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Photo albums
25 & 27 July

 Click here
for July 2012 diary entry  

July sowing and germination schedule

Click here
For July 2013 weather summary

July harvesting schedule
Details of our April harvest

Archive for previous years' diaries dating from 2007 can be accessed by clicking here

1 - 5 July
Last autumn I planted what were described as dwarf irises in the pebble garden. I was expecting some sort of iris reticulata but have ended up with these

This wasn’t the look that I was aiming for and so once the iris flowers have faded, I’ll move the bulbs into a more appropriate position.

At last we are harvesting the fruits of our labour on a regular basis. See our list of July harvesting here  On each plot visit a priority is to pick any ripe strawberries and soon I will have to scramble under the redcurrant netting as the currants are ripening almost in front of our eyes. As well as also picking lettuces, we have harvested the first of this year’s peas.

It won’t be long before we also are gathering broad beans and courgettes.

So far the fruit trees, bushes and canes are hanging on to their fruit.

The old apple hedge has been given its summer trim to keep it within bounds. Although the quince hasn’t managed to set as much fruit as we were expecting, it looks as though we will have quite a few fruits to enjoy.

Of the four blueberry bushes, two have more fruits than others. I think the two that have performed worst are the early and late ones. The bushes look healthy and I am giving them regular feeds to try and boost them for next year.

The plot summer raspberries still look dead - that is all but one at the very end of the row. Incredibly though, in the garden, a cane that has been neglected and severely hacked back has set some fruit!

The garlic on the plot is starting to show signs of fading a little and so I pulled some to see how it was progressing and unlike in previous years the cloves planted directly in the ground on the plot have performed far better than one growing in tubs. All, except the elephant garlic, have now been lifted with the Solent Wight producing consistently larger bulbs that the early Purple Wight. More on my blog here. Gardening is just so unpredictable. All the bulbs are of a reasonable size but the elephant garlic in the middle just dwarfs the other two bulbs.

The potatoes are all growing well now - even the very late planted ones (16 June) are through and growing away - it will be interesting to see what they produce. Strangely one variety - Swift seems very reluctant to grow. The tops are noticeably smaller than all the other varieties.

The watercress experiment seems to be working. The first pieces that I rooted in water and planted in a pot of compost are now growing and more have been rooted and are waiting to be planted. The pot containing the first lot is sitting in a tray of water to keep it moist.

The kiwi berry Issai is now in full flower so UI am keeping a careful watch for any red spider mite attack as in previous years this has set the plant back and any fruit that had set were aborted. More here on my blog

July Gardening blog posts

July Gardener’s Weather Diary posts

8 July
All the leeks have been planted through weed control fabric. More on my blog here.

We have also tried our best to add some protection to the fruit that is steadily ripening on the cherry tree on the plot. The netting over the redcurrants seems to be preventing all but the most determined blackbird (always female) from accessing the ripe berries. The birds sound their disapproval as I sneak under to do some picking, I’m sure that they are watching to see if the can learn how I manage to get under the net, Once we have picked enough berries for our needs, the net will come off so the birds can take their share.

11 July
More planting - this time winter brassicas, French beans and more lettuce.

We are also starting to harvest a wider range of plants - see our July harvests list here

I also caught the first lily beetle of the year and removed any eggs and larvae deposited on the few lilies that we have but not before damage had been done to the leaves. The things had even got to the lilies in the greenhouse. See this post on my blog for more about lily beetles.

In the greenhouse we now have drops of green tomatoes and flowers on both the aubergines and peppers. I wonder whether this year will be a year when we actually harvest some aubergines? They are supposed to be a mini variety so maybe that will help.

The figs also appear to be ripening.

The front garden is looking particularly beautiful. It is caught in the short period before the campanula goes over and after the penstemons have come into their own. See my blog page here

Last year’s verbena bonariensis had managed to sow seed into the gaps in the pavers on our drive I’ve gathered up quite a few seedlings to grow on to plant our later. See my blog page here.

The photos below were taken on 25 and 27 July

12-22 July
Really now is the time for the plot to quietly carry on growing and our main activity has been to harvest lots of soft fruit. We have started to harvest some vegetables too. See this post in my blog for more Details of other harvesting is here.

There has been a little weeding to do but thanks to our use of weed control fabric this has been greatly reduced.

Some planting is still being carried out - lettuce to provide a succession of salad material and also French beans. The first batch is flowering now and the last lot has just been planted out.

July 2013

Some activities are described in more detail on our blogs - links below