and we think we have found it in this stunning newcomer. Producing some blooms throughout the winter, incomes to a flowering crescendo in early spring. A great choice for baskets and borders. Height 15-20cm (6-8″). HB/HP – Hardy biennial/Hardy perennial.
Compact little plants whose small flowers have whiskered markings resembling little faces. Colours include violet-purple, mauve, lavender-blue, lilac-pink, bronze and creamy-white, combined with yellow or golden centres. Height 15-20cm (6-8″). HHA, HB, or HP – Half-hardy annual, Hardy biennial or Hardy perennial. Note: Flowers are edible and ideal in salads.
New Flower Seed – July Newsletter
The French Marigold Seeds – Tiger Eyes produces a profusion of fully double flowers with a stunning orange crest, which slowly graduates to maroon around the collar as the season goes by. This French Marigold Seeds – Tiger Eyes is a dwarf and bushy variety that is absolutely perfect for filling flower beds and flower borders all around your garden.
July Veg to Sow
By July the summer sunshine will be warming the soil and helping all our seeds to germinate well outdoors. This is the time to sow spring cabbage, broad and dwarf French beans, carrot, radish, spinach and, of course, lettuces and salad leaves.
“An old Italian variety dating back to 1918. Grows to a grand size for a radish, yet does not go ‘woody’ like most radish do when they get larger. This means you can expect radish at least 5cm in diameter and each one will be crisp and juicy, with crimson skin and a sparkling white centre. Giant Butter has a nice, mild flavour, so is ideal to add to salads either sliced or grated. Perfect for those that don’t like spicy radish.” Make first sowings in March, in a warm, sheltered position, followed by others at regular intervals, to ensure a constant supply of firm, mildly flavoured roots during spring and summer. Sow March-September. Harvest late April-October.
Say hello to a new superfood and get ready to rethink your salads. Use the red, orange and green leaves to create a vibrant salad or leave them to grow into a delicious alternative to spinach. Harvest April – October. Varieties included: Red Army (red), Passion (variegated) and Green Giant (green).
A fantastic superfood salad that can be grown as a small salad leaf or left to grow into fully grown plants and used in stir-fries or as a spinach substitute. A vibrant mix of colours and mildly flavoured leaves. Harvest April-October. Height 11-20cm (4-8″); spread 11-20cm (4-8″).
2 in 1! Parsley leaves on top and delicious parsnip-like roots!
A Berliner-type, rooted parsley with leaves that can be used in the normal way, plus delicious roots which taste like parsnips with a hint of celery!
They hold well in the ground and are great for roasting. Rooted type.
New Veg Seed – July Newsletter
Zaragoz F1 is an excellent club root resistant variety. Tight curds stay white thanks to the large leaves which protect it from the elements. Extremely high-quality summer/autumn variety, well worth growing. Stands well, can be harvested for a long period without ‘blowing’, avoiding a ‘glut’. Harvest from August-October from April-June sowing. Improved Variety. Height 61-70cm (24-28″); spread 61-70cm (24-28″).
July Veg to Plant – July Newsletter
Wondering What Needs Harvesting Too On the Vegetable Garden?
Our July Newsletter features a ton of veg to enjoy from plot to plate!
Offers This Month – July Newsletter
Social Posts of the Month #dobiesgardening
We like to share with the Dobies community what everyone has been up to each month on the plot. In this months July Newsletter, things are a slice of heaven in the garden, tasty carrots are being enjoyed, kids are gardening, planting Pak Choi’s are being planned and blooms are bursting with colour!
Below are our top 5 social posts of the previous month and if you would like the chance to be featured in next month’s newsletter, all you need to do is tag us and use the hashtag #dobiesgardening.
Bees’ Needs Week – 12th – 18th July 2021
Are you keen to help the pollinators population? Whether you have a window box or a large garden, there are some simple things you can do to help. Bees’ Needs Week is an annual event coordinated by Defra, working alongside charities, businesses, conservation groups and academic institutions to raise awareness of bees and other pollinators. This year, Bees’ Needs Week will be held 12-18 July and like 2020, the focus will be activities online to share ways in which everyone can continue to help bees and other pollinators.
So, How Can You help?
If your unsure of how to help, our July Newsletter is full of helpful hints. One of the most simple and easiest ways is by ensuring that your garden includes at least some nectar-producing plants. And this is in turn where we here at Dobies can help you. Visit our website and browse the Plants Attractive to Bees range and choose your plants as a great starting point!
There are ways you can save the bees and help other pollinators and make sure their populations are sustained:
- Grow more flowers, shrubs and trees.
- Let your garden grow wild.
- Cut your grass less often.
- Don’t disturb insect nest and hibernation spots.
- Think carefully about whether to use pesticides.
- Create a bee bath.
- Provide a bee home.
- Support local beekeepers and organizations.
Here are some of our beehives you can provide today!
Let’s Not Neglect Our Wonderful Worms
Understandably, there is a great interest in bees and other insects right now, with huge concern about the drastic reduction in insect life. Whilst doing what we can to encourage and help insects in our gardens, let’s not forget the other wildlife. Birds, frogs, toads and hedgehogs are all the gardener’s friends, as is the much-overlooked worm.
