Colour in July’s garden
Mid-summer and the garden is looking good with plenty of colour and interest. I still think one of the best ways to add colour to the garden is with a few hanging baskets and planted containers filled with summer bedding plants. When positioned around the house or patio the bright colours and lush planting really make you feel that summer is here.
In the veg plot you should be harvesting broad beans now. Ideally pick the pods when the beans are still young and tender.
A lovely summer flowering plant for the house or greenhouse is streptocarpus. At this time of the year they should be in full flower and as long as you keep the compost moist and remove dead flowers on a regular basis the plant will flower and flower for you.
Salad cops such as lettuce, radish, spring onions and mixed leaves can still be sown in the garden where they will grow fast in the warm soil, especially if you water. Ideally sow a sew weeds every few weeks to keep a supply of tasty, fresh salads.
If apples trees are carrying a heavy crop even after small fruits have dropped naturally (June drop, although it North Yorkshire it’s the July drop!) thin out the clusters to two fruits on eating varieties and one fruit on cookers.
July is a fruitful month and when gooseberries, redcurrants, strawberries and blackcurrants all ripen. Keep the fruits protected from birds and pick as soon as the fruits ripen.
Keep dead heading roses and other flowers around the garden to encourage more flower buds to develop.
Feed tomatoes, aubergines, peppers and cucumbers with a high potash fertiliser to help the fruits develop and ripen.