Earthworm Facts – July Newsletter
- There are many different species of earthworms and they range in size from 10mm to 3m!
- Worms create their tunnels by taking some of the soil into their bodies, pushing through and then secreting that soil as worm casts on the surface.
- To help them move easily through their soil tunnels, worms secrete a slime and this slime contains and releases useful nitrogen.
- Being an underground creature, worms like the dark. And although they don’t have eyes, worms are sensitive to light – if they cannot escape it, bright light will paralyse them.
- If their skin dries out, worms will die, so they prefer damp soil. However, if the soil becomes waterlogged worms will drown. This is why, when it rains heavily, they push up to the surface. This is also why birds peck and stamp at the soil surface, to simulate rain – the worms pop up and are promptly eaten!
- Worms’ constant tunnelling not only mixes the soil but also increases the amount of air and water in the soil, thus improving it.
- Most earthworms in our gardens live for 2 to 4 years but, under controlled conditions, they can live as long as 8 years.
- Earthworms exist on every continent apart from Antarctica.
How About a Wormery?
If you are keen to compost your kitchen waste, how about investing in a wormery? They are environmentally friendly and a great way to produce your own fertiliser and liquid feed. For your wormery, you’ll need brandling or red worms (not earthworms). These little chaps are brilliant at quickly turning green matter into compost and so are perfect for a worm city.
How to Get the Best From Your Sweet Peas
Our July Newsletter is full of top tips!
- Feed the plants once a fortnight and water regularly during dry weather.
- Check that the plants have sufficient support and improve if necessary, tying the stems in with soft twine.
- Remove side-shoots and tendrils as this will increase the vigour of the main stem.
- If buds start to drop, don’t panic! It’s probably just due to a change in weather and will stop once things settle.
- Aphids are the most likely pest so keep an eye out for them.
- The more blooms you pick then the more you will get so pick often, certainly every 2 to 3 days.
- If you do spot any seed pods forming, then snip them off immediately. As soon as the plant thinks it has secured the next generation by setting seed it will stop flowering. So, keep those scissors handy!
- The best time to pick is early morning or in the evening. Avoid picking during the heat of the day as they will quickly dehydrate, and this will reduce the vase life.
- Cut the stems cleanly, leaving them as long as possible. Immediately plunge the stems, up to their necks, in a bucket of cold water. Leave the bucket in the shade until you are ready to transfer the stems to vases.
- If you’re going on holiday arrange for a lucky friend or neighbour to pop round and pick your sweet peas. They’ll get lovely free flowers for the house and the plants will keep blooming.
- If you return from holiday and find the friends or neighbours didn’t pick enough and the plants have start to set seed, then don’t despair! Instead, remove all flower stems, water and feed. This should hopefully revive the plants and they’ll soon start to bloom again.
Our New Spring Bulb Range has Arrived!
We are pleased to say in our July Newsletter that we have a brand new range of Spring Bulbs for you to choose from and get ready for your spring garden next year! Spring flowering bulbs are so easy to grow. All you need to do is plant up your spring-flowering bulbs into your beds, borders and containers from October to December, then sit back and wait for the display to begin next spring and every year after! Spring flowering bulbs aren’t just a gap-filler while you’re waiting for your perennial plants to come through! Many gardeners plan well in advance for this time of year and look forward to the day that their gardens begin to erupt with colour.
Best Time To Plant Spring Flowering Bulbs – July Newsletter
Spring flowering bulbs are normally delivered from mid-September until the end of November, meaning you have a window of several months to plant your bulbs before you start to see the first signs of frost. Generally, spring-flowering bulbs are well suited to a sunny patch in rich, well-draining soil. Bulbs are very simple to plant, but acquiring some handy garden hand tools such as a bulb planter will make the process even easier.
Depending on the variety, most bulbs can be planted at a depth of three times their height, and although it’s recommended to plant each bulb a certain distance from the next, you can simply throw them onto the soil and plant them where they land for a more naturalised look. Most bulbs are ideal for naturalising, simply choose a spot where the bulbs will remain undisturbed – in a shady corner, or at the base of a deciduous tree and shrubs is ideal – and they will quickly multiply to create a carpet of plants that will delight you with a spectacular flower display year after year.
Grow Spring Bulbs For Cut Flowers – July Newsletter
Fresh cut flowers can bring instant joy and colour to the home. However, shop-bought flowers (particularly from supermarkets) have likely been on a long journey before you even take them home and put them in a vase. Harvesting flowers from your own garden means a much longer vase life – and you’ll save yourself some money. When growing cut flowers, the process of planting and maintaining the bulbs is the same as growing them for outdoor enjoyment. The secret is to cut the flowers when they only just start to open and do so in the morning, as this is when they are most hydrated. This will give your flowers a fresh appearance and a long life inside your home.
Follow us on our social media pages and tag us in your posts and you could be featured on our next monthly newsletter!
Summer is underway and this month should be a busy one and there’s plenty to be done on the plot but also a well deserved chance to enjoy all your hard work so far. We hope our July Newsletter gives you plenty to get busy with and if you have enjoyed reading, please come back next month and check out our August Newsletter. If you have any growing antics on your social media pages, please share with us to feature on our next newsletter!
Check out our latest blog posts below and we hope you enjoy our July Newsletter